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The Stored Communications Act and Prvate E-Mail Communications
By Martin C. Weinberg, Robert M. Goldtsein
The Government's Unconstitutional Policy of Seizing Private E-Mails Without a Warrant or Notice
Electronic mail (“e-mail”) has quickly become the preferred medium of
written communication in the United States of America. E-mail has
literally transformed the manner in which American society communicates,
and members of society clearly have a vital interest in preserving the
privacy of the contents of their e-mails.1 Certainly, an
individual possesses a strong and reasonable expectation of privacy in
the contents of his or her e-mail messages — whether traveling on the
electronic highway or stored within an Internet Service Provider (“ISP”)
server — and these modern day “closed containers” are entitled to the
full protections of the Fourth Amendment, just as the Supreme Court has
clearly held in the context of first-class mail and packages.2
The government believes otherwise, however, and through employment of
the Stored Communications Act, codified at 18 U.S.C.
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