Eric Constantineau

In a rare public rebuke of American prosecutors’ request on accessing a person’s e-mail, a federal magistrate judge in the District of Columbia has denied a government warrant request to search an unnamed user’s e-mail address, citing the request as being over broad.
The case appears to offer very little by way of public details for the time being.

According to the March 7, 2014 court opinion and order (PDF), the case involves alleged corruption and conspiracy by a defense contractor, and “for purposes of this opinion, the details of the investigation—which remain under seal on the Court’s docket—are irrelevant.”
Citing a key 2010 appellate ruling establishing a warrant requirement (at least in one United States federal judicial district), Judge John Facciola observed, “[T]he government continues to submit overly broad warrants and makes no effort to balance the law enforcement interests against the obvious expectation of privacy e-mail account holders have in their communications.”

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