Email Entitled to 4th Amendment Protection

The US Federal Courts recently ruled that email held by an ISP Server is subject to the protections of the Fourth Amendment. This is an important ruling that clearly puts email on the same level as letters and phone calls as a viable and well accepted form of personal communication. The role of the Fourth Amendment is to protect “personal communication” so it makes sense that email is afforded the same protection as other popular forms of personal communication.

This is welcome news for all of us who regularly use a public email system, such as Gmail. At the same time, recall that in some countries, such as the US, email held by an employer’s email server is the property of the employer. It goes without saying that one should always be careful what is put into an email, lest it come back to bite us some day.

Bob SpurzemIn addition to his role as Ferris analyst, Bob is director of product marketing at Iron Mountain Digital Division, which was recently purchased by Autonomy.

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