April 07, 2005
Searches and Seizures in a Digital World
"This article offers a normative framework for applying the Fourth Amendment to searches of computer data. It begins by exploring the basic differences between physical searches of physical property and electronic searches of digital evidence. It then proposes an exposure theory of Fourth Amendment searches: any exposure of data to an output device such as a monitor should be a search of that data, and only that data...In the final section, the article proposes a rethinking of the plain view exception in computer searches to reflect the new dynamic of digital evidence investigations."