En Banc First Circuit Reverses Councilman Decision Applying Federal Wiretap Act to Emails

by Lee Gesmer on September 20, 2005

Federal Wire Tap Statute. Last Fall Joe Laferrera wrote an extensive article discussing the First Circuit’s decision in Councilman v. United States. In that case the government had prosecuted Brad Councilman under the federal Wiretap Act, alleging he had violated the Act when he illegally copied email communications. The Federal Appeals Court for the First Circuit held that Councilman had not violated the Act, since he had not intercepted the communications while they were in transit. Rather, the emails were already stored on a computer, and therefore the Act did not apply.

Recently the First Circuit reconsidered the case en banc, reversing that decision. Joe has written an update to the original article, which can be found here.

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