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Technology 101, or staying relevant

Over the summer, the U.S. Supreme Court revealed that it had no idea what a text message was. The case is City of Ontario v. Quon, and the issue was “simply” whether the police department has the right to read personal text messages from an employee using a work page. (In this case, a pager capable of sending text messages which, honestly, I had never heard of. Are people still using pagers?) The transcript is a fascinating read. Here are some nuggets from the bench:

One comment

  1. I graduated from UMDLaw in 2002. I am a prosecutor in Wicomico County, MD. I currently have several pending murder trials in which the defense is going to challenge the search for and seizure of text messages from the Verizon database. In a murder investigation, detectives regularly get the text messages from Verizon based on exigent circumstances and prior to obtaining a search warrant. You may be amazed at how quickly a murder suspect can be apprehended based on text messages he/she sent and received.

    Other then the Quon case, does anyone know of any other case law referencing text messages and whether or not a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy in text messages in a data base. Quon did not expressly rule that a person does. The Court said, “assuming arguendo. . assuming Quon had a reasonable expectation of privacy…” . . Under the facts of the case, Quon lost either way.

    Thanks for any help.

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