Petraeus case shows FBI's authority to read email

Nov 12, 2012 by Richard Lardner

(AP)—Your emails are not nearly as private as you think.

The downfall of CIA Director David Petraeus demonstrates how easy it is for federal law enforcement agents to examine emails and computer records if they believe a crime was committed. With subpoenas and warrants, the FBI and other investigating agencies routinely gain access to electronic inboxes and information about email accounts offered by , Yahoo and other Internet providers.

Under the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, need only a subpoena approved by a —not a judge—to obtain electronic messages that are six months old or older. To get more recent communications, a warrant from a judge is required. Critics want the law updated to reflect changes in technology.

Explore further: Microsoft challenging US on overseas data

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Court: Judges can demand warrant for cell locales

Sep 07, 2010

(AP) -- Judges have the right to require warrants before police get cell phone records that could suggest a customer's likely location, a U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday in a novel electronic privacy case.

FBI access to e-mail, Web data raises privacy fear

Jul 30, 2010

(AP) -- Invasion of privacy in the Internet age. Expanding the reach of law enforcement to snoop on e-mail traffic or on Web surfing. Those are among the criticisms being aimed at the FBI as it tries to update ...

Twitter challenges US subpoena seeking user data

May 08, 2012

Twitter is challenging a court order to turn over to law enforcement data on one of its users involved in Occupy Wall Street in a case described by a civil liberties group as a major test of online freedom ...

Recommended for you

Microsoft challenging US on overseas data

1 hour ago

In a case closely watched by the tech sector, Microsoft will challenge Thursday a US court order requiring it to give prosecutors electronic mail content associated with an overseas server.

Teens love vacation selfies; adults, not so much

14 hours ago

(AP)—Jacquie Whitt's trip to the Galapagos with a group of teenagers was memorable not just for the scenery and wildlife, but also for the way the kids preserved their memories. It was, said Whitt, a "selfie ...

US spy agency patents car seat for kids

17 hours ago

Electronic eavesdropping is the National Security Agency's forte, but it seems it also has a special interest in children's car seats, Foreign Policy magazine reported Wednesday.

Country Web domains can't be seized

19 hours ago

The Internet's regulatory authority said Wednesday that country-specific Web domains cannot be seized in court proceedings, as it sought to quash an effort to recover assets in terrorism-related lawsuits.

User comments : 0