Friday, August 28, 2009

Important Legal Decision Regarding the Fourth Amendment and the Plain View Exception

Some interesting discussion this week of a case recently decided in the Ninth Circuit. The case is "United States v Comprehensive Drug Testing". The decision is here.

Essentially the Ninth circuit is trying to proactively eliminate the plain view exception to warrant requirements under the fourth amendment when applied to computer searches.

I can't do the decision justice or put it in context. I recommend reading the following posts if you're interested in learning more. Some excellent discussion topics on the first blog post below.

The closest analogy I can draw is to the collection minimization requirements of wiretaps. The Ninth-Circuit is essentially imposing collection/search minimization rules on computer searches. Whether they have the authority to do so is an interesting constitutional question.

Personally, I think this is a pretty good idea, we'll just have to see whether it passes muster constitutionally.

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