United States v. Moalin

Brief of Amici Curiae Brennan Center for Justice, American Library Association, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Freedom to Read Foundation, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Ninth Circuit Federal and Community Defenders, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Support of Defendant-Appellant and Reversal.

Brief filed: 11/05/2015


United States v. Moalin

9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 13-50572

Prior Decision

On appeal from the U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. Cal., No. 10-cr-4246, decision below 2013 WL 6079518 (Nov. 18, 2013).


The government is systematically collecting records of phone calls, text messages, e-mails, and other digital communications. Communications metadata is Fourth Amendment "Papers." Communications metadata is revealing, even in limited quantities. Metadata is especially revealing in aggregate. The third-party doctrine is ill-suited to the digital age. The "assumption of risk" equation has changes. The distinction between content and metadata is not sound.

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Michael Price and Faiza Patel, Brennan Center for Justice, New York, NY; David Porter, Sacramento, CA.