Recently the American Civil Liberties Union under a Freedom of Information Act request got internal documents of the IRS that take the position that the IRS maintains it can read American citizens’ emails without a warrant. As always, the government agencies ALWAYS interpret their authority as broadly as possible with no regard for any constitutional rights. The position in government has in the expanded in the last 2 decades and boils down to it is your burden to PROVE you have any rights. The constitution ceases to have any restraining impact whatsoever.The IRS requests you emails and Google Mail complies. Storing anything in a cloud – forget it.
The entire American Revolution was born by the king doing precisely this. His agents would just come to your house and go through everything and if they found anything, they would charge you. John Adams commented at a trial on this very issue, “Then and there the child of Independence was born.” The Supreme Court use to say this was “the right most valued by civilized man.” This spirit is dead. Privacy is no more.
Boyd v US 116 US 686 (1886)
It was the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 that allowed government agencies to in many cases obtain emails older than 180 days without a warrant. You can assume that if you put nothing in an email that you as clean. Not so. If they BELIEVE, even wrongly that you are or should be their target, everything is interpreted that way. So the classic question – So when was the last time you beat your wife? Implied is the fact you are guilty. No you have to respond, you have never dome that. The burden of proof is now shifted to you for they have PRESUMED you are guilty. Every innocent thing you ever write, is viewed from a slanted looking glass. There is a person in an airport who was on a cell phone and joking said in slang “I am going to blow-up the spot” meaning they had gas. Within minutes, they were surrounded in the lounge. Yes, they are monitoring your cell phones as well in an airport but all cell phones are monitored, tracked, and stored. 1984 arrived – just a couple of decades too late.