South Carolina Supreme Court rules that webmail isn’t protected by 1986 privacy law

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Last Wednesday, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that one woman’s deliberate (and successful) attempts to break into her husband’s Yahoo Mail account to prove his infidelity do not violate the Stored Communications Act (SCA) of 1986. While the justices were quick to establish that they do not condone her behavior, they found that webmail services like Gmail and cannot be classified as “electronic storage,” and thus are not granted protection under the SCA.

The SCA defines electronic storage as:

“(A) any temporary, intermediate storage of a wire or electronic communication incidental to the electronic transmission thereof; and (B) any storage of such communication by an electronic communication service for the…

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