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The Constitution in the Internet age.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which asserts the right of citizens to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, "has proven to be exceptionally adaptable when applied to technological issues," particularly those that involve computer-based evidence, according to an article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin by attorney Stephen W. Cogar.

In the article, Cogar looks at issues such as obtaining evidence from computers in the workplace, the home, and from Internet service providers (ISPs). Cogar writes that there is often an expectation of privacy in the content of an e-mail, for example, but courts have ruled that there is "no legitimate expectation of privacy" for noncontent information--such as information given to the ISP to establish the account or a log of Web sites visited--and thus "this information is not protected by the Fourth Amendment."

Cogar also presents 13 questions that need to be considered when determining whether there is an expectation of privacy in the workplace. For example: Is the employee's office shared with anyone else? Does the employer have computer-use policies in place? And are employees notified that their computer use is subject to monitoring?

@ Obtaining Admissible Evidence from Computers and Internet Service Providers is available via SM Online.
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Title Annotation:Tech Talk
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Previous Article:DHS meets Cyber challenges.
Next Article:Digital dos and don'ts.

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