IRS Agrees To Cease Unwarranted Email Searches

Revenue services making quite a splash around tax day.

The Internal Revenue Service looks as though it will discontinue its policy of searching through emails of taxpayers, acting commissioner Steven Miller said at a U.S. Senate hearing today, according to a CNET report.

Miller did not say whether the policy would also be amended for Twitter and Facebook conversations, although it seems more likely that social media messages will remain in the viewable domain until further notice.

He said during the hearing that when the IRS is conducting a criminal investigation it is policy to obtain a search warrant in advance. In March 2011, however, an update to the IRS manual stated that employees could search any messages, except unopened email and voicemail messages less than 180 days old.

[Image: Flickr user mlee]

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