IRS Claims No Warrant Needed To Read Your Emails

6:41 PM, Apr 12, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- For people like Arron Bryson and Ian Ellis, texting and emailing is a constant means of private communication. But the IRS claims they have the right to pry into your electronic communication. 

Aaron Bryson, an Austin resident says, "That's ridiculous why does the IRS need to look at whatever they want not everything pertains to my taxes or financial circumstance."

Ian Ellis, another Austin resident says, "I know things like Facebook are already monitored but personal emails text messages stuff like that should be left alone, that why they are personal I'm sending it to a specific person I'm not cc'in the government."

As it stands, Government officials only need a subpoena, without a judges approval to look at your emails. The IRS claims the 4th Amendment wont protect you, because if you are on the web, you have no reasonable privacy expectations. 

"Why does every email have a log in because you have to protect it with user name and password so their some reasonable level," says Bryson.

And like most, Aaron uses several other layers of digital protection. He says, "If I didn't have a reasonable expectation of privacy none of that stuff would exist."

ACLU's Matt Simpson says its about keeping Government transparent and accountable.

" For the IRS to think that emails are basically just public for them to go through ignores the way emails are used today I think It's another example of the laws not keeping up with technology," said Simpson.

Simpson says power like this could lead to the IRS looking for any excuse to then probe your emails and messages. But Simpson says some lawmakers are working on legislation that require a warrant. 

"Things are personal it doesn't mean I have anything to hide their a difference between secrecy and privacy I don't have any secrets but I do have privacy."

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