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Fourth Amendment

Seattle University Law Review

2020

Internet Law

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Preservation Requests And The Fourth Amendment, Armin Tadayon Oct 2020

Preservation Requests And The Fourth Amendment, Armin Tadayon

Seattle University Law Review

Every day, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, ridesharing companies, and numerous other service providers copy users’ account information upon receiving a preservation request from the government. These requests are authorized under a relatively obscure subsection of the Stored Communications Act (SCA). The SCA is the federal statute that governs the disclosure of communications stored by third party service providers. Section 2703(f) of this statute authorizes the use of “f” or “preservation” letters, which enable the government to request that a service provider “take all necessary steps to preserve records and other evidence in its possession” while investigators seek valid legal process. …