Melodi Dincer and Kristin M. Mulvey write, in part:
Making sure that email gets proper Fourth Amendment protection is one of the ACLU’s priorities. So on Tuesday, we filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that calls attention to a little-known statute that appears to be giving law enforcement an unconstitutional loophole to exploit in its pursuit of digital evidence. The case involves the warrantless use of law enforcement preservation demands to force email providers to copy and keep an individual’s private communications for up to half a year — without ever asking a judge or meeting a standard of suspicion.
This case highlights how the government has been exploiting an under-examined section of the Stored Communications Act that creates a gaping loophole to Fourth Amendment protections. Section 2703(f) allows the government to force email providers and social media companies to create and store copies of user accounts for a statutory period of 90 to 180 days — without a warrant or just cause.
Read more on ACLU’s blog.
h/t, Joe Cadillic