5th Circ. Won't Apply E-Privacy Law To Cellphone Search

Law360, New York (December 12, 2012, 4:42 PM EST) -- The Fifth Circuit ruled Wednesday that a federal wiretap law did not bar a former police dispatcher's employer and others from accessing images and text messages stored in her personal cellphone, finding that the statute only protects information held in storage by electronic communications service providers.

In affirming the district court's decision, a three-judge panel rejected petitioner Fannie Garcia's contention that the Stored Communications Act protected the data and text stored on her personal cellphone that a police officer's wife removed from an unlocked locker and shared with officials at the Laredo, Texas, police department, which resulted in Garcia being fired...

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