City of Ontario v. Quon

United States Supreme Court Decision

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On June 17, 2010, the Supreme Court issued its decision in City of Ontario v. Quon, addressing the question of whether a city government's search of transcripts of a public employee's text messaging over a city-issued pager violated the Fourth Amendment. EFF had filed an amicus brief in the case urging the Court to avoid making any broad pronouncements on whether and how the Fourth Amendment protects the privacy of communications such as texts that are stored by third party communications providers, and instead to limit its decision to the privacy rights of public employees.

Today the Court did exactly that, while also dropping some hopeful hints about how it would address those broader privacy questions. Instead of finding no Fourth Amendment privacy protection in text messages, the Court instead assumed without deciding that there was a Fourth Amendment expectation of privacy in the text messages, but that the City's search of the text messages was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment because it was work-related. In doing so, the Court applied but did not expand its previous rulings on the limits of privacy in government workplaces.....

Please see full U.S. Supreme Court Decision below for more information.

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