Lifting the 'Fog' of Internet Surveillance: How a Suppression Remedy Would Change Computer Crime Law

42 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2003 Last revised: 26 Apr 2017

See all articles by Orin S. Kerr

Orin S. Kerr

University of California, Berkeley School of Law

Abstract

This Article argues that the rules of Internet surveillance law remain obscure and undeveloped because of the remedies Congress has chosen to enforce its statutory standards. By rejecting a suppression remedy and embracing aggressive civil penalties, Congress has ensured that courts only rarely encounter challenges to Internet surveillance practices - and when they do, the cases tend to be in civil cases between private parties that raise issues far removed from those that animated Congress to pass the statutes. As a result, the courts have not explained how the complex web of surveillance statutes apply in routine criminal cases, and the rare judicial decisions construing the statutes tend to confuse the issues, not clarify them. This article argues that Congress should add a statutory suppression remedy to lift the fog of Internet surveillance law, and that such a change would benefit both civil liberties and law enforcement interests alike.

Keywords: Internet, surveillance, cybercrime

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Kerr, Orin S., Lifting the 'Fog' of Internet Surveillance: How a Suppression Remedy Would Change Computer Crime Law. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=374282 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.374282

Orin S. Kerr (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley School of Law ( email )

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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