Government snooping through your emails without a warrant: Not just the NSA
The SEC and IRS, among other government agencies, love, love, love administrative subpoenas to snoop through emails without probable cause. Techdirt writes:
The story that we keep hearing is that two government agencies in particular really like ECPA's outdated system: the IRS and the SEC. Since both only have administrative subpoena power, and not the ability to issue warrants like law enforcement, the lower standards of ECPA make it much easier for them to snoop through your emails without having to show probable cause. Last year, in a Congressional hearing, the SEC's boss, Mary Jo White, was questioned about this by Congressman Kevin Yoder, who has been leading the charge on ECPA reform. As we reported at the time, in the conversation, White clearly said that the SEC needed this ability or it would lose "critical" information in its investigations.
The practice is very widespread. For example, see below that the Georgia Department of Labor has placed an ad for a subpoena specialist. Feel safe though: Candidates must have a high school diploma.
Georgia Department of Labor
April 6, 2015
Georgia Department of Labor
* Strong organizational skills with demonstrated attention to detail. * High degree of integrity and the ability to protect the confidential information of EarthLink, its customers and law enforcement. * Ability to work independently and as a team member. * Ability to multi-task while handling conflicting priorities/deadlines; be able to make decisions quickly and work with little supervision. * Excellent oral and written communications skills with the ability to effectively communicate technical information to a non-technical audience. * College degree or equivalent work experience in related field.
More information about this job: Overview: The Subpoena Specialist will perform complex administrative duties of a highly responsible, urgent and confidential nature. This position will serve as the law enforcement contact for the production of records pursuant to legal demands. In this capacity, the incumbent will interpret lawful requests, research and collect customer information, compile information and respond to law enforcement. Maintaining and logging the history of subpoenas and responses into EarthLink s systems is a key recordkeeping responsibility. Other duties involving Legal data processing will be required as assigned. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS * Strong organizational skills with demonstrated attention to detail. * High degree of integrity and the ability to protect the confidential information of EarthLink, its customers and law enforcement. * Familiarity with Microsoft Office (particularly Word, Excel and Internet Explorer) * Ability to work independently and as a team member. * Ability to multi-task while handling conflicting priorities/deadlines; be able to make decisions quickly and work with little supervision. * Excellent oral and written communications skills with the ability to effectively communicate technical information to a non-technical audience. * The candidate must have a high school diploma. * The candidate must be a US citizen. * The candidate must be willing and able to apply for and receive DOJ Secret Security Clearance. EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK) is a leading IT services, network and communications provider to more than 150,000 businesses and over one million consumers nationwide. EarthLink empowers customers with managed IT services including cloud computing, data centers, virtualization, security, applications and support services, in addition to nationwide data and voice IP services. The company operates an extensive network including 28,000 route fiber miles, 90 metro fiber rings and 4 secure data centers providing ubiquitous IP coverage across more than 90 percent of the country. Founded in 1994,the company's award-winning reputation for both outstanding service and product innovation is supported by an experienced team of professionals focused on best-in-class customer care. EarthLink and its subsidiaries encourage diversity in the workplace; we are an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minority/Female/Disability/Vet Employer's Job# 2015-10453 Please visit job URL for more information about this opening and to view EOE statement (emphasis added)
Remember when privacy existed?