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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Web services & the 4th Amendment

I've written a reply to Orin Kerr's excellent piece in the Harvard Law Review on digital searches and seizures.  Orin takes on the question of how to think about police copying of personal hard drives, and it struck me that no one had really done that comprehensively before -- and now that it's done, it seems already somewhat overtaken by events, since more and more data is stored somewhere else anyway.  From what I can tell, the Fourth Amendment tells you you're out of luck if you should want to store your data elsewhere -- a result that doesn't make much sense to me, since we tend to think of our email or documents the same way whether they're on a laptop, made available throughout the household with something like Google Desktop's latest version, or in some kind of secure vault.

The really bad guys can just encrypt everything anyway.  For the rest of us -- worrisome.  The essay can be found here.

Posted by jz on February 21, 2006 at 06:39 PM in Constitutional thoughts | Permalink


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Thanks for the thoughtful essay, JZ. I hope to blog a few thoughts in response over at the Volokh Conspiracy. I'll try to get something up soon, perhaps tomorrow.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Feb 22, 2006 12:09:48 AM

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