The fourth amendment to the US constitution protects people from seizures and searches in certain situations for reasons of privacy.
In Katz v United States, the US Supreme Court has defined a two-part test on whether a search violates a person's right to privacy:
- The person must have had an expectation of privacy
- The expectation must be reasonable
When a person sends a letter, the contents of the letter are protected by the Fourth Amendment, because the letter is sealed.
When a person sends data on the Internet, would the same argument hold?
This question is asked in the light of recent attempts to force companies to create backdoors in encryption, so that they can decrypt data when requested to do so.