Blogger: Bill Pray
In July 2008, I wrote a blog entitled Hosted Collaboration Services and the Fourth Amendment. That blog centered on a court decision in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the case of Quon vs. Arch Wireless. The New York Times reported yesterday, in the article Supreme Court Takes Texting Case, that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. As I mentioned in my first blog, even though this particular case is about text messaging, it is likely that it sets a precedent that can be applied to e-mail and other forms of hosted collaboration. This is summarized well at the end of story as Adam Liptak quotes Judge Stephen G. Larson regarding this case:
“Though the legal issue in the case, City of Ontario v. Quon, No. 08-1332, concerns only text messaging in government workplaces, the Supreme Court’s decision may provide hints about its attitude toward privacy in the Internet era more generally.
The larger question, Judge Stephen G. Larson of the Federal District Court in Riverside, Calif., wrote in declining to dismiss Sergeant Quon’s case before trial, is this: ‘What are the legal boundaries of an employee’s privacy in this interconnected, electronic-communication age, one in which thoughts and ideas that would have been spoken personally and privately in ages past are now instantly text-messaged to friend and family via hand-held, computer-assisted electronic devices?’” (Supreme Court Takes Texting Case; December 14, 2009; New York Times)