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Feds Withdraw Demands for E-mails

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

April 19, 2010

In a Colorado court on Friday, federal authorities withdrew demands to obtain from Yahoo e-mail related to a pending and sealed criminal case, saying it would not be useful to their investigation, Wired  reports. The authorities had been seeking user-accessed e-mail that was less than six months old. In December, a Colorado magistrate ordered Yahoo to release the e-mail, but the company refused, citing the 1986 Stored Communications Act that requires the government to show probable cause, the report states. Had Friday's decision been different, "the vast majority of Americans' e-mail would be accessible to the government without probable cause," according to the report.

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