Attorney general Eric Holder said Wednesday that, as a general matter, his department supports having to get a warrant to access electonic communications from a service provider.
He did not exactly answer whether Justice thought it needed a warrant to get emails from a third party like Yahoo, but he did say that there should be certain limited circumstances when Justice would need to acquire info at the speed at which communications is now moving.
He said one of the key conversations the administration and Congress need to have is how to balance expectations of privacy and law enforcment's ability to acquire info. He said it would be good to come up with a set of rules that probably would not be perfect, but could meet "somewhere in the middle."
Holder was being questioned -- and sometimes grilled -- in an occasionally heated, marathon oversight hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.