Sunday, April 18, 2010

Yahoo Fights for Privacy; Ultimate Result Inconclusive

Via this story from, Yahoo has "prevailed" in its efforts to resist a court order to turn over emails based on an assertion that the emails were "relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation," rather than on a warrant. Technically, at least in the legal sense, Yahoo actually prevailed. Federal prosecutors, who had requested the emails as part of their investigation into a sealed criminal case, dropped their request, meaning that Yahoo prevailed on whether it would have to turn the particular requested emails over in this case. However, in a broader sense, Yahoo's "victory" is an empty one, and could arguably be treated as worse than a clear loss. The reason is that the heart of Yahoo's dispute with the prosecutors was interpretation of the stored communications act. As I mentioned previously (see here), this law has been the subject of substantial controversy, and a definitive ruling could have helped clarify the situation. As it is though, the cloud of uncertainty remains, leaving future litigants in the same situation of potentially having to defy a court order when prosecutors request emails that are arguably material, but which can't be obtained with a warrant.

1 comment:

digital signature software said...

Good article I never thought about Yahoo Fights for Privacy from this point of view.Privacy should be major concern but when it comes to Law and Order then It become ambiguous that what need to be considered as privacy levels