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United States v. Vilar:
Last month, Judge Ken Karas of the Southern District of New York handed down a very interesting Fourth Amendment decision, United States v. Vilar (link to an edited version).

  Vilar addresses two questions that are becoming increasingly important in Fourth Amendment law: the rules for applying the Fourth Amendment overseas, and the rules for searching and seizing computers. Although I haven't checked on Westlaw, I think Vilar may be the first opinion to apply the Fourth Amendment to compliance with Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties. It's also an unusually comprehensive and scholarly opinion, albeit one that cites certain law review articles. Anyway, definitely check it out if you're interested in these areas. (The computer-reated materials are on pages 17-21, and the materials on the Fourth Amendment abroad are on pages 21-34.)

  A particularly interesting aspect of Vilar is that it has an extensive discussion of United States v. bin Laden, 126 F.Supp.2d 264 (S.D.N.Y. 2000), a case involving the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that has become a impoortant precedent on applying the Fourth Amendment overseas. Who was on the prosecution team in bin Laden? Ken Karas.
Justin (mail):
Tangential related question.

The infrared case, which was shown to be a search, rejected the "technical" aspects of the search and focused on the "practical" aspects of the search. But for computer crimes, the rule seems to go the other way - even beyond the practical justifications for expansion (the hiding of a document by changing its name). Thus, for instance, examining people's email is fair game, even when one is looking for an attachment, and the email in question has no attachment. Doesn't this type of breadth go against the infrafred case?

Sorry for drawing blanks on the names of cases right now.
5.9.2007 2:01pm
OrinKerr:
Justin, in Kyllo the COurt held that the government needed a warrant; in the cases you mention, it has one. With that said, it's dangerous to import the reasoning of Kyllo to other cases; see my Four Models paper for the details.
5.9.2007 2:05pm
anonVCfan:
Chief Justice Roberts will probably find it difficult to avoid lengthy discussions of Supreme Court cases with which he is intimately familiar because of his practice.

I suppose that District Court cases are a different animal altogether, particularly because they have no precedential value, but I don't think it's particularly remarkable that Judge Karas would refer to a case with which he's intimately familiar if he finds an opinion that came out of that case to be useful.
5.9.2007 4:53pm
Bill Sommerfeld (www):
Regarding Justin's comment, I'd think that a search for a particular file or document carried by an email message should not depend on the particular encoding in which it was carried; while there is much less diversity in practice these days than there used to be, I wouldn't want evidence to be suppressed (or not found) merely because a suspect uuencoded a file instead of sending it as an attachment and the warrant specified "attachment".

Also, maybe it's just me (or the people who send me mail) but I get a lot of messages which refer to an attachment which the sender forgot to attach, with a (sheepish) followup....
5.9.2007 5:26pm