Minnesota Law Review

Status Update: Adapting the Stored Communications Act to a Modern World

This Note addresses the Stored Communications Act’s application to civil discovery. Congress passed the Stored Communications Act in 1986 to extend Fourth Amendment protection to electronic communications and remote computing. Congress never intended for the SCA to limit civil discovery of these communications, however, judges have expanded the SCA’s scope to limit civil discovery of electronic communications in many jurisdictions. As a result, many civil litigants are barred from filing third party subpoenas to obtain information from Internet service providers like Google, Facebook, and Twitter due to this judicial extrapolation of the SCA to civil discovery.

In order to remedy this problem of judicial overreach, Congress should amend the SCA to include a civil discovery provision. First, this provision should update the anachronistic definition of what is protected information. Second, the amendment should codify a user exception, allowing the discovery of electronic information through the user. Third, the amendment should allow discovery of information stored by Internet service providers like Google and Facebook if the requesting party pays the responding party’s costs. Such a solution would satisfy the interests of justice and efficiency, both of which are goals set out in Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

:: View PDF

News & Events

  • Minnesota Law Review Alum Remembered 45 Years After Death

    Minnesota Law Review alumnus Tom Cranna was honored at the Annual Banquet this Spring, 45 years after his death. Mr. Cranna was remembered for his contributions to the journal, the school, and the positive impact he had on his family and friends. The Devil’s Lake Journal published a memorial which [...]

  • Follow MLR on Twitter!

    The Minnesota Law Review is proud to announce that we are now on Twitter. Follow us @MinnesotaLawRev for information and updates concerning the petition period and deadlines, the opening and closing of article submissions, our 2014 Symposium: Offenders in the Community, and all other news concerning our authors and publications. [...]

  • Vol. 97 Lead Piece Cited in Al Jazeera Opinion Piece

    A recent Al Jazeera opinion piece that criticizes the Supreme Court’s Daimler decision cites to Volume 97′s lead piece, How Business Fares in the Supreme Court. You can read the Al Jazeera piece here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Masthead for Volume 99 Board

    The masthead for the Board of Volume 99 of the Minnesota Law Review is now available. You can view the masthead here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Above the Law Post Highlights MLR‘s Jump in Journal Rankings

    A recent post on Above the Law highlights the fact that the Minnesota Law Review was ranked 11th in the most recent 2013 edition of the Washington & Lee Law Review Rankings. You can read the post here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

Newsletter

cforms contact form by delicious:days