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E-Mail Protected by Fourth Amendment

The role of emerging technology and how the government, in particular those branches of the government charged with public protection and order, deal with it is one of the great challenges of the twenty first century, said a New York Criminal Lawyer the other day.

In particular, the issue of how to treat Electronic Mail, or E-Mail, has been a thorny issue for the courts to deal with. On the one side are privacy advocates, who believe that the Fourth Amendment protections against warrant less searches of one’s person, house, papers, and effects should include E-Mail. They believe it is a logical extension that the founding fathers would have supported had E-Mail been in existence at the formation of the Republic.. On the other side of the issue are those arguing that individuals have no expectation of privacy to their E-Mails and that as a result they are not afforded protection form warrantless searches. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case just recently and has agreed with the former: E-Mail searches require a warrant prior to being conducted. The decision is considered a victory for privacy advocates.

The court believed that since E-Mail mimics the form and function of traditional mail that it would be illogical to not extend the protections. The case now sets a precedent to be followed by all courts within the Sixth Circuit. An appeal to the United States Supreme Court is expected and no doubt the nation’s highest court will eventually decide on this issue.

If you have been the victim of a warrant-less search, or have been convicted of a white collar crime, or fraud, contact Stephen Bilkis and Associates to ensure your constitutional rights are protected.

We have offices available throughout the New York City area, including locations in Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. We also have locations in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island, as well as Westchester County. Call us today and schedule an appointment. We will provide you with sound legal guidance and a free consultation.