City demands warrant in FBI investigationNewton TABBy Dan AtkinsonWednesday, January 25, 2006
FBI won't seize library recordsNewton TABBy Galen MooreThursday, January 26, 2006
Susan W. Brenner and Barbara A. Frederiksen, Computer Searches and Seizures: Some Unresolved Issues, 8 Mich. Telecomm. Tech. L. Rev. 39 (2002) 40 pp. Focuses on Off-Site versus On-Site Computer Search Procedures by the Department of Justice. Discusses application of "plain view" doctrine to computers.
FindLaw: U.S. Constitution: Fourth Amendment: Annotations pg. 4 of 6
Ensuring the Admissibility of Electronic Forensic Evidence and Enhancing Its Probative Value at Trial
Criminal Justice MagazineSpring 2004, Volume 19 Number 1By Fred Galves and Christine Galves
My Commentary:I am been doing some reading to learn where the library legally can stand on this issue. The FBI said "plain view" was an issue, but they decided to wait for the warrant. While I found some related readings on plain view, and cannot find anything specific to this type of situation. In other court cases, plain view in computer searches was only relevant when a warrant for one type of computer file was being served and another file was found. For example, police search a computer by following a warrant looking for tax records and than in "plain view" find child pornography. Other cases have ruled that actual computer files are not in "plain view" since a computer application is needed to open them.
Has anyone seen a court ruling that actually addresses the "plain view" of computers in a public library?