Final Version, “The Fourth Amendment Limits of Internet Content Preservation”
My latest article, The Fourth Amendment Limits of Internet Content Preservation, was recently published in final form by the St. Louis University Law Journal. Here’s the abstract:
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Internet accounts are copied and set aside by Internet providers on behalf of federal and state law enforcement. This process, known as preservation, ordinarily occurs without particularized suspicion. Any government agent can request preservation of any account at any time. Federal law requires the provider to set aside a copy of the account just in case the government later develops probable cause and returns with a warrant needed to compel the account’s disclosure. The preservation process is largely secret. With rare exceptions, the account owner will never know the preservation occurred.
This Article argues that the Fourth Amendment imposes significant limits on the preservation of Internet account contents. Preservation triggers a Fourth Amendment seizure because the provider, acting as the government’s agent, takes away the account
Article from Reason.com