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The Microsoft-Ireland Case is Moot

We covered this before here and here. But the high-profile case of United States v. Microsoft Corporation is now over. The question was whether the government could force Microsoft to turn over data that it stored on servers in other countries. The problem was that federal law didn’t allow the government to do that, or at least Read More

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Can They Search My Phone at the Border?

Suppose you go to visit your aunt in Italy, and you take your phone and tablet with you. When you come back through customs, can they just search your devices willy nilly? Probably. Here’s a good overview of your rights at the border, along with some practical considerations. It’s worth reading ahead of time because the government is stepping Read More

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Every Man’s Evidence, Everywhere

They say the public has a right to every man’s evidence, but in a world full of digital evidence, what if it’s stored on servers in other countries? We wrote about this case two summers ago. Back then, the Microsoft Corporation had just defied a federal search warrant that demanded a subscriber’s emails and other data as part of a Read More

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Identity Theft. Even If You Didn’t Steal Anyone’s Identity.

Two weeks ago, a federal court of appeals in California decided that a law that punished “aggravated identity theft” could apply to a person who didn’t steal or misappropriate anyone’s identity. See 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. If the decision stands, it will create federal law in California and eight other states. That matters because section 1028A mandates an extra two, consecutive years in prison if you commit its brand of identity Read More

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When Technology Laps the Law

The title of this post comes from the Washington Post’s June 10 piece on the same question: Can the United States assert worldwide jurisdiction over emails and other data that are housed in servers that are physically located abroad? Here’s the backdrop: The government is conducting a drug-trafficking investigation, so it applies for a warrant to get a suspect’s email provider, Microsoft, to disclose the Read More

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Your Cell Phone Meets Warrantless Border Searches in the Digital Age

The amount of personal papers and effects that we travel around with used to be cabined by the size of our cars or luggage. No more. Today, our phones, tablets, and laptops are veritable supercomputers capable of storing more information than an entire warehouse of documents. What’s more, they often hold confidential, proprietary, or otherwise sensitive information, including the most intimate Read More

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