Feeds

Feds drop bid for warrantless access to Yahoo! mail

Probable cause showdown averted

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The federal government has dropped its controversial bid to read messages in a Yahoo! email account without getting a search warrant.

In a two-page document filed Friday, federal prosecutors in Colorado said the documents "would not be helpful to the government's investigation," the specifics of which have never been disclosed. The withdrawal puts to rest the legal fight over whether the US Constitution requires prosecutors to seek a search warrant before accessing email stored by service providers.

"While this is a great victory for that Yahoo! subscriber, it's disappointing to those of us who wanted a clear ruling on the legality and constitutionality of the government's overreaching demand," wrote Kevin Bankston, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, part of a coalition of groups that opposed the government's action. "Such demands are apparently a routine law enforcement technique."

The retreat precludes the possibility of a court precedent requiring a search warrant, he added.

It comes after the EFF, Google and other groups filed a friend-of-the-court brief that backed Yahoo in opposing the search. They said that both the Fourth Amendment and the Stored Communications Act clearly required the government to seek a warrant based on probable cause a crime had been committed

The government had argued no warrant was necessary as long as the emails were relevant to an ongoing investigation. A PDF of the government's brief is here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.