September 1, 2006

Judge OKs text message use in drug case

gavel.jpg A judge ruled that text messages could be used as evidence in a Washington, D.C drug case, reports

"... U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ruled on Aug. 10 that the search warrants were permissible "because the Wiretap Act does not apply to the government's acquisition of text messages held in storage at electronic communication service providers."

Translation: The Wiretap Act only applies to live intercepts, not archived e-mail or SMS messages. In general, a lower legal standard applies to archived messages. (As an aside, the government claims that technology to capture the contents of text messages had "only become available to law enforcement within recent weeks.")

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