Email communication is similar to traditional communication methods like phone calls, and users still have a reasonable expectation of privacy online, said the court.
The decision reads:
"Given the fundamental similarities between email and traditional forms of communication, it would defy common sense to afford emails lesser Fourth Amendment protection. It follows that email requires strong protection under the Fourth Amendment; otherwise the Fourth Amendment would prove an ineffective guardian of private communication, an essential purpose it has long been recognized to serve... [T]he police may not storm the post office and intercept a letter, and they are likewise forbidden from using the phone system to make a clandestine recording of a telephone call--unless they get a warrant, that is."
Stephen Warshak, the appellant, has effectively had a previous verdict now overturned, as all evidence is now invalid.
The Department of Justice had forced Warshak's email provider to intercept and monitor his emails and the EFF and other privacy advocates claimed it amounted to an illegal wiretap.
Written by: Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Dec 2010 19:26