The FBI received a tip that an employee of an IT company was accessing child pornography from his…

The FBI received a tip that an employee of an IT company was accessing child pornography from his workplace computer. When approached by the FBI, the company confirmed that the employee had regularly visited the Web sites. Company officials entered the employee’s office in the evening and made copies of the contents of his computer’s hard drive. All of the computers in the workplace were the property of the employer, and the employer was able to monitor all employees’ Internet activity. When they were hired, employees were told that their computer use was subject to monitoring and that computers should not be used for personal business. The employee was the only user of the office, and it was kept locked. A password created by the employee was needed to use the computer. After the employee was arrested and charged with crimes, he argued that the FBI had violated his constitutional rights by searching his computer without a warrant. Did this employee have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of his workplace computer? Did the government violate his constitutional rights by conducting an illegal search?

 

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