The Obama Administration Trumps the Constitution with ECPA to Access Emails

Day after tax day: taxed at every level, privacy at no level. 

The Obama Administration has taken steps to secure access to both our public and private communications. If you're a citizen and a target of Obama's DOJ, you're emails are fair game, sans search warrant and just cause. 

I've been on the internet since '91 and have internet email accounts that date back to 1997. Although I had never seriously considered the ramifications of a 3rd party reading my emails before the 2008 elections, I felt measurably secure with Yahoo storing my info. Pre-2008, I wrote to my friends and family and talked about the weather. I also never expressed my political opinion. Back then, politics and religion were taboo. 

Now, I am concerned on at least 2 levels: using the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986, the Obama Administration has now gone through legal channels to access emails older than 180 days without cause, thereby superceding the privacy rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution. 

Then there's the hook of incitement: if we are tied in some way to a hate crime that may have culminated through a flash mob we inadvertently instigated through a "Let's get together!" tweet, for example, we may face the same ramifications for inciting hate crimes -- a method for quelling free speech that's all the rave in socialist European countries where citizens don't enjoy the same Constitutional freedoms we have here in the states. 

With the passage of socialized healthcare, European-style socialism is here, now

Accessing our private communication is one example. 

First H/T to John M. Rogitz from the Rogue Report who writes via RedCounty:  

Relying on a 1986 pre-internet law dealing with electronic data storage, the Obama Administration has been arguing that emails opened and kept in your account for over 180 days are not subject to Fourth Amendment warrant requirements. Even the liberal 9thCircuit Court of Appeals, which has the highest Supreme Court turn-over rate of any of the circuits, agrees that the Constitution is more important than some law Congress enacted before Al Gore created the internet.Still, somehow a piss-ant magistrate judge in Colorado found solid ground to grant Obama’s request to snoop through our emails. In his decision, the judge held that there is “no reasonable expectation of privacy” in emails that are over 180 days old. ... 

Thus, because the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 apparently overrules the U.S. Constitution, we no longer enjoy the same privacy in our emails that we do with snail mail. Until the Supreme Court steps in, it’s quite possible that your emails are fair game depending on the jurisdiction in which you live. 

CNET tracked the backstory here. Quoted paragraphs flipped for chronology:

On December 3, 2009, U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer ordered Yahoo to hand to prosecutors certain records including the contents of e-mail messages. Yahoo divulged some of the data but refused to turn over e-mail that had been previously viewed, accessed, or downloaded and was less than 181 days old.


For its part, the Justice Department has taken a legalistic approach: a 17-page brief it filed last month acknowledges that federal law requires search warrants for messages in "electronic storage" that are less than 181 days old. But, Assistant U.S. Attorney Pegeen Rhyne writes in a government brief, the Yahoo Mail messages don't meet that definition.

Google and Yahoo are fighting this now, along with a coalition of supporters that include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, and TRUSTe.

They're zeroing in and the noose is tightening. 

Napalitano's Rightwing Extremism Report was just the beginning. The DOJ anticipating Flash Mobs as they watch Twitter and Facebook is hardly the midpoint, and the Obama Administration's eagerness to give credibility to anyone who assists in the function of government informant to any of the federal government's 72 fusion centers and "Information Sharing Environment" (ISE) gives you an idea of where we're headed. 

And how far we'll have to go to reclaim our personal freedoms and right to privacy.

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