From Slashdot: Federal prosecutors say they don’t need a search warrant to read your e-mail messages if those messages happen to be stored in someone else’s computer.
“We’re looking at a future in which almost all of our private papers are in the hands of third parties and not protected by the Fourth Amendment,” said Kevin Bankston, an attorney with the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation
I hope the EFF, ACLU, EPIC and everyone else who can possibly pile on to this one.
The government needs a search warrant if it wants to read the U.S. mail that arrives at your home. But federal prosecutors say they don’t need a search warrant to read your e-mail messages if those messages happen to be stored in someone else’s computer.
That would include all of the Big Four e-mail providers — Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail and Google — that together hold e-mail accounts for 135 million Americans.
Twenty years ago, when only a relative handful of scientists and scholars had e-mail, Congress passed a law giving state and federal officials broad access to messages stored on the computers of e-mail providers.
Now that law, the Stored Communications Act of 1986, is being challenged in federal court in Ohio by Steven Warshak, a seller of “natural male enhancement” products who was indicted for mail fraud and money laundering after federal investigators sifted through thousands of his e-mails.
I would like the language in the i-broker agreements for XDI.org to have language that basically says they will treat personal data held as if it were in someone’s house and therefore protected under the 4th amendment.