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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 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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 18, 2014 @11:31PM (#46521707)

    I was going to make a snide post, but the fact that a judge denying a vague warrant is now news is just sad.

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @12:15AM (#46521887)

    That's likely why they were using boilerplate. The judge pointed out that the text being used was boilerplate from a 2009 Department of Justice document. That document specifies all sorts of things to make sure that it covers everything in cases where agencies need to search through computer accounts, but the agency making this request was really only interested in the e-mails, so the judge told them to ditch the boilerplate and write what they meant, since otherwise Apple may think that they're compelled to turn over everything.

    Also worth noting: this is just a run-of-the-mill case, not some sort of secret court or national security case. The only interesting thing here is a judge acting with some sense. Oh, and that it may be an indication of a growing recognition that citizens have an expectation of privacy with regards to e-mail.

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