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US v. Heckenkamp

Last week, in United States v. Heckenkamp, the Ninth Circuit (correctly) ruled that students have a constitutionally protected reasonable expectation of privacy in their dorm room computers, but that University officials can search those computers without a warrant for school security purposes under the “special needs” exception. The problem with the ruling is that (1) every school security issue is also a criminal issue and (2) there’s no limit on the school using their security issue as a pretext for doing a warrantless search, and then giving all that information over to the police for your prosecution. I was particularly interested in this case because I was Mr. Heckenkamp's lawyer in the early stages of the case.

The decision is here (pdf) and my Wired News column on the decision is called Appeals Court Misfired in Hack-Counterhack Dispute

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