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[FYI] U.S.: Search warrants for online data soar


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07/28/00- Updated 09:41 AM ET  

Search warrants for online data soar  

By Will Rodger, USATODAY.com  

The number of search warrants seeking citizens' online data has 
soared during the past several years, a USATODAY.com study shows.  

The findings, based on an examination of search warrants served on 
the nation's largest Internet service provider, America Online, came 
as a surprise to federal lawmakers and civil libertarians and are 
prompting calls for legal reforms.  

The warrants, served by state and local investigators from across the 
nation, were aimed at discovering the identity and activities of AOL 
subscribers. In 1997, AOL was served with 33 search warrants, 
according to court logs in Loudoun County, Va., where AOL is based. 
That number jumped to 167 in 1998 and 301 in 1999  an increase of 
more than 800% since 1997.  


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