In the Matter of a Warrant for All Content and Other Information Associated with the Email Account firstname.lastname@example.org Maintained at Premises Controlled by Google, Inc., Case 1:14-mj-00309-UA (S.D.N.Y. Jul. 18, 2014) Memorandum Opinion
A Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge granted the government’s application for a search warrant in a money laundering investigation to obtain emails and other information from a suspect’s Gmail account, conflicting with the opinions of several other judges.
The SDNY magistrate judge addressed the conflicting opinions, disagreeing with the central issues in both a DC District Court and a District of Kansas opinion. The magistrate concluded that these courts too narrowly interpreted the Fourth Amendment’s particularity requirement, and also that the reasonableness standard of the Fourth Amendment does not require the court to place protocol on how the government conducts its search. In granting the warrant, the magistrate opened the door for government search and seizure of massive amounts of email information, spurring a controversial debate over privacy concerns.
IT World, Reuters, and Tech Times provide an overview of the case. Slate criticizes the decision, stating that the magistrate “furthered an alarming trend” with the decision. Tech Law discusses reactions to the ruling.