The US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio has ruled that law enforcement must obtain a search warrant to look through your e-mail accounts without your permission. The ruling gives e-mail communications the same privacy protections that letters and telephone conversations have.
“The content of e-mail is something that the user seeks to preserve as
private and therefore may be constitutionally protected,” wrote Judge
Boyce Martin, who was joined by judges Martha Craig Daughtrey and
William Schwarzer in the decision.
The court’s ruling requires
prosecutors to either get a warrant or to notify the person whose
emails are the subject of the investigation. Prosecutors could delay
notifying the target of the investigation for up to 90 days if a
magistrate finds there is sufficient reason to do so.
Of course you send those e-mails to other people. They can show them to anyone they want to. So think twice before you hit the send button anyway, or the whole world might find out it was you that took the last donut in the breakroom.