An FBI Agent trolling in a Yahoo! child pornography chat room was able to tell that “markie_zkidluv6” had uploaded child porn. An administrative subpoena was served on Yahoo! for the subscriber information, and information was used to get a search warrant for Bynum’s a/k/a “markie_zkidluv6″‘s house. There manifestly is no reasonable expectation of privacy in one’s subscriber information with an internet service provider.
From the opinion:
Bynum voluntarily conveyed all this information to his internet and phone companies. In so doing, Bynum “assumed the risk that th[os]e compan[ies] would reveal [that information] to police.” Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 744 (1979). Moreover, Bynum deliberately chose a screen name derived from his first name, compare “markie_zkidluv6” with “Marques,” and voluntarily posted his photo, location, sex, and age on his Yahoo profile page.
Even if Bynum could show that he had a subjective expectation of privacy in his subscriber information, such an expectation would not be objectively reasonable. Indeed, “[e]very federal court to address this issue has held that subscriber information provided to an internet provider is not protected by the Fourth Amendment’s privacy expectation.”