The Champion

August 2007 , Page 18 

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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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