- Jun 8, 2009
- Reaction score
- People's Republic of NJ
Sexting Case at the Supreme Court LiveshotsThe Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in a case that could impact every American worker who uses a computer, blackberry or text messaging device--whether for innocent messages to loved ones or sexually-charged texts to a mistress.
A final ruling from the justices may establish guidelines on how far the right to privacy covers personal e-mail messages and other communications that workers send or receive on their employer-issued devices.
Sergeants Jeff Quon and Steve Trujillo were part of the Ontario, California SWAT team who received pagers capable of sending text messages.
Several months after the pagers were issued, Quon's boss asked for a read-out of his messages. As it turned out, most of Quon's texts were not work related. "To say the least, [the messages were] sexually explicit in nature," observed Judge Virginia Phillips. The majority of Quon's personal messages went to his estranged wife, his office girlfriend and Trujillo.
"The panel erroneously overextended Fourth Amendment protection with its sweeping ruling that individuals who send text messages to a government employee's workplace pager-rather than to a privately owned pager-reasonably expect that their messages will be free from the employer's review," Kent Richland argues.
The city further objects to the Ninth Circuit's ruling that also covered the privacy rights of the people on the other end of Quan's messages. The panel concluded that the recipients had a right to expect that their messages to Quon would not be seen by his boss; likening them to letters or phone calls.
Tricky one. Comments?