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: Meerkat vs. Periscope: Live-streaming app battle & buzz

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

Meerkat vs. Periscope: Live-streaming app battle & buzz

Mar 27, 2015

Download Periscope, Twitter's just-launched live video-streaming app, and you'll find people broadcasting all sorts of mundane stuff: waiting for AT&T to fix their wiring, getting out of bed in Silicon V ...

Twitter chief vows to help Indonesia fight disasters

Mar 26, 2015

Twitter chief Dick Costolo said Thursday the microblogging site planned to work with Indonesian authorities to warn people about natural disasters that regularly hit the archipelago, from earthquakes to volcanic ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.