But the article also says that Shurtleff's office used Department of Homeland Security summonses -- yes, Homeland Security -- to get information about this woman. According to the article,
(Don't worry, Other Unnamed Student. Your Constitutional rights may have been disregarded when your private internet records were obtained, but at least you were, too.)
Shurtleff’s investigators served 10 U.S. Department of Homeland Security summons on various information networks, including Yahoo! and MSN, along with Weber State University. The summons were issued at the end of 2006 and early 2007 to secure the Internet and scholastic records of Guyon and another student suspect later disregarded.
Opponents of Homeland Security rules -- which bypass basic Fourth Amendment rights -- have argued for years that they could be abused by law enforcement using them in cases having nothing to do with Homeland Security. If the article is correct, this sounds like Exhibit A. Meanwhile, though, we keep getting Viagra e-mails in spite of our spam filters. Can we borrow a couple of those Homeland Security summonses?
The summonses state they are “to determine the liability for duties, taxes, fines, penalties or forfeitures and/or to ensure compliance with the laws or regulations administered by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.” No reference to stalking or e-mail harassment appears. Summons recipients are instructed not to disclose the existence of the demands. Failure to comply with them, they are warned, will result in "proceedings in a U.S. District Court.”
In addition, one of these U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement summons to Qwest Communications also cited “a matter involving the sexual exploitation of a minor.” Several summons for member information faxed to MSN and Excite Network also referred to “Child sexual exploitation investigation.”