NY court: Computer searches can threaten privacy

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York federal appeals court says authorities may have gone too far in their search of an ex-convict’s computer.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made the statement in a ruling Tuesday casting doubt on the case against a man serving nearly 48 years in prison in a child pornography case.

The court said an exploratory search of the computer’s hard drive poses an “enormous” potential for privacy violations.

The court says advances in technology have made the computer hard drive similar to a residence in terms of how much private information it may contain.

The ruling came in a case before a federal judge in Albany. The judge must now reconsider whether computer evidence can be used in the case.

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