CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Brenner on Remote Computer Searches

Susan W. Brenner (University of Dayton - School of Law) has posted Law, Dissonance and Remote Computer Searches (14 University of North Carolina J.O.L.T. __ (2012), Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This article examines the conflict – the dissonance – that arises when law enforcement officers from one jurisdiction remotely search a computer that is physically located in another jurisdiction. It reviews the current status of remote computer searches in Europe, noting that such searches are legal under United Kingdom law but are, for most purposes, outlawed by German law. 

The article then explains that because U.S. state supreme courts have used their constitutions to impose search and seizure requirements that exceed those of the Fourth Amendment, similar dissonance has arisen between U.S. states. It uses this domestic dissonance to analyze the issues transnational searches are likely to create and to consider how those issues might be resolved.

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