Kevin Poulsen reports:
Lawyers for secure email provider Lavabit just filed the reply brief in a case that will determine whether an internet company can be compelled to turn over the master encryption keys for its entire system to facilitate court-approved surveillance on a single user.
It bears repeating: the government has no general entitlement to search through the information of an innocent business. It may do so only to the extent that the law and Constitution permit. The government proposed, in this case, to search through a vast amount of data to find a tiny amount relevant to its investigation, with no oversight from anyone, at a time when the government’s theories of its own surveillance power are at their apex. It ruined a small business in doing so […]
The surveillance statutes and the Fourth Amendment do not allow the government to chart this course. The judgment of the district court should therefore be reversed.
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