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Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts

Authors

Duncan Stark

Abstract

In January 2010, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon decided U.S. v. Ahrndt, the first case regarding the reasonable expectation of privacy in a home wireless internet network. The court found that the defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in his unsecured home wireless network because he had openly shared information on a system freely accessible by his neighbors. This Article examines the Ahrndt case and the potential legal effect this issue may have on an individual’s expectation of privacy in his or her wireless network and personal computer files. This Article concludes that although the exact effects of new technologies on search and seizure law have not been fully explored by the courts, people should not expect the courts to consider unencrypted wireless networks to be private.

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