Law360 Guest Article: Choose Your Friends — And Privacy Settings — Wisely

10/03/2013

Congress enacted the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701–2711, in 1986 to protect the privacy of early electronic communications. The SCA attempts to shield the privacy of these communications much in the same way the Fourth Amendment protects home privacy, albeit not with the same constitutional strength. See generally, Orin S. Kerr, A User’s Guide to the Stored Communications Act, and a Legislator’s Guide to Amending it, 72 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1208 (2004) (describing the SCA’s genesis in light of contemporary technology).

Unlike its better-known cousin, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, the SCA has not been substantially amended since it was first enacted. The statute reflects legislation passed before Internet and Web browsers came of age, and the technology it intended to compass has since changed dramatically. But the SCA still fulfills its role as guardian of the privacy of electronic communications, including that of Internet communications.

Excerpted from Law360, October 2, 2013. To read the full article, click on the PDF linked below.

PDF - Choose Your Friends and Privacy Settings Wisely.pdf

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