Tampa Attorney – Update: Text and Email Messages at Work

Search Warrant Text Messages Tampa Florida Attorney LawyerUp until this week a Florida Attorney would tell you that your employer can probably read your emails and text messages on company provided devices. That may change based on a recent development in an appeals court’s decision. In that case, the court found your boss shouldn’t read your text or e-mail messages.

Text messages were obtained from a wireless carrier and reviewed by an employer without the employee’s permission. The federal appeals court sharply limited the ability of employers to obtain e-mails and text messages sent by employees on company accounts.

A Tampa Internet lawyer observes that Access to e-mail could be barred if the employer contracts out its e-mail service rather than maintaining an internal server to handle it.

One report found that about 28% of Microsoft Outlook users have their e-mail handled by an outside vendor, according to research firm Radicati Group. The ruling also gave government workers Fourth 4th Amendment protection against searches of text and e-mail communications by their bosses.

The privacy case was a unanimous ruling and the first federal appellate decision to provide 4th Amendment protection to electronic messages. Arguably, police may now need to obtain a warrant before they could access someone’s e-mail or text messages.

The court found that the wireless service provider violated the federal Stored Communications Act. That law prohibits providers from providing the contents of any communication that is maintained on the service without a search warrant.

Employees had an expectation of privacy that was protected by the Constitution. Feel free to contact Board Certified Trial Lawyer, W.F. ”Casey” Ebsary Jr. Toll Free at 1-877-793-9290 to discuss how this may affect you.

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Tampa RIAA USF Music-File-Sharing Case Update

A Tampa federal judge has refused to dismiss a counterclaim filed in federal court by a USF student who accuses the recording industry of using deceptive tactics against USF students named in music downloading lawsuits.

The Tampa students accuse the RIAA, the recording industry of hiring private investigators to invade private computer networks. They also accuse the industry of using the court system as an investigative arm and then extorting money from people, using private information gained from the courts to force settlements.

The record companies have sued more than a dozen University of South Florida students, accusing them of illegal downloading. The RIAA suits and the threat of suits have caused at least 64 USF students to pay off thousands of dollars to settle music piracy complaints with record labels.

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