The expansion of computers in American society has led to new developments in Fourth Amendment doctrine. Just like every other American, criminals use computers, which requires law enforcement to search and seize computers. Frequently, an executing officer inadvertently discovers computer files with illegal content that are outside the scope of the original warrant. Reasoning that traditional Fourth Amendment doctrine does not provide sufficient protection in a digital age, two federal circuits have crafted alternative approaches that deviate from it. However, the Seventh Circuit, in United States v. Mann, has continued to apply the traditional principles of Fourth Amendment doctrine by reasoning that the plain view doctrine, the particularity requirement, and a reasonableness standard should be allowed to evolve and expand into the world of digital evidence.
Scott D. Blake,
Let's Be Reasonable: Fourth Amendment Principles in the Digital Age,
Seventh Circuit Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/seventhcircuitreview/vol5/iss2/7