The U.S. Can Still Legally Access Your Old Emails

/ 3 years ago


Microsoft is in an ongoing battle with the U.S. government about handing over emails and they refuse to give up. The case contains two issues, emails stored abroad and old emails. What many people don’t know is that it was written in the Electronics Communication Privacy Act back in 1986 that the American government technically has legal access to everyone’s emails as long as they might be useful for an investigation and are more than 180 days old.

This is a blatant disregard for non-digital laws, as they don’t have the right to enter your home and read through your old letters. A lot has changed since the mid 80’s and back then digital files weren’t stored the same way as today. Back then information was downloaded and stored locally, today information is everywhere with internet and cloud services.

The laws need to be reexamined, but the U.S. government wants to keep them just they way they are. They recently responded to Microsoft’s assertion with this: “Because the emails sought in this investigation are now more than 180 days old, the plain language of the [Stored Communications Act of the ECPA] would authorize the government to use a subpoena to compel disclosure of everything it sought pursuant to the Warrant.”

The Department of Justice has long argued that citizens don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to their old emails and the issue potentially affects anyone who has ever used email.

Thanks to Mashable for providing us with this information

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