In the eyes of the law, is an iMessage a text or an email?

By Aaron Souppouris
The Verge

Over recent years a multitude of text services have attempted to replace text messaging and phone calls, from iMessage, Facebook chat, and BBM to Skype, Google Voice and WhatsApp. The law doesn’t see iMessage and text messaging as equal, however: while a party could retrieve the details of who you’ve been texting with a subpoena, iMessage is afforded the same privacy protections as email — a court order is required to discover the details. The American Civil Liberties Union argues reveals that, despite the protections the law seems to provide, subpoenas are being issued for digital communications like Google Voice. The union says because most messages and calls travel over the same networks the law needs to be reworked to afford all communications the same privacy.

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