Saturday, July 14, 2012
A New York trial court has ruled that there is no privacy interest in public tweets 180 days old or more. If the government wants to see public tweets newer than that, it should get a search warrant. The case is People v. Harris.
In general, court orders have no limitations on the types of information to be
disclosed (18 USC §2703[d]). The SCA mandates different standards that the
government must satisfy to compel a provider to disclose various types of
information (18 USC §2703). To compel a provider of ECS to disclose contents of
communication in its possession that are in temporary "electronic storage" for
180 days or less, the government must obtain a search warrant (18 USC §2703[a]).
A court order must compel a provider of ECS to disclose contents in electronic
storage for greater than 180 days or to compel a provider of RCS to disclose its
contents (18 USC §2703[a], [b], and [d]). The law governing compelled disclosure
also covers the above mentioned non-content records. The rules are the same for
providers of ECS and RCS and the government can obtain a §2703(d) order to
compel such non-content information (18 USC §2703 [c][B]).