Privacy Protection Act Of 1988

The Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (PPA) limits the right of government agents to search for or seize documents that are related to the dissemination of information to the public even if they have a valid search warrant. This statute has had critical importance in the use of electronic press, because law enforcement officials have had very broad powers in the evidentiary investigations of suspected computer crimes.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What is the difference between requiring a subpoena to be issued versus a warrant?
Are there any limitations to the “subpoena” rule?
Does the PPA extend to protect the use of computer bulletin boards and online systems?


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