Appeals Court Guts Landmark Computer-Privacy Ruling | Threat Level | Wired.com
[Can’t believe I missed then originally. – JR]
A federal appeals court Monday gutted its own decision that had dramatically narrowed the government’s search-and-seizure powers in the digital age.
The 9-2 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nullifies Miranda-style guidelines the court promulgated last year that were designed to protect Fourth Amendment privacy rights during court-authorized computer searches. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, as solicitor general last year, had urged the court to reverse itself amid complaints that federal prosecutions were being complicated, and computer searches were grinding to a halt, because of the detailed guidelines.
The original ruling required the government to cull specific data described in the search warrant, rather than copy entire hard drives…
The government claimed the right to prosecute the Major League Baseball players or use the the test results that weren’t sought in the warrant, arguing that the information was lawfully found in “plain site,” just like marijuana being discovered on a dining room table during a court-authorized weapons search of a home…
The two dissenting judges, Sandra S. Ikuta and Consuelo M. Callahan… wrote that their colleagues’ decision does not explain “why the Supreme Court’s case law or our case law dictates or even suggests that the plain view doctrine should be entirely abandoned in digital evidence cases.”