Fourth Amendment’s Interplay with Privacy in Today’s Digital World Generates Debate

This week’s post concerns a panel discussion at the 2012 Western District of Washington Annual CLE and District Meeting for Judges and Lawyers, held at the U.S. Courthouse in Seattle, Washington.  The panel discussed the Fourth Amendment and privacy issues in the digital age. 

The title of Professor Dorothy Glancy’s segment was Keeping Up with the Jones Decisions and What May Lie Beyond.  Professor Glancy teaches at Santa Clara University School of Law.  The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued its decision in U.S. v. Jones.  The justices agreed that the warrantless GPS tracking of vehicles is unconstitutional, but disagreed on why it’s unconstitutional. 

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No Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in IP Address Information Rules Twitter-Wikileaks Court

The decision in this case arose out of the U.S. government’s grand jury investigation of several individuals associated with Wikileaks:  Jacob Appelbaum, Rop Gonggrip and Birgitta Jonsdottir.  The government obtained an order under the Stored Communications Act for Twitter to provide the non-content Twitter account records of these individuals.

The Twitter account holders moved to quash the order and to unseal court records, raising arguments under the Stored Communications Act (SCA), the Fourth Amendment, the Due Process Clause and the First Amendment.  This blog post discusses the court’s SCA and Fourth Amendment analyses in denying the motion to quash the order.

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