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Tax day is just four days away and the people who take your payment.
May also be taking something else your privacy.
And they are defiantly.
Of what many consider a blatantly illegal policy.
Chief Washington correspondent James Rosen tonight on the IRS and your open he -- Internal IRS documents the American Civil Liberties Union pried loose using the Freedom of Information Act -- clear the legal posture of the IRS is that the agency can examine any emails it wants without obtaining a search warrant as long as the emails or at least 180 days old.
Our emails contain some of the most high bit sensitive and even embarrassing information that we possess and that's exactly the kind of information that the fourth amendment's warrant requirements is intended to protect.
But when President Reagan signed the stored communications act of 1986.
It gave law enforcement officers including those employed by RI RS the authority to access emails that are six months old by using either a court order or subpoena.
Federal law even provides for the government to access some emails newer than that again without a warrant if for example they've already been opened.
And the 180 -- Limited -- is quite permit simple so I think that it's it's.
Almost -- -- -- red Herring in the discussions some way.
In December 2010 the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled all emails are covered by the Fourth Amendment which protects against unreasonable searches or seizures.
Given the fundamental similarities between email and traditional forms of communication the court said.
He would defy common sense to a forty emails lesser Fourth Amendment protection.
But that ruling is only binding in four states and in January 2011 -- needles special counsel to IRS's criminal tax division emailed his colleagues I have not heard anything related to this opinion we have always taken the position that a warrant is necessary when retrieving emails that are less than 180 days old.
You know at this 1980 stats here.
And does that work with today's reality and obviously it's his outdated number of ways and the question though is whether.
We should take -- whether congress should take gate.
Meat cleaver -- scalpel sort.
Fox News sent the RS documents to the White House but got no substantive response I'm not aware of the story -- the the documents that were obtained.
And I would certainly -- to the IRS as a starting point.
And just about twenty minutes ago the IRS finally got back to us to say the agency abides by the law.
And does not use emails to target tax -- meantime a senior Justice Department official testified before congress last month.
But neither the 180 day rule nor placing opened email in -- different category makes any sense.
And accordingly agreed -- that the law should be changed Anderson -- James thank you.
On the issue of privacy we have -- special this weekend please join us Sunday night.
For a special presentation on cyber security John Roberts hosts your secrets out you can see -- at 9 PM eastern.
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