The IRS May Be Reading Your Emails Right Now

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Libertyblitzkrieg

The IRS Claims it Can Read Your Email…Without a Warrant

Truly remarkable how the establishment views the citizenry.  They quite clearly and openly view themselves as having full ownership of our lives, our work and our privacy.  Actually, they do not think we deserve to have privacy at all.  This is the exact mindset of all tyrannical regimes throughout human history, which is precisely why the founders made sure to include the 4th Amendment in the Constitution of these United States.  For those of you that need a reminder.

The 4th Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

So with that in mind, this is what the IRS thinks:

 

NEW YORK — IRS documents released Wednesday suggest that the tax collection agency believes it can read American citizens’ emails without a warrant.

The files were released to the American Civil Liberties Union under a Freedom of Information Act request. The organization is working to determine just how broadly federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI or the IRS’ Criminal Tax Division interpret their authority to snoop through inboxes.

The idea of IRS agents poking through your email account might sound at the very least creepy, and maybe unconstitutional. But the IRS does have a legal leg to stand on: the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 allows government agencies to in many cases obtain emails older than 180 days without a warrant.

In 1986 they decided this?  Who used email in 1986?

That’s why an internal 2009 IRS document claimed that “the government may obtain the contents of electronic communication that has been in storage for more than 180 days” without a warrant.

Another 2009 file, the IRS Criminal Tax Division’s “Search Warrant Handbook,” showed that the division’s general counsel believed “the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

What kind of crazy logic is that.  Says who?

 

Members of Congress recently renewed their efforts to change the 1986 email privacy law to require a warrant. But until then, the ACLU would like the IRS to act on its own and always use a warrant.

I’m sorry, but yes I do expect privacy when I send and email based on the Constitution and human decency, although I know the intelligence agencies do not respect those things.  I can’t remember the last time I decided to cc: NSA; CIA; IRS on my emails.  Do you?

The good news is that there is bipartisan legislation being brought forth to require warrants to read emails.  It is called the ECPA legislation and you can read about it here.

Full article on the IRS here