The Obama administration is fighting in court for the right to read private e-mails — without a warrant.
The Justice Department wants Yahoo to give it access to e-mails sent by the company's users, according to Cnet.com. Justice Department officials have filed a motion in a Colorado federal court arguing that a federal law addressing the privacy of e-mails does not apply to previously read e-mails.
According to Cnet: "A 17-page brief it filed last month acknowledges that federal law requires search warrants for messages in 'electronic storage' that are less than 181 days old. But, Assistant U.S. Attorney Pegeen Rhyne writes in a government brief, the Yahoo Mail messages don't meet that definition.
"'Previously opened e-mail is not in 'electronic storage,'" Rhyne wrote in a motion filed last month. 'This court should therefore require Yahoo to comply with the order and produce the specified communications in the targeted accounts.'"
Google and an array of privacy groups have sided with Yahoo in an effort to thwart the Justice Department's request.
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