If you’re Jacob Appelbaum, a Wikileaks volunteer. The Wall Street Journal is reporting on the government’s interpretation of the law that allows them to force in this case Google and Internet provider Sonic.net to hand over information about Applebaum’s email accounts – email addresses of people he interacted with over the last two years. The government is using the Electronic Communications Privacy Act – a 25-year-old law – to assert its authority. Remember 25 years ago? When TVs had antennas and you used a phone that PLUGGED INTO A WALL? The government can get this information without obtaining a warrant, which means most users won’t even know the government is digging into their personal digital stuff. The lower courts have had rulings on this law’s constitutionality. From the Journal:
In a landmark case in December, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the government violated the Fourth Amendment when it obtained 27,000 emails without a search warrant.
“The police may not storm the post office and intercept a letter, and they are likewise forbidden from using the phone system to make a clandestine recording of a telephone call–unless they get a warrant,” Judge Danny Boggs wrote in the 98-page opinion. “It only stands to reason that, if government agents compel an [Internet service provider] to surrender the contents of a subscriber’s emails, those agents have thereby conducted a Fourth Amendment search.”
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