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(C|Net)   IRS decides, despite court rulings to the contrary, that there is no expectation of privacy in email and they can read yours whenever they want, citizen   (news.cnet.com) divider line 103
    More: Asinine, IRS, expectation of privacy, Zoe Lofgren, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, regulations, voicemail, search and seizure  
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4042 clicks; posted to Politics » on 10 Apr 2013 at 11:29 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-10 06:09:33 PM  
So, no different from any of the other Feds, then?
 
2013-04-10 08:00:55 PM  
Well, Obama, now it is your move.

I doubt Obama personally knew what the IRS was doing, but now that it is out, he needs to take care of this shiat right away.
 
2013-04-10 08:20:03 PM  

cman: Well, Obama, now it is your move.

I doubt Obama personally knew what the IRS was doing, but now that it is out, he needs to take care of this shiat right away.


He sprang into action after the courts first started invalidating this a year ago and Congress looked ready to act..

The Obama administration is urging Congress not to adopt legislation that would impose constitutional safeguards on Americans' e-mail stored in the cloud.
 
2013-04-10 08:41:47 PM  
Isn't this like, a regular thing? It seems like every year there's some "new" story about how the IRS doesn't think judicial rulings apply to them...
 
2013-04-10 08:43:44 PM  
There seems to me to be a difference between reading your private emails and chats and reading what you post on Twitter and Facebook.
 
2013-04-10 09:12:52 PM  

bronyaur1: There seems to me to be a difference between reading your private emails and chats and reading what you post on Twitter and Facebook.


Not really when it comes to private Facebook chats or Twitter direct messages. And this refers to all three, not public (or even friends-locked) posts or tweets, it's e-mails, Facebook messages (which are like e-mails) and Twitter direct messages.  They were never public, never intended for the public, nor posted to a place that was accessible by anyone but the person or people the message was sent to.  This should absolutely be covered under the 4th amendment.
 
2013-04-10 10:10:54 PM  
The handbook is from 2009. The relevant caselaw is from 2010 and after.

Shut up, you pageclick-whoring cocks.
 
2013-04-10 10:17:12 PM  

cman: Well, Obama, now it is your move.

I doubt Obama personally knew what the IRS was doing, but now that it is out, he needs to take care of this shiat right away.


You just had to immediately jump into the "Obama" thing like a dick. Like the Mcain regime would have been a personal freedom utopia.
 
2013-04-10 10:20:50 PM  

MacEnvy: The handbook is from 2009. The relevant caselaw is from 2010 and after.

Shut up, you pageclick-whoring cocks.


If you had RTFA, you'd see that the March 2011 update included the same information about emails as the 2009 version, as well as an October 2011 memo saying that nothing had changed in light of the decision.
 
2013-04-10 11:34:26 PM  
Facebook, Twitter. Fine.
Email: eat a bag of dicks, IRS, in additional to the bag I keep on the side for you each year
 
2013-04-10 11:39:18 PM  
Lavbit.com. My e-mail is stored encrypted to my passphrase. I'm more than happy for them to hand over a meaningless string of characters to anyone that wants a copy.
 
2013-04-10 11:40:02 PM  
Who's talking about things the IRS would care about in email anyway?

Oh right, big corporations.

Since this affects the only Americans that count, I predict massive outrage over this.

*checks Fox Nation*

Eeyup
 
2013-04-10 11:40:19 PM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: Lavbit.com. My e-mail is stored encrypted to my passphrase. I'm more than happy for them to hand over a meaningless string of characters to anyone that wants a copy.


my voice is my passport, verify me?
 
2013-04-10 11:40:56 PM  
You have no privacy. You have legal recourse when people violate your privacy. Know the difference, and keep your mouth shut if you're that worried about a government employee knowing when your aunt's birthday is, and why you think your cousin was kind of a biatch at the party.
 
2013-04-10 11:42:10 PM  
dookdookdook:
Who's talking about things the IRS would care about in email anyway?

Oh right, big corporations.


...and small corporations.

...and self-employed people

...and people the government doesn't like.

If you're not upset about this, you're an idiot.
 
2013-04-10 11:43:12 PM  
If I set up an email account and never access it from my home computer, how do they know it belongs to my SSN?
 
2013-04-11 12:00:21 AM  

skullkrusher: Facebook, Twitter. Fine.
Email: eat a bag of dicks, IRS, in additional to the bag I keep on the side for you each year


"in additional"? Have another, skullkrusher. Why, thank you. I will!
 
2013-04-11 12:02:37 AM  

theknuckler_33: If I set up an email account and never access it from my home computer, how do they know it belongs to my SSN?


Soooo.. you know that super secret ELINT bunker the NSA has in Utah... about that..
 
2013-04-11 12:08:23 AM  

Elegy: Isn't this like, a regular thing? It seems like every year there's some "new" story about how the IRS doesn't think judicial rulings apply to them...


The Warshak decision is binding only in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Furthermore, even in those states, jurisdiction in tax disputes lies exclusively with the Tax Court unless the taxpayer/litigant first pays the demanded tax. In the vast majority of cases, Warshak would be only persuasive authority. Pity, because it's a good opinion, but it's of only limited precedential value at this point.
 
2013-04-11 12:09:03 AM  
1) Why would the IRS want to read my email? I can't think of a single thing I send via email (or on Facebook, for that matter) that would be relevant to my tax situation.

2) Good luck! Considering all the stupid shiat I get, good luck sorting through all of it.
 
2013-04-11 12:09:16 AM  
If you're really that concerned about it, sign up for HushMail and encourage everyone you know to do so as well.
 
2013-04-11 12:10:13 AM  

James F. Campbell: If you're really that concerned about it, sign up for HushMail and encourage everyone you know to do so as well.


or we could just invoke the Constitution. Thanks for your input, James.
 
2013-04-11 12:12:06 AM  
Encrypt it.
 
2013-04-11 12:15:42 AM  

skullkrusher: James F. Campbell: If you're really that concerned about it, sign up for HushMail and encourage everyone you know to do so as well.

or we could just invoke the Constitution. Thanks for your input, James.


Yes, but it's not necessarily an easy constitutional call. As a result of generations of questionable Fourth Amendment jurisprudence (thanks, Prohibition/War on Drugs!), the analysis is never as simple as you'd think.
 
2013-04-11 12:16:18 AM  

BlippityBleep: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: Lavbit.com. My e-mail is stored encrypted to my passphrase. I'm more than happy for them to hand over a meaningless string of characters to anyone that wants a copy.

my voice is my passport, verify me?


Ned? Ned Ryerson?!

/I know, I know
//Cattle mutilations are up this year.
 
2013-04-11 12:18:57 AM  
What this is really handy for is opposition research against your political enemies. Launch the IRS at them, then "leak" the emails, confidential Facebook and Twitter postings, plus whatever else they can dredge up without the need for a warrant.
 
2013-04-11 12:23:51 AM  
This is George Washington's fault.

Should have never left the empire.
 
2013-04-11 12:25:23 AM  

BMulligan: skullkrusher: James F. Campbell: If you're really that concerned about it, sign up for HushMail and encourage everyone you know to do so as well.

or we could just invoke the Constitution. Thanks for your input, James.

Yes, but it's not necessarily an easy constitutional call. As a result of generations of questionable Fourth Amendment jurisprudence (thanks, Prohibition/War on Drugs!), the analysis is never as simple as you'd think.


Email should be afforded the same protection that regular mail is given. I don't find "use a different email service" particularly reassuring.
 
2013-04-11 12:25:54 AM  
 Honestly I've just assumed since Sept 2001 that any and everything that anyone casually(un encrypted) does over the internet is going to be read or used as a metric in some data collection scheme. Fact is if the technology is there then you can assume it will be used regardless of the laws because laws seem to have become as interpretable as religion. I mean hell I'm in hick town usa and there are cameras at every major intersection and Licence plate identification cameras on the interstate when I go to school so simply collecting un encrypted data flowing over a global network or just telling your isp "Gimmie that and don't talk about it" is pretty low level compared to what's already done as a standard practice.

Hypnozombie
/Just because your paranoid, don't mean they're not after you.
 
2013-04-11 12:26:04 AM  
Why is it that so many of the people we hire to protect our civil liberties seem to be unaware of the 4th Amendment?
 
2013-04-11 12:27:45 AM  

fusillade762: 1) Why would the IRS want to read my email? I can't think of a single thing I send via email (or on Facebook, for that matter) that would be relevant to my tax situation.

2) Good luck! Considering all the stupid shiat I get, good luck sorting through all of it.


What about all the confirmation e-mails for everything you buy online? You properly report use tax on all online purchases?
 
2013-04-11 12:30:44 AM  

BMulligan: Elegy: Isn't this like, a regular thing? It seems like every year there's some "new" story about how the IRS doesn't think judicial rulings apply to them...

The Warshak decision is binding only in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Furthermore, even in those states, jurisdiction in tax disputes lies exclusively with the Tax Court unless the taxpayer/litigant first pays the demanded tax. In the vast majority of cases, Warshak would be only persuasive authority. Pity, because it's a good opinion, but it's of only limited precedential value at this point.


Finally, someone in here who knows what they're talking about.  The rulings are contradictory and there's no sweeping ruling to refer to.
 
2013-04-11 12:32:27 AM  
Well then they are in luck if they are in the market for Cialis, penny-stocks, Viagra, cock-growing secrets, and reminders about all the tweets I never look at.
 
2013-04-11 12:33:34 AM  
many of us have read IRS horror stories of people being jailed and all their possessions seized and sold - and later the IRS finds out they were in error. i've never read of anyone receiving an apology or compensation. Putin has nothing on the USA.
 
2013-04-11 12:35:44 AM  
From my (admittedly limited) historical viewpoint I can say this: federal powers, once gained, are not the kind of thing subject to removal by federal officials. That goes especially for the executive branch (thank you, Cheney!)

That doesn't mean, necessarily, that those who inherit positions of authority want to use it for ill, but I am yet to see an example of powers being relinquished.

If we don't like it, there is a model to follow: think Tahrir square, Madison, or Occupy. Think numbers, mass numbers of people in the street and on the (literal) doorstep of power demanding reduced powers.

I don't agree with the constant cycle of "New and Improved Ways" that our government can spy on citizens. The fact is, dissent is necessary and needed if freedom is to be maintained. The fact that a government agency can flaunt how they can intercept communications that ought to be private should trouble all of us.

/Obama voter
//because, what, Romney would have been better?
///slow the acceleration down in the hope that things can be changed before it's too late
////puts tin-foil hat back on
 
2013-04-11 12:38:47 AM  
Maybe the IRS is just looking for a good deal on penis enlargement? Just because they're the biggest dick around doesn't mean that they can't get bigger.
 
2013-04-11 12:41:59 AM  
That IRS has made it clear in the past that until the Supreme Court makes a ruling, they are free to ignore lower court rulings.  That is not how our justice system is supposed to work, assholes.
 
2013-04-11 12:45:50 AM  
Well, consider that dimwit Arizona senator who couldn't figure out who was "leaking" the "private" emails he was sending to the media. Or the endless Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: that have virtually become a meme unto themselves. Who gets the subpoena to that email, if the IRS decides it wants "your" email, if your mother's friend's sister's cousin's hairdresser has it attached to an article from Glenn Beck by now?

I'm as genuinely concerned about the abstract assault on our 4th Amendment rights as anyone, here; but in the real world, you need to CYA and sanitize your computer scrupulously, and remember that the Internet never forgets ANYTHING, which is why the IRS is probably going to win on this one. "Expectation of privacy" doesn't mean what you think it means; generally in a legal sense, it means did the person sending the message (letter, phone call, telegram, email) really think that nobody else could intercept the message besides the intended party. It's why your garbage is not considered "private", because once you throw something in the trash, you can't reasonably expect nobody would go through it; whereas a landline phone is considered "private", because you have to reasonably assume nobody can listen in without fairly sophisticated eavesdropping equipment.

So today you can't reasonably assume that when you email someone, that that idiot on the other end is going to delete your message and not Fw Fw Fw Fw it right into the IRS office. Or print it out and leave it on their desk for everyone to see. Just like your Facebook pic of your naked antics in Cancun are not private, or your Tweet to Barack Obama about how you'd like to skin him alive will get you a polite visit from three men in dark suits and sunglasses. Therefore, your email is not subject to a warrant requirement. Now, your computer's hard drive is still subject to a search, so you should be zeroing the thing out if you already don't. And delete your email instead of keeping it around like an idiot. And for the love of god, don't be emailing anything to anyone you don't want haunting you in court.

But you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy on the Internet. You'd think people would have figured that out by now, but it seems even tech savvy people keep having to relearn it.
 
2013-04-11 12:47:53 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Well, consider that dimwit Arizona senator who couldn't figure out who was "leaking" the "private" emails he was sending to the media. Or the endless Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: that have virtually become a meme unto themselves. Who gets the subpoena to that email, if the IRS decides it wants "your" email, if your mother's friend's sister's cousin's hairdresser has it attached to an article from Glenn Beck by now?

I'm as genuinely concerned about the abstract assault on our 4th Amendment rights as anyone, here; but in the real world, you need to CYA and sanitize your computer scrupulously, and remember that the Internet never forgets ANYTHING, which is why the IRS is probably going to win on this one. "Expectation of privacy" doesn't mean what you think it means; generally in a legal sense, it means did the person sending the message (letter, phone call, telegram, email) really think that nobody else could intercept the message besides the intended party. It's why your garbage is not considered "private", because once you throw something in the trash, you can't reasonably expect nobody would go through it; whereas a landline phone is considered "private", because you have to reasonably assume nobody can listen in without fairly sophisticated eavesdropping equipment.

So today you can't reasonably assume that when you email someone, that that idiot on the other end is going to delete your message and not Fw Fw Fw Fw it right into the IRS office. Or print it out and leave it on their desk for everyone to see. Just like your Facebook pic of your naked antics in Cancun are not private, or your Tweet to Barack Obama about how you'd like to skin him alive will get you a polite visit from three men in dark suits and sunglasses. Therefore, your email is not subject to a warrant requirement. Now, your computer's hard drive is still subject to a search, so you should be zeroing the thing out if you already don't. And delete your email instead of keeping it around like an idiot. And for ...


man, you a smart law talkin' lady
 
2013-04-11 12:50:06 AM  

fusillade762: Why would the IRS want to read my email? I can't think of a single thing I send via email (or on Facebook, for that matter) that would be relevant to my tax situation.


Then they shouldn't mind having to get a fecking warrant to read your email.
 
2013-04-11 12:55:33 AM  
They're saying you already have no privacy, not that there is no expectation of privacy. Multiple agencies and corporations are already freely digging through it all, they just didn't make it public by kindly asking the courts first. IRS is really just feeling left out, and went the wrong way about getting what they want.

/Should have slipped Zuck a few million on the DL.
//what, you thought he made trillions with banner ads?
 
2013-04-11 12:57:02 AM  

OgreMagi: That IRS has made it clear in the past that until the Supreme Court makes a ruling, they are free to ignore lower court rulings.  That is not how our justice system is supposed to work, assholes.


It's exactly how our justice system is supposed to work. Sixth Circuit rulings are only mandatory authority in the Sixth Circuit, and never in Tax Court proceedings. This is covered on, like. the third day of law school.
 
2013-04-11 12:57:37 AM  
I have never expected a private entity to whom I give personal information to count as an agent of the government for purposes of the 4th amendment.
 
2013-04-11 01:04:31 AM  

Smackledorfer: I have never expected a private entity to whom I give personal information to count as an agent of the government for purposes of the 4th amendment.


And of course, by entrusting that personal information to that private entity, you may well be defeating any reasonable expectation of privacy you might otherwise have had.
 
2013-04-11 01:14:20 AM  
I sure don't want the IRS reading my email.

I'm helping a certain exiled prince from Nigeria get his inheritance back, and I should be coming into some big money as a result.
 
2013-04-11 01:15:10 AM  

theknuckler_33: If I set up an email account and never access it from my home computer, how do they know it belongs to my SSN?




Enough people don't do that. So there will be plenty to prosecute and extract money. This will provide the financing to support the new infrastructure.

Jobs!!!!!!
 
2013-04-11 01:20:37 AM  
tormail.  good luck
 
2013-04-11 01:31:08 AM  
What, are they going to tax me on photos of my wang?
 
2013-04-11 01:33:05 AM  
*law abiding moocher cat does a four-legged moonwalk through the thread*
 
2013-04-11 01:33:56 AM  

BMulligan: OgreMagi: That IRS has made it clear in the past that until the Supreme Court makes a ruling, they are free to ignore lower court rulings.  That is not how our justice system is supposed to work, assholes.

It's exactly how our justice system is supposed to work. Sixth Circuit rulings are only mandatory authority in the Sixth Circuit, and never in Tax Court proceedings. This is covered on, like. the third day of law school.


They have a habit of ignoring citations that would apply to a particular jurisdiction.  They only answer to the Supreme Court and their own tax court.  And their tax court is filled with judges who were formerly IRS agents.
 
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