Thursday, June 21, 2007

One for the rule of law -- for now

A federal appeals court ruled this week that the government can't just read or seize your stored e-mail without a search warrant.

The 6th District Court of Appeals "found that email users have the same reasonable expectation of privacy in their stored email as they do in their telephone calls -- the first circuit court ever to make that finding," according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed a brief in the case.

The ruling knocks on its keister the federal Stored Communications Act, used by the government for a couple decades to secretly grab e-mails. The court ruled that the law violates 4th Amendment rights.

Celebrations that pieces of the Constitution still stand should be muted. The case could well be appealed to the US Supreme Courts, where the Constitution frequently is of secondary concern, well behind the court's primary interest of kowtowing to the Bush Administration.

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