July 6, 2004 | By Donna Wentworth

It's the Entire Body of Law, Stupid

Elizabeth Rader of Stanford's Center for Internet & Society offers a rebuttal to the news reports that over-simplify the decision in U.S. v. Councilman:

The news spin seems to be that the court found it completely legal for an ISP owner to read his customers' emails because they were on his system. But that's not what the court decided. The court simply held that the defendant was not criminally liable of a very specific federal criminal charge -- wiretapping -- because he didn't "intercept" anything as that term is properly construed in the wiretap statute. [...]

The law seems to be out of synch with consumers' intuition about what they should expect when they open an email account. but it isn't the wiretap law that's out of synch, it's the whole body of law that places too much importance on where data travels and is stored and not enough on what kind of data it is and who wrote it and why.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Safe harbors work, but Big Content wants to filter the Internet instead. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Feb 22 @ 12:11pm

San Diego police have specifically targeted black children for DNA testing, grossly misusing law enforcement tech.
https://medium.com/digital-fr...

Feb 22 @ 12:04pm

SAS wants to abuse copyright and block innovation. EFF told the a court today to protect interoperability for all. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Feb 22 @ 11:42am
JavaScript license information