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THIS CASEBOOK contains a selection of U. S. Court of Appeals decisions that analyze and discuss issues surrounding cyber law.
When it passed the Stored Communications Act almost thirty years ago, Congress had as reference a technological context very different from today's Internet-saturated reality. This context affects our construction of the statute now.
One historian of the Internet has observed that "before 1988, the New York Times mentioned the Internet only once — in a brief aside." Roy Rosenzweig, Wizards, Bureaucrats, Warriors, and Hackers: Writing the History of the Internet, 103 Am. Hist. Rev. 1530, 1530 (1998). The TCP/IP data transfer protocol — today, the standard for online communication — began to be used by the Department of Defense in about 1980. See Leonard Kleinrock, An Early History of the Internet, IEEE Commc'ns Mag. 26, 35 (Aug. 2010). The World Wide Web was not created until 1990, and we did not even begin calling it that until 1993. Daniel B. Garrie & Francis M. Allegra, Plugged In: Guidebook to Software and the Law § 3.2 (2015 ed.). Thus, a globally-connected Internet available to the general public for routine e-mail and other uses was still years in the future when Congress first took action to protect user privacy. See Craig Partridge, The Technical Development of Internet Email, IEEE Annals of the Hist. of Computing 3, 4 (Apr.-June 2008).
Matter of Warrant Search Certain E-mail, 829 F. 3d 197 (2nd Cir. 2016)