informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




An Introduction to Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand Everything
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted Apr 12 2013, 7:17 AM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: Techdirt Print

IRS Investigators See No Need For A Warrant To Snoop On Emails

by Mike Masnick

The ACLU filed a freedom of information act (FOIA) request last year, asking for details about whether not IRS investigators get warrants before reading people's private communications. After finally getting 247 pages of records (which don't fully answer the questions asked), the ACLU has noted that the documents suggest that the IRS likely read private emails regularly without obtaining a warrant. In their blog post, they note that in the US v. Warshak case, the 6th Circuit made it clear that the government must get a warrant to turn over emails, and it seems clear that the IRS had to change its policy because of that.
The documents the ACLU obtained make clear that, before Warshak, it was the policy of the IRS to read people’s email without getting a warrant. Not only that, but the IRS believed that the Fourth Amendment did not apply to email at all. A 2009 “Search Warrant Handbook” from the IRS Criminal Tax Division’s Office of Chief Counsel baldly asserts that “the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.” Again in 2010, a presentation by the IRS Office of Chief Counsel asserts that the “4th Amendment Does Not Protect Emails Stored on Server” and there is “No Privacy Expectation” in those emails.

Other older documents corroborate that the IRS did not get warrants across the board. For example, the 2009 edition of the Internal Revenue Manual (the official compilation of IRS policies and procedures) explains that “the government may obtain the contents of electronic communication that has been in storage for more than 180 days” without a warrant.
Of course, the IRS is not alone in this. That's the same way other government agencies have treated email thanks to the outdated nature of ECPA, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, a law written nearly 30 years ago, which assumed that any content left on a server for over 180 days was "abandoned," because the idea of online messaging systems was foreign to folks in Congress at the time.

The bigger question, though, is whether or not the IRS paid attention to the ruling in Warshak and started getting warrants. As the ACLU notes, while not entirely clear, the answer is likely "no."
Then came Warshak, decided on December 14, 2010. The key question our FOIA request seeks to answer is whether the IRS’s policy changed after Warshak, which should have put the agency on notice that the Fourth Amendment does in fact protect the contents of emails. The first indication of the IRS’s position, from an email exchange in mid-January 2011, does not bode well. In an email titled “US v. Warshak,” an employee of the IRS Criminal Investigation unit asks two lawyers in the IRS Criminal Tax Division whether Warshak will have any effect on the IRS’s work. A Special Counsel in the Criminal Tax Division replies: “I have not heard anything related to this opinion. We have always taken the position that a warrant is necessary when retrieving e-mails that are less than 180 days old.” But that’s just the ECPA standard. The real question is whether the IRS is obtaining warrants for emails more than 180 days old. Shortly after Warshak, apparently it still was not

The IRS had an opportunity to officially reconsider its position when it issued edits to the Internal Revenue Manual in March 2011. But its policy stayed the same: the Manual explained that under ECPA, “Investigators can obtain everything in an account except for unopened e-mail or voice mail stored with a provider for 180 days or less using a [relevant-and-material-standard] court order” instead of a warrant. Again, no suggestion that the Fourth Amendment might require more.
As the ACLU notes, the IRS owes the American public a clear explanation of its view on warrants... and it should put in place a clear warrant requirement before snooping through emails.





Latest Big Brother/Orwellian
- Government Wastes Taxpayers' Money On Crappy "Shark-Like Spy Drone"
- Silk Road Prosecutors Rely on Slander As Trial Approaches
- Copyright Law as a Tool for State Censorship of the Internet
- Bill Aimed At Shutting Off NSA's Water Starts Moving Forward Again
- Baltimore Prosecutors Withdraw Evidence Rather Than Talk About Police Department's Stingray Usage
- Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
- 2nd Grader's Homework Teaches 'The Government GIVES Us Our Rights'
- Feds Put Fake Cell Towers On Planes, Spied On Tons Of Innocent Americans









Comments 1 - 2 of 2 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
tmR

Posted: Apr 12 2013, 9:18 AM

Link
7134 Fuck the screwhead irs they are a cabal of worthless unecessary miscreants, just another unauthorized guvment entity with no fckn purpose other than to steal our money and force to force us to continue to feed the machine which is a bloated fat mofo at the trough of life.
Anonymous

Posted: Apr 12 2013, 9:56 AM

Link
75145 All email clients have the capability to encrypt the message. Has been there for decades, and yes, exactly because it was always assumed that without that email messages are not private.

IRS also reads posts on facebook and tweeter. Not so unreasonable either: if you decided to tweet to the whole world about your cheating in your tax report, that whole world does include IRS as well.


Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

Cop Stops Fellow Cop From Choking a Handcuffed Man, She Was Then Beaten and Fired - 12/18Thieves Yell "Police" Before Invading Home, Shooting and Robbing Resident - 12/18Tennessee Town Passes Policy Banning Negative Comments About The Town's Government - 12/18Obama Commutes Sentences for Eight Drug Offenders - 12/18Ontario Cop Sucker-Punched Good Samaritan Grandmother & Broke Her Leg With Karate Kick - 12/17Ignorance Is No Excuse for Wrongdoing, Unless You're a Cop - 12/17Cops Called For Wellness Check Beat Innocent Man, Pile On False Charges; Jury Exonerates, Twice - 12/17Psychotic Vegas Cop Filmed Beating Man For Filming In Viral Video Queitly Hired By Another Dept. - 12/17

Rialto, CA Police Made to Wear Cameras, Use of Force Drops by Over Two-ThirdsCop Who Karate Chopped NY Judge In Throat Gets Off Scot-FreeFlorida Cop Smashes Compliant Woman's Face Into Car -- "Maybe Now You Can Understand Simple Instructions"VIDEO: Lapel Cam Reveals A Day In The Life Of A U.S. Police Officer (Tasing, Beating, Breaking & Entering, Stomping On Heads... and Laughing About It)Caught On Tape: Officer Sucker Punches Inmate In Face, Files Report Claiming 'Self Defense'Insult Person On Twitter, Go To JailSWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic -- Raids Innocent Grandma InsteadCop Karate Chops NY Judge In The Throat
(more)

 
Top