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 Federal Criminal Defense Attorney on eMail and Subpoenas

Tampa Federal Criminal Defense Attorney on eMail and Subpoenas Tampa Federal Criminal Defense Attorney notes that one court just held a Search Warrant for eMail was unnecessary, where a federal subpoena was issued. The federal Judge ruled that an Internet Service Provider must comply with the Government subpoena for E-Mail. In this cybercrime prosecution, the Government had subpoenaed the Internet service provider (ISP) and sought the contents of electronic communications. The subpoena requested previously opened or sent e-mail that belonged to the defendant.

The ISP failed to produce e-mails that had been stored for fewer than 181 days, the Government filed a motion to compel production of the e-mails’ content. The ISP claimed the information sought required a search warrant. The Court ruled that the Stored Communications Act (SCA), required the ISP to comply with the Government’s subpoena if the e-mails are held or maintained solely to provide the customer storage or computer processing services.

The court further ruled that previously opened e-mails stored by the ISP for web-based e-mail systems—as distinguished from other e-mail systems—are not in “electronic storage,” which is defined by the Wiretap Act as storage incidental to electronic transmission and for the purposes of backup protection of the e-mail. Based on this finding, the court ordered the ISP to comply fully with the Government’s subpoena.

When Federal Subpoenas are issued, we can help. Tell me your story Toll Free 1-877-793-9290 .

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Source: United States v. Weaver, 2009 WL 2163478 (C.D. Ill. July 15, 2009).

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