(WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) — Civil liberties group The Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.eff.org) along with competitor Google (www.google.com) and numerous other public interest organizations and Internet industry associations have joined with Yahoo in asking a federal court to block a government attempt to access a Yahoo! email account based on probable cause without a search warrant.
According to the EFF’s announcement this week, the US Department of Justice (www.justice.gov) is seeking the emails as part of a case that is under seal, and the account holder has apparently not been notified of the request. Before a federal judge in Denver, Yahoo is challenging the government, which is arguing that because the Yahoo email has been accessed by the user, it is no longer in “electronic storage” under the Stored Communications Act, and therefore does not require a warrant.
Yahoo contends that the SCA and Fourth Amendment require the government to get a search warrant before compelling Yahoo! to disclose the email. The EFF filed an amicus brief in support of Yahoo Tuesday, writing that the company is simply following the law and protecting the constitutional privacy rights of its customers.