Court Says Warrant Needed to Access E-mail Records

Police must obtain search warrants before perusing Internet users' e-mail records, a federal appeals court ruled in a landmark decision that struck down part of a 1986 law allowing warrantless access. In case involving a penile-enhancement entrepreneur convicted of fraud and other crimes, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said that the practice of warrantless access to e-mail messages violates the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits "unreasonable" searches and seizures.