SNOOPS

U.S. Targeted WikiLeaks Worker’s Email

As part of its investigation of WikiLeaks, the U.S. government ordered Google and the Internet provider Sonic to give it access to the email account of Jacob Applebaum, a 28-year-old volunteer with the organization. Sonic fought the government order but lost, and both Sonic and Google sought to inform Applebaum of the secret court orders permitting government snooping. (The government, meanwhile, was not seeking full emails but rather Applebaum’s contacts.) Under the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the government can obtain information from individuals' email accounts and cellphones without a search warrant, and often without even notifying the target that a search has taken place.