Supreme Court: Government’s Reading of Wiretap Act ‘Makes Little Sense’

The Supreme Court has ruled in Dahda v. United States, a case about the federal Wiretap Act and the suppression of evidence obtained under an overly broad wiretap order. A lower court permitted the evidence, relying on a novel interpretation of the Act. EPIC filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that “it is not for the courts to create textual exceptions” to federal privacy laws. The Supreme Court agreed with EPIC that it “makes little sense” for the court to rewrite the statute. However, the Court declined to suppress the evidence, finding that it was a lawful search under a narrow interpretation of the Wiretap Act. EPIC routinely participates as amicus curiae in privacy cases before the Supreme Court, including Byrd v. United States (a case in which the Court rejected suspicionless searches of rental cars) and Carpenter v. United States (a case about warrantless searches of cellphone location records).


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