nonprofiteer writes: In December, a federal judge ruled that the 4th amendment applies to email and that the feds cannot go after it without a warrant. (We have Smilin' Bob to thank for that — https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/12/breaking-news-eff-victory-appeals-court-holds). Though the federal judge's decision only applies to the four states in his jurisdiction, it looks like federal agencies are applying it nationally. An internal email written by the IRS general counsel cites the law and says that its collectors can no longer get the contents of suspected tax cheats' email by sending letters to their ISPs, though it can get non-content information, like who they email and how they pay for their accounts.
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
particularly vivid fantasy)