More alarming is that the average American could easily be subjected to the same snooping that Petraeus endured. According to current law, police can access email through a provider, like Yahoo or Gmail, without a warrant if the message is more than 180 days old.
The rule is a relic of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, written before legislators could dream of the explosion of technology and ubiquity of email, text messaging, online chatting and other communications that leave behind an electronic trail.
Read more: www.businessinsider.com...
I never had even heard of this before. It seems so odd that email could be considered abandoned. And I'm surprised the General wasn't aware of it to begin with. (Or maybe he was and just didn't care).
After 180 days in the U.S., email messages lose their status as a protected communication under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and become just another database record. This means that a subpoena instead of a warrant is all that is needed for a government agency to force email providers such as Google's Gmail to produce a copy. Other countries may even lack this basic protection, and Google's databases are distributed all over the world. Since the Patriot Act was passed, it's unclear whether this ECPA protection is worth much anymore in the U.S., or whether it even applies to email that originates from non-citizens in other countries.
I suppose nothing online is private. Any chance they will be subpoenaing any bankers records from 2008?
The ones that were heard in congress insofar were hysterical.
C'mon... Just do it for the laughs.
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