IRS CLAIMS THEY CAN READ YOUR E-MAIL AND OTHER ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS WITHOUT A WARRANT.
According to documents recently obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes they have the authority to read the private e-mail messages, Facebook chats and other online communications of Americans without obtaining a warrant.
This probably isn’t surprising given the blatant nature of the government’s illegal spying at this point and the complete flouting of judicial scrutiny when it comes to government surveillance.
According to IRS lawyers, the American people have “generally no privacy” in online communications which means no Fourth Amendment standards apply and no search warrant is needed to read our private communications.
The 2009 IRS Search Warrant Handbook obtained by the ACLU through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request claims that “mails and other transmissions generally lose their reasonable expectation of privacy and thus their Fourth Amendment protection once they have been sent from an individual’s computer.”
Considering the fact that this so-called handbook was prepared by none other than the Office of Chief Counsel for the Criminal Tax Division, this is quite troubling.
While the ACLU’s intent was to obtain records simply stating if the IRS gets a warrant before reading email, text messages and other private electronic communications, the documents obtained don’t give a point blank answer.
While the IRS might not come right out and say it for obvious reasons, the ACLU notes that the 247 pages of records they obtained indeed suggest that the IRS reads private communications without getting a warrant first.
Saying “suggest” is a quite conservative choice of words indeed given some of the material. Part of the 2009 handbook actually claims that “the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because Internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.”