United States Of America V. Angevine

917 words - 4 pages

Case: United States of America v. Angevine


Question 1: How did the police find this illegal material?

Professor Angevine’s wife tipped the authorities of her husband’s activities. Officers from the Stillwater, Oklahoma Police Department seized the computer and turned it over to a computer expert who used special technology to retrieve the data that had remained latent in the computer's memory despite Professor Angevine attempt to erase the pornographic files.

Question 2: Did the police obtain a search warrant before conducting this search?

Yes, with the cooperation of Professor Angevine's wife, officers from the Stillwater, ...view middle of the document...


Professor Angevine did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Oklahoma State’s policies clearly indicated that information flowing through the University network was not confidential either in transit or in storage on a University computer.

Under Oklahoma law, all electronic mail messages are presumed to be public records and contain no right of privacy or confidentiality except where Oklahoma or Federal statutes expressly provide for such status. The University reserves the right to inspect electronic mail usage by any person at any time without prior notice as deemed necessary to protect business-related concerns of the University to the full extent not expressly prohibited by applicable statutes. 2002 10CIR 228, 281 F.3d 1130

Question 4: Was the court right? Was Professor Angevine unreasonable in assuming that his university computer was private?

Yes the court was right. Professor Angevine should not have had a reasonable expectation of privacy on his employer’s computer. The university had a computer use policy that prohibited employees from using its computers to "access obscene materials as defined by Oklahoma and federal law." In addition, the court noted that the university posted a "splash screen" so that each time Professor Angevine turned on his computer, a banner stating the computer-use policy appeared. The court held, "Reasonable people in Professor Angevine's employment context would expect University computer policies to constrain their expectations of privacy in the use of University-owned computers." [3]

Question 5: But Professor Angevine erased the material. Couldn’t you argue that he has a reasonable expectation in deleted material?

No, since Professor Angevine did not meet the expectations in determining whether a legitimate expectation of privacy...

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