IRS does not think “reasonable expectation of privacy” applies users’ emails

Posted at 10:12 AM, Apr 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-12 10:12:06-04

With Tax Day coming up on Monday, Americans may be feeling a little stress. And a new report may not help with that.

According to a report from, newly released documents show that in recent years, the IRS has claimed American Internet users “do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy” when it comes to their emails being snooped on.

The documents, obtained by the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act and published on April 10, 2013, say that in 2009, the Criminal Tax Division at the IRS claimed in an internal handbook that in general “the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server.” This claim may have been rooted in a reading of a controversial loophole contained in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which enables agencies to obtain email older than 180 days without a search warrant, according to

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