Sunday, April 10, 2011

Are Your Emails Secure From Government Intrusion?

In a recent article, warns that email left on a third-party server, such as your webmail account, loses its fourth-Amendment protection after six months. That means government types can access it at will without a search warrant, your permission or even knowledge. A group of ISPs and other groups, including Google and AT&T, are pushing legislation to change that. But the government is having none of it, saying that requiring a court order or search warrant to access your and my emails would be "an unnecessary burden" on the government.

"James A. Baker, associate deputy attorney general, testified:
"Congress should recognize the collateral consequences to criminal law enforcement and the national security of the United States if ECPA were to provide only one means — a probable cause warrant — for compelling disclosure of all stored content. For example, in order to obtain a search warrant for a particular e-mail account, law enforcement has to establish probable cause to believe that evidence will be found in that particular account. In some cases, this link can be hard to establish. In one recent case, for example, law enforcement officers knew that a child exploitation subject had used one account to send and receive child pornography, and officers discovered that he had another email account, but they lacked evidence about his use of the second account.""

"Don’t expect Congress to come out in favor of expanding Americans’ civil liberties in the post–Sept. 11 world."

Or more importantly, upholding our natural rights. But they didn't prior to 9/11, either.

"CNET reported that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said demanding warrants would be a burden to law enforcement in addition to “the court system.”

Yeah, I know. Don't we members of the great collective known as "the public" know that it is our primary duty to make cops' and courts' jobs easier? 

By the way, I found out about this from Dr. Gary North, one of the smartest men I know.

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