“law prohibits providers from providing the contents of any
communication that is maintained on the service without a search warrant”
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.
Search Warrant Text Messages