NY court: Computer searches can threaten privacy

June 25, 2013

A New York federal appeals court says authorities may have gone too far in their search of an ex-convict's computer.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made the statement in a ruling Tuesday casting doubt on the case against a man serving nearly 48 years in prison in a child pornography case.

The court said an exploratory search of the computer's hard drive poses an "enormous" potential for .

The court says advances in technology have made the similar to a residence in terms of how much private information it may contain.

The ruling came in a case before a federal judge in Albany. The judge must now reconsider whether computer evidence can be used in the case.

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