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The Courts Communications Government

Judge Tells Feds To Be More Specific About Email Search Warrants 41

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-what-you-need,-not-what-you-want dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In yet another example of the judicial branch of the government becoming more critical of federal mass acquisition of personal data, federal magistrate judge John Facciola in D.C. 'denied a government warrant request to search an unnamed user's @mac.com e-mail address, citing the request as being overbroad.' The judge further noted (PDF), 'While it is evident from closely reading the Application and its attachments what the government is really after, it is equally evident that the government is using language that has the potential to confuse the provider—in this case Apple—which must determine what information must be given to the government. This Court should not be placed in the position of compelling Apple to divine what the government actually seeks. Until this Application is clarified, it will be denied.'"
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Judge Tells Feds To Be More Specific About Email Search Warrants

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  • Re:Warrant requests (Score:5, Informative)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @12:59AM (#46522053)

    Wow... next time I end up in court, I sure hope the judge sits down with me and lets me re-word my plea over and over until I win. That'd be great.

    I'm not sure that you understand what is going on there. The warrant modifications are generally additional restrictions on the warrant, or splitting them to make them more specific, not greater freedom. Is that "winning"? Maybe if you're Charlie Sheen and have tiger blood.

    The judges who preside over America's secret court [reuters.com]

    ... There is a rigorous review process of applications submitted by the executive branch, spearheaded initially by five judicial branch lawyers who are national security experts, and then by the judges, to ensure that the court's authorizations comport with what the applicable statutes authorize." ...

    In rare public remarks 10 years ago, a former presiding FISA judge, Royce Lamberth, described the process: "I ask questions. I get into the nitty-gritty. I know exactly what is going to be done and why. And my questions are answered, in every case, before I approve an application."

    Syracuse University College of Law professor William C. Banks, who follows the FISA court closely, said he suspects that warrants are "modified" when judges request more information about a warrant or decide to split a warrant with multiple suspects, phone numbers and locations into several, more specific ones.

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