Fourth Amendment Protection in Text Messages

The 9th Circuit handed down a very important decision today in Quon v. Arch Wireless Operating Co. holding that users of text-messaging services ordinarily have a Fourth Amendment reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the text messages stored on the service provider’s network. Judge Wardlaw wrote the opinion, joined by Judge Pregerson and District Judge Ronald Leighton. It’s a bit of a surprise that the panel decided the issue so squarely, given that it was only lightly covered at oral argument , but it’s a noteworthy holding that I think is correct and very important.

( continued over at the Volokh Conspiracy