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Privacy of Government Workers Limited by High Court
|Last Edited||RP Jun 17, 2010 01:43pm|
|News Date||Thursday, June 17, 2010 06:40:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||The U.S. Supreme Court, putting limits on the privacy rights of government workers, ruled that a California police department acted reasonably when it reviewed personal text messages on an officer’s government-issued pager. |
The justices today unanimously rejected arguments by SWAT team member Jeff Quon that the city of Ontario violated his rights under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable government searches.
The city obtained a transcript of Quon’s messages during an investigation to determine whether officers were using their pagers for personal messages. The transcripts showed that Quon had been exchanging sexually explicit messages with his wife, his girlfriend and another SWAT team member.
“Quon could have anticipated that it might be necessary for the city to audit pager messages to assess the SWAT team’s performance in particular emergency situations,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court.