It’s an uncontroversial position that EFF has long fought for: Internet users expect their private online activities to stay that way. That’s why law enforcement should have to get a search warrant before getting records of people’s Internet activities.
But in a disappointing decision earlier this month, the Arizona Supreme Court rejected a warrant requirement for services to disclose Internet users’ activities and other information to law enforcement, a setback for people’s privacy online.
In a 4-3 opinion, the Arizona high court ruled in State v. Mixton that people do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in information held by online services that record their online activities, such as IP address logs. According to the Court, that information is not protected by either the federal Constitution’s Fourth Amendment or the state’s constitution, because people disclose that information to third-party online services whenever they use them, a legal principle known as the third-party doctrine.