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US Police Increasingly Peeping At Email, IMs 113

angry tapir writes "US law enforcement organizations are making tens of thousands of requests for private electronic information from companies such as Sprint, Facebook and AOL, but few detailed statistics are available, according to a privacy researcher. Police and other agencies have 'enthusiastically embraced' asking for e-mail, instant messages and mobile-phone location data, but there's no US federal law that requires the reporting of requests for stored communications data, according to Christopher Soghoian, a doctoral candidate at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University."
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US Police Increasingly Peeping At Email, IMs

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  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @08:29AM (#35806256) Journal

    What's it got to say about this kind of thing?

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Any statute which purports to give the government access to our electronic communications without a warrant is not a law at all. It's a usurpation.


  • Re:Happened to me (Score:4, Informative)

    by Abstrackt ( 609015 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @08:45AM (#35806340)

    I say that if you're going to encrypt, encrypt everything or at least as much as possible. If the authorities want to come after me with a five dollar wrench so be it, anything that important wouldn't be in my email anyway.

    And email encryption is not easy? Install Thunderbird, GnuPG [] and Enigmail []. You can even set rules to encrypt emails to specific people by default. I've gotten my family, close friends and coworkers using Enigmail and they love it. Even better, and my ulterior motive from the start, is that I now have a good-sized web of trust.

  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @09:17AM (#35806690) Homepage Journal

    will fix all of this, oh wait, by the standard of law naming in Congress this will do the opposite of what it claims.

    See [] and []

    [T]he measure applies only to companies and some nonprofit groups, not to the federal, state, and local police agencies that have adopted high-tech surveillance technologies including cell phone tracking, GPS bugs, and requests to Internet companies for users’ personal information–in many cases without obtaining a search warrant from a judge.

    In other words, the government seems keen on protecting us from ourselves while opening us to them by any means. It really comes down to crafting laws with safe sounding names all in an effort to circumvent the Constitution. As most realize, Congress's favorite activity of the last fifty or so years has been how to get around the limits our Founding Fathers placed on the Federal Government.

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. -- John Keats