FBI Can Read E-mails without WarrantAccording to recently released documents, the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG) of Federal Bureau of Investigation allows agency reading your e-mail without having a warrant.
The American Civil Liberties Union published a copy of 2012’s edition of FBI’s Guide for Federal Bureau of Investigation, which basically allows the Bureau reading your e-mail whenever it sees fit and without a warrant.
In short words, under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, better known as ECPA (a privacy law of 1986), the law enforcement agencies are able to read your e-mail before being opened by an addressee as long as a warrant exists. However, there’s a problem: once the e-mail is opened by an addressee, or hasn’t been opened within 6 months, a warrant is not needed anymore. A few months ago, the Department of Justice of the United States attended a Congressional hearing, where it admitted that ECPA needs to be revised and even offered to support ECPA’s revisions.
Worse still, one of the circuit court of appeals recently handed down a decision that federal authorities need a warrant before accessing an e-mail address, but the problem is that the ruling only applies in the 4 states covered by the Sixth Circuit. This is why American Civil Liberties Union filed a request to find out whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation and similar agencies are taking advantage of a loophole in the outdated Electronic Communications Privacy Act and accessing some electronic communications without a warrant. Any person is able to find Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide for 2008 and 2011 on the FBI’s official website.