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Fourth Amendment Protects Hosted E-mail

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the decade-overdue dept.

The Courts 236

Okian Warrior writes "As reported on the EFF website, today the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the contents of the messages in an email inbox hosted on a provider's servers are protected by the Fourth Amendment, even though the messages are accessible to an email provider. As the court puts it, 'The government may not compel a commercial ISP to turn over the contents of a subscriber's emails without first obtaining a warrant based on probable cause.'"

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236 comments

Hallelujah! (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554546)

Our email is safe!...kind of...

Re:Hallelujah! (4, Funny)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554684)

Now if only my balls were safe.

I was Freedom Fondled last week. When were you? Remember, it's unpatriotic not to Opt Out!

And when you are standing in the Opt Out Line, make certain to introduce yourself and shake the hand of your fellow Opt Out patriots.

Re:Hallelujah! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555042)

What would you do
If you were asked to get fondled for freedom?
What would you do
If asked to let your junk take the sacrifice?

Would you think about all them people
Who gave up everything they had?
Would you think about all them flight vets
And would you start to feel bad?

Freedom isn't free
It costs folks like you and me
And if we don't all get fondled
The terrists will win, they will!
Freedom isn't free
No, there's a hefty in' fee.
And if you don't get scanned by the TSA
Who will?

ISPs only (2)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554558)

Notice they said an Internet Service Provider's servers, not a small business, or a large enterprise, or a non-profit, or government of any kind. How many people do you know that still use the Email service that comes with their ISP?

Re:ISPs only (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554576)

email providers servers. of course not for business. that like saying they cant search your desk where you work. of course they can.

Re:ISPs only (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555258)

Umm, I didn't think the government *could* search your desk at work without either a warrant or the consent of the business owner or his proxy?

Re:ISPs only (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554630)

This would apply to hosted services, free or paid, as well, such as Gmail or Yahoo.

Re:ISPs only (3, Insightful)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554708)

This would apply to hosted services, free or paid, as well, such as Gmail or Yahoo.

Maybe I'm being ridiculous, but I'd be more comfortable with the federal government reading my mail than Google.

Re:ISPs only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555186)

Mr Windcask:

Frankly we don't even want to read your email, since you have not come to our attention as deserving of any suspicion. We appreciate the significant effort you must be putting into achieving that. Keep it up!

Sincerely, the Federal Government.

P.S. You might like to reply to that one from your mom. She worries about you. We've left you a suggested form of words in your drafts folder.

Re:ISPs only (4, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555366)

This would apply to hosted services, free or paid, as well, such as Gmail or Yahoo.

Maybe I'm being ridiculous, but I'd be more comfortable with the federal government reading my mail than Google.

Really? Google doesn't have the power to prosecute you based on the contents of your e-mail, and deprive you of your liberty.

Re:ISPs only (0)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555412)

Really? Google doesn't have the power to prosecute you based on the contents of your e-mail, and deprive you of your liberty.

I trust the federal government to uphold due process more than I trust Google to abide by its terms of service.

Re:ISPs only (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555530)

Then you would be a fool.

Re:ISPs only (1)

timbudtwo (782174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555594)

Since when has government given you a reason to trust it? I bet you also think that wikileak documents are fake and the government can do no wrong.

Re:ISPs only (2)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555630)

I'm a little confused, you would be ok with the Federal Government routinely snooping on your email w/o a warrant, so long as they don't prosecute you based on the contents of your email?

Though they may not be able to prosecute you based on the contents of your emails, they'd be sure to find something to put you away for. After all, Al Capone got put away for tax evasion.

Re:ISPs only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555498)

Furthermore, Google employees (those few who have access) have little reason to want to read your mail, and awfully little to gain. Give me access to 100 random users' email accounts, and I'll tell you to fuck off, without even reading one email. It would be like trying to find a grain of sand in a pile of elephant shit.

Re:ISPs only (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554942)

It wouldn't apply to gmail. Read the terms of service. gmail owns the content of your e-mail.

Re:ISPs only (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555000)

Right. Google can read it, but the government would still have to have a search warrant.

You should transmit anything that needs to be secret via plaintext e-mail anyway. That's why we have PGP/GPG.

This is very important to understand: (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555128)

Of course I use PGP/GPG if I send sensitive data, but you are wrong. It is not the point that Google can read it (of course they can, they own it.) The government needs a search warrant to access Google's e-mail, not mine, unless Google chooses to give them access. Note that I am not saying I think Google would just hand the information over, but there is another important implication: A warrant for my emails to and from a Google account will not be enforceable, since they are not my e-mails, they are Google's. Note that in this context, this is a GoodThing(tm).

Re:ISPs only (-1)

bschorr (1316501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555154)

Well, actually, if Google asserts the right to your message content (and they do) then the gov't would only need a warrant if Google declined to turn over your e-mail to them.

And I quote:

"11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services."

Google can choose to turn your e-mail over to the government, or the Chinese or the Scientologists or Lord John Whorfin if they wanted to. This ruling only says if they tell the gov't to sod off that the gov't has to come back with a warrant to compel them to change their tune.

Re:ISPs only (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554674)

My address is [my first name]@[major provider]. It's ancient and I plan on keeping it.

Re:ISPs only (1)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554734)

My address is [my first name]@[major provider]. It's ancient and I plan on keeping it.

Wow! I want an email provider and DNS service that allows brackets and spaces!

Re:ISPs only (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554940)

My address is [my first name]@[major provider]. It's ancient and I plan on keeping it.

Wow! I want an email provider and DNS service that allows brackets and spaces!

I want an email provider and DNS service that allows metasyntactic variables.

Re:ISPs only (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554876)

Notice they said an Internet Service Provider's servers, not a small business, or a large enterprise, or a non-profit, or government of any kind. How many people do you know that still use the Email service that comes with their ISP?

Courts rule on the circumstances presented in the case, which was an ISP. However, there is nothing in the reasoning applied in the decision that is particular to the ISP-customer relationship. It probably wouldn't apply to the business email of an employee where the seizure was with the consent of the business, since those records would be property of the business not the individual user, but the reasoning presented would seem to apply with equal force to third-party personal email accounts (e.g., Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) as to ISP-based email accounts.

Re:ISPs only (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555350)

Well if you want to split hairs, Internet Service Provider can mean anyone who provides any kind of service on the internet. Including small businesses, large enterprises, non profits and governments. So there. Now do you see why the lawyers will always win? :P

Wes Crusher (0)

mugetsu37 (1485997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554568)

Wil Wheaton told me this before Slashdot did

Re:Wes Crusher (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554586)

and I'm sure he manged to work in the he is a geek, and cool, but especially a geek. did he mention he was a geek and on ST?

Re:Wes Crusher (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554704)

Bitter, party of one.

Re:Wes Crusher (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554974)

Or trying to be funny.

Hard to tell without being able to hear a voice or see a face. Have you considered that you're the one who has to parse it for emotion and that it might just be you who's bitter?

Nah, he's probably just a sourpuss.

Re:Wes Crusher (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554732)

Changed your slashdot login, did you, Sheldon?

Re:Wes Crusher (1)

skywatcher2501 (1608209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555044)

geekoid? no that would be CrushingWesley or something like that. Howard would be PMS (perpetual motion squad, aaiight). Rajesh is the slumdogmillionaireTrueStory. And Leonard 'BadFish' Hofstadter would be Leakey. my guess :)

damn the man.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34554572)

...use Zimbra OSE.

It's free, robust(Calendar, Email, Tasks, IM(beta),etc), and relatively(to Exchange) easy to setup(on CentOS).

oh...and no Google or Yahoo reading your fackin emails to serve you ads.

Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34554584)

Thank God we haven't lost our sanity and our vision of an America of the people, by the people and for the people.

Still best to host your own mail. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34554592)

Right in your own home.

Re:Still best to host your own mail. (1)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554632)

Not a good idea without a safety net of some kind. If you have business-class internet it's risky; if you have residential internet it's downright stupid.

Re:Still best to host your own mail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34554774)

Due to the fact I was planning on having my own email server in my home, on my home cable modem (10 down 1 up). Why wouldnt I want to do so? Im seriously curious.

Re:Still best to host your own mail. (4, Informative)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554924)

Because reputation based systems (i.e., anyone hosting more than 1,000 mail accounts, and some smaller systems) are going to see that you don't own that IP, and don't own the reverse lookup on that IP. So they will score you badly.

On top of that it's virtually guaranteed that your ISP explicitly forbids running services on your home Internet connection, and probably even mentions email as a service you're not allowed to run. Most large ISPs also block all TCP/25 traffic going through their networks that is not aimed at their own email servers (which is why TCP/587 is so popular for SMTP submission with third party email providers), and you HAVE to use that port for server to server email traffic.

Those are just some reasons.

Re:Still best to host your own mail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555046)

Im AC your replying too.

Thx, damn smart ideas I'm always having lead to way too much work.

Not that I really care too much about them not wanting me to run services on my connection. The blocking of ports kinda pisses me off. Ill have to stick with services where I dont need a standard port.

Re:Still best to host your own mail. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555188)

Also: You have to run your own spam filter or you get buried and/or your IP line tied up.

(And as someone who's been doing email since it was UUCP and the number of mail-exchanging sites fit on three printed pages, let me tell you that there will be a LOT of spam pouring into even a little bitty mail domain. Once any real mail address gets harvested it will be flooded forever. They'll also guess plausible addresses, generate spam to your domain contact email addresses and derivatives of them, ...)

You have to use an MTA that doesn't have any holes that will let the malware users reach through it to install a root kit, p0wn your homebrew mail server, and turn it into part of a command-and-control infrastructure for a botnet.

You also have to configure it so it doesn't turn into a spam mail reflector and get your domain blacklisted.

That's three for starters. Handing off mail administration to the ISP, where they have enough email users to afford a full-time staff to handle these problems in bulk and keep up with the arms race, is very popular among small sites - even those with old-hand email administrators as the operators.

Re:Still best to host your own mail. (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555758)

Spam to a small address need not be that bad. I "rent" a .net address, have had it for more than a decade, and don't use spam filtering on incoming mail. Also I capture everything sent to the address and send it to a default account, which I review.

I get about 25 bounce backs a week from people wanting to confirm that an email with a forged header, seemingly from my domain, was legitimate. Occasionally I see WoW phishing emails or something about Viagra. It's not that bad. All of these go to the catch-all account. My actual account, which receives email from a dozen or so user names that I actually use, gets no spam at all.

Of course I own the domain and only I use it. My wife prefers Gmail. So addresses from that domain aren't plastered all over the internet to be harvested.

Re:Still best to host your own mail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34554882)

Not a good idea without a safety net of some kind. If you have business-class internet it's risky; if you have residential internet it's downright stupid.

What? You only need static IP. Rest is elementary. Even if your line is down, RFC requires retries until your line is back up. It is standard for other mail servers to queue your email for up to a few days with 6h warning to sender that the message is still in queue.

So what is downright stupid about email??

PS. I have my email server locally, but the main scanning/reception server is at a colo because connection there is better.. The colo then forwards non-spam stuff to the local server.

Thank You Sixth Circuit! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34554602)

I am so glad the EFF is helping stay on top of these thing. There if far too much to stay apprised of without someone looking out for our rights. Simply creating awareness is a huge mission.

William...

What does this really mean? (5, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554612)

They can't legally compel them, but they can "request convincingly", I imagine. Does this mean that if the police ask my ISP for my email and my ISP hands the records over without a warrant, any evidence gotten that way is inadmissible? Does it mean I can sue my ISP?

In a physical search, anyone living in a house can consent to a search of the property. Can Comcast voluntarily consent to a search of their customers' email?

Re:What does this really mean? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34554682)

I'm thinking the email provider in the cybercloudspace on the internet would be like the landlord of the apartment and shouldn't have the right to let in cops without a warrant?

Re:What does this really mean? (4, Interesting)

spinkham (56603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554760)

Not a lawyer, I don't even play one one TV.

Yes, this means that evidence obtained in this manner in the future would be inadmissible in court. According to the brief, they decided in this case since the law had not yet been deemed unconstitutional and the officers acted in good faith, the evidence was still admissible for this particular case.

Whether or not you can sue your ISP is a civil matter, pertaining to contract law, and this ruling should not apply.

Re:What does this really mean? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555432)

Really? What a nonsense compromise! If a law is unconstitutional, it's unconstitutional. There's no: "Well, it's unconstitutional, but we're going to let it go this once, but from now on no more shenanigans you wacky, good-faith-acting fascists you." It's immediately obvious to anyone with a functioning brain that the kind of reasoning displayed there, if applied globally, destroys the constitution utterly for all time, should lawmakers wish to violated it (which they either constantly wish to do, or are drooling idiots doing so unintentionally, over and over and over again). If you have to ask why, it's because allow one time skipping of the constitution per law means that you can just pass a bill implementing a thousand separate laws covering the same thing and use them one after the other. You watch them all be struck down, but it doesn't matter because each time, the unconstitutional action gets to stand.

Damn. I was actually happy about this decision (even if it leaves carriers free to give away whatever they want without a warrant and authorities free to threaten retribution to get cooperation without a warrant) until I saw this. Just more of the same then.

Re:What does this really mean? (1)

booyabazooka (833351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554902)

Just a guess, but I'd wager that you agreed to let Comcast comply with any law enforcement requests when you signed their contract.

Re:What does this really mean? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555146)

They can't legally compel them, but they can "request convincingly", I imagine. Does this mean that if the police ask my ISP for my email and my ISP hands the records over without a warrant, any evidence gotten that way is inadmissible?

Essentially, yes (it means that it is just as inadmissible as any other evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, but there are circumstances where such evidence is not excluded -- including, particularly, the case at hand, in which Sixth Circuit found that the evidence need not be excluded because of the Government's good-faith reliance on a statute that, while the Court did find it unconstitutional, was not so clearly unconstitutional that reasonable law enforcement officers could not believe that it allowed what they used it to do.)

In a physical search, anyone living in a house can consent to a search of the property. Can Comcast voluntarily consent to a search of their customers' email?

While this decision doesn't speak specifically to that issue, in the same way that a landlord cannot usually legally consent to a search of a residence occupied by a tenant for Fourth Amendment purposes, it would appear unlikely that, under the decision here, an ISP could "voluntarily consent" and thus render meaningless the account owner's Fourth Amendment rights. If it was (as is unusual) a "shared" account, any account holder could consent, just as any resident in a home can consent to a search.

Re:What does this really mean? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555248)

... including, particularly, the case at hand, in which Sixth Circuit found that the evidence need not be excluded because of the Government's good-faith reliance on a statute that, while the Court did find it unconstitutional, was not so clearly unconstitutional that reasonable law enforcement officers could not believe that it allowed what they used it to do.

So much for the doctrine that an unconstitutional law is null and void from its inception, as is everything done under its sole authority.

Re:What does this really mean? (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555374)

So much for the doctrine that an unconstitutional law is null and void from its inception, as is everything done under its sole authority.

The good-faith reliance exception to the exclusionary rule, which IIRC is nearly as old as the rule itself, has always been outside the scope of that doctrine (its not seen as contrary to it, since the exclusionary rule itself is simply a remedy to a Constitutional violation, not an independent Constitutional mandate, and the good-faith reliance exception is viewed as essential to the purpose of the remedy, which is to deter unconstitutional actions by law enforcement, which purpose -- the Courts have repeatedly held -- excluding evidence seized under provisions of statute that officers reasonably believed were constitutional does not serve.)

Re:What does this really mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555680)

To further expand on this (IANAL)

the court found that email users have the same reasonable expectation of privacy in their stored email as they do in their phone calls and postal mail.

So presumably the provider opening your e-mail is finally considered the equivalent of them opening your personal mail. Additionally, there are probably some other statutes that govern how police can obtain information. For example, if the provider volunteers information because they came across something illegal, the police may still be able to use it in a criminal case against you, even though you might be able to sue the provider for illegally accessing that information. However, if the police say "well, we're interested in person A, could you help us out?", they cannot use any information retrieved that way (because that would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment).

However, things get more interesting still since obviously, at least the NSA, has shown no objection nor been punished for illegal wiretapping phone calls. So if the government really wants to go after you, good luck.

Unfortunately.... (1)

bziman (223162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554640)

Unfortunately, there's also nothing to compel an ISP not to hand it over anyway, just to play nice with law enforcement. If you really want privacy, you have to use proper encryption. Once you've sent it to someone else, you never know where it will end up. Anyone with access to it can CHOOSE to share it with anyone they want. It's a dark dismal world we live in.

Re:Unfortunately.... (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554928)

Does the same thing apply to a physical mailbox (assuming it's rented, not owned, of course)? Logically the same rules would apply to a third party storing your personal messages, whether on paper or electronic.

Sure, it's sometimes a problem to try to hammer new technologies into old legal frameworks, but this doesn't seem to be one of those cases.

Sensible? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554656)

Wow, a sensible ruling on internet privacy. Why do I have a sneaking feeling that this judge has stock in the company that's going to be supplying all the rubber stamps these warrants will receive?

Re:Sensible? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555190)

Why do I have a sneaking feeling that this judge has stock in the company that's going to be supplying all the rubber stamps these warrants will receive?

Which of the three judges on the panel are you referring to?

This doesn't end the inquiry. (2)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554672)

The ruling might not be the same if the email is intercepted from some other source.

Re:This doesn't end the inquiry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555712)

The ruling might not be the same if the email is intercepted from some other source.

Doesn't that break wiretapping laws?

Here's a comes a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling (0, Troll)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554680)

The right wingers on the Supreme Court never met an unreasonable search. I'm sure this will be another 5-4 neocon split.

Re:Here's a comes a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling (4, Insightful)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554978)

Er, maybe I'm just cynical, but it (unfortunately) seems like both parties are willing to throw civil liberties under the bus when they think it's important; they differ mainly with regard to what they think is important. Call it a cynical hunch, but I suspect that if Obama were to appoint Janet Reno (Bill Clinton's attorney general) to the Supreme Court, she wouldn't be terribly eager to rein in the might of the federal government or limit the scope of its authority, and she's quite far to the left.

Re:Here's a comes a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555326)

So the center is now call the Far Left? My how things have changed since the 60/70's

Re:Here's a comes a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555566)

Could be the far left of the American political spectrum. Here's the political compass map for all the US states based on Senators [politicalcompass.org] which should give you a fairly good idea about the range we're looking at. Everything falls right of center and above the mid-line for authoritarian/libertarian.

The candidates that tend to become President in the US tend to fall along that line. Too much deviation from it and doesn't work for whatever reason. America is for the most part a pretty centrist country. Might be why politicians accuse each other of being far-left or far-right. It makes them appear closer to the center, which is what the majority of the population seems to want.

Another funny story; The majority of European governments fall into that same band [politicalcompass.org] as well. I always hear Europeans posting comments about how they're actually a real indication of the political left, but even the most politically left-leaning countries in Europe are still to the right of the center line.

Would be interesting if the site ranked countries from other parts of the world as well and had a longer time-line. Maybe things really have changed since the 60's, but I somehow doubt it.

Email is born insecure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34554686)

In this day & age anyone who thinks email is secure is totally disconnected from reality unless strong crypto or stego is used to protect it.

Encryption is a good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555204)

...but it's also a separate issue. Encrypted or not, your email should have the same legal protections as the papers in your desk.

What about free services? (2)

Noose For A Neck (610324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554694)

Let's say you use a Gmail address as your primary email instead of whatever's provided by the people who provide your internet connection. Do they count as an "internet service provider" here, or is this decision as narrow as it sounds?

Re:What about free services? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554808)

Gmail may not be hosted in the US. Say the email is hosted in India and the Government there would like the US to approve a trade deal. It won't take much leverage to get a copy of your email.

Best Nonprofit in the US (3, Informative)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554728)

Yet another data point proving that the EFF is one of the best nonprofit organizations in the US for a geek to bestow a gift upon.

If you're the kind of donor who's inclined to reward success rather than fund battles, now's a great time...

Oh, wait... See sig.

Re:Best Nonprofit in the US (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555312)

I wonder how many Slashdotters have donated to the EFF. I did $65 last year and this year bought $80 worth of keychains and hats to hand out this holiday season. I wish geeks would understand the real value that the EFF has brought to the discourse when it comes to our digital freedoms in America. May all Deities bless the EFF.

Offtopic but Please help (0)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554814)

I appear to have broken slashdot.

My stories now load in a way that I have to click "More" a few times to get all comments.

Is there any way to have them load all comments by default, and is there any way to have it set that the majority of comments are abbreviated by default?

I know I shouldn't post here but there isn't exactly a tech support line....any help appreciated!

Re:Offtopic but Please help (1)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554982)

Help & Preferences > Classic Index > Use Classix Index

Help & Preferences > Discussion > Discussion Style > D1, also tweak D1 options as required.

Re:Offtopic but Please help (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555056)

So I can't do what I am asking in D2?

Until I tried playing around with the settings it used to load all comments fully expanded by default in D2, but now I can't set it back. All I can set is to load "More" Comments, not all.

why do these things never mention encryption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34554918)

The law is nice and all, but the ONLY way to have private email is to encrypt it. And that's really easy to do these days.

Seems like that's the message the public needs to be made aware of.

Re:why do these things never mention encryption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555436)

Encryption really is not easy, and nor is it necessary. The only real risks to your email come from wifi packet sniffing and from someone hacking your account. The former is a solved problem now that GMail etc use SSL, and the latter is easily solved by using a strong password.

Now the only people who can read your email are your ISP and, possibly, the government, if they are still conducting illegal warrantless wiretapping, which would really be rather stupid of them.

Heck, most people don't even care that much about privacy these days -- just look at the success of Facebook for proof of that!

But what does this mean for me? (3, Insightful)

Tanman (90298) | more than 3 years ago | (#34554930)

Can I submit a formal request that demands my email provider not release any of my emails without being forced by warrant. If I can't stop voluntary compliance, then this is not very helpful anyway. In other words, we need the supreme court to rule that it is illegal for the host to disclose my emails without a warrant or this doesn't help in any meaningful way.

Note only "the contents" (5, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555016)

Read e-mail vs track/sort the ip/to/from headers?
Thats the very old trick that is used. A massive passive database of who is connected to who.
One person gets a real court sneak and peek letter, anyone one connected gets their email lists sorted
- who they are connecting to and so on. So if they dont read they can collect all connecting details they want.

A bit like the NYPD collecting IMEI numbers via an offer to remove a cell phone battery to prevent leakage.
NYPD tracking cell phone owners [nydailynews.com].
Its the number/ip/logs/connections thats interesting long term, the contents can wait.

This is just for show, the REAL show continues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555160)

Listen up :

ALL signals traffic, and that includes email, is dealt with by agencies with three
letter names.

They don't need warrants, and they haven't for a long time.

If you actually believe that you won't be eavesdropped on by the
gov't. you are a naive fool.

If you want to make sure communication isn't eavesdropped on, you'd better
not use any means of electronic transmission, and that includes phones, email,
SMS, etc.

Re:This is just for show, the REAL show continues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555666)

ALL signals traffic, and that includes email, is dealt with by agencies with three
letter names.

It's tempting to suggest that you're a government plant trying to discredit privacy advocates by making them look like idiots with comments like this that take a grain of truth and hyperbolize it beyond credibility.

But then I remember that the world abounds with people who really are as stupid as you appear to be, so the government really doesn't need to pay you to do that.

m.od do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555356)

Pooper. Nothing BUWLA, or BSD which gathers gains market share Brilliant plan available to rotting corpse = 36400 FreeBSD marketing surveys don't be afraid Sadness And it was megs of ram runs Gawker At most to get involved in failure, its corpse the deal with you and what supplies who sell another Dying' crowd - Hand...don't before playing to posts. Due to the FrreBSD project, that sorded, knows that ever Ink splashes across

What about Wikileaks (0)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555502)

So it is a violation of my constitutional rights for the government to access my email without my consent or a warrant. Why, then, is it alright for Wikileaks to do it?

Re:What about Wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34555766)

Wikileaks is not a US operation. Also, Assange is not a US citizen. USG has zero authority over them. Why do you think he's being chased internationally by those ridiculous "the condom broke" swedish warrants? That's the USG pressuring other governments to "do something." If the USG had actual authority over either the leak operation or Assange, he'd have been in Guantanamo already. Best they could do was dig into the guy's sex life and try to shitcan his reputation.

Re:What about Wikileaks (2)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34555776)

Because Wikileak do not have his powers restricted by a Bill of Rights... It don't even have powers to begin with. In fact, Wikileak is not even a government. Oh wait, were you just trolling?
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