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New Jersey bans ISPs from handing over data


Only with a subpoena

ISPs in New Jersey will not have to hand over personal data on anyone without a subpoena from the courts. New Jersey's State Supreme Court has decided that the State Constitution gives greater protection against unreasonable searches and seizures than the U.S. Constitution and has said that it takes priority.

Analysts say that the ruling is interesting because it shows a swing away from what was happening at a federal level. States seem to be doing more to protect Internet rights, while federal laws seem to be in favor of handing over data to whichever law enforcement body asks for it.

The ruling restricted police from obtaining the identity of a Cape May County woman accused of retaliating in 2004 against her boss. Coppers found the woman's identity by asking Comcast to hand over her IP address. Although the police obtained a subpoena for the data from a Municipal Court, higher courts said a grand jury subpoena was necessary because an indictable offense was at issue.

You can read the ruling here.
Last modified on 22 April 2008
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