Feb 072011
 February 7, 2011  Posted by  Court, Surveillance

FourthAmendment.com reports an appellate decision in the Fourth Circuit:

A violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is not subject to the exclusionary rule. United States v. Clenney, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 2117 (4th Cir. February 3, 2011):

Turning to the statutes at issue, neither provides suppression of the evidence in federal court as a remedy. The ECPA empowers a victim of a § 2703(c) violation to bring a civil action for appropriate relief against violators other than the United States and provides procedures for administrative discipline of federal officials involved. 18 U.S.C. § 2707. There is no mention of a suppression remedy for such a violation, and § 2708 makes clear that “[t]he remedies and sanctions described in this chapter are the only judicial remedies and sanctions for nonconstitutional violations of this chapter.”

Moreover, Congress has shown that it knows how to create a statutory suppression remedy. It did so in 18 U.S.C. § 2515, which provides for suppression of evidence obtained in violation of the statutes governing wiretaps. Yet it chose not to do so in the context of § 2703(c) violations. Therefore, Congress has made clear [*20] that it did not intend to suppress evidence gathered as a result of § 2703(c) violations.

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