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February 23, 2006

Digital search and seizure

Posted by Kristi Heim at 7:01 AM

Most e-mail users would be surprised at how weak protections are over government access to their messages. With vast storage capacities, the typical Internet service provider holds years of mail detailing a person's life.

Yet e-mail stored more than 180 days can be disclosed under a subpoena without the subscriber even being notified, warns the Center for Democracy and Technology, a non-profit public interest group in Washington D.C. The CTD has just completed a 47-page report (1.3 MB PDF file) that analyzes the dismal state of digital privacy protection and makes policy recommendations.

The conclusion: the U.S. legal system is not prepared for the assault on privacy made possible by new technologies such as expanded e-mail storage, location-based devices that reveal whereabouts at any given time, and keystroke loggers that can secretly record all information typed into a computer.

Kinda makes you long for the stone age.


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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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Kristi Heim
Kristi Heim
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