Judicial Battles Over Criminal Subpoenas for Online Data

September 10, 2014

The amount of electronically stored information (ESI) in the digital universe is staggering and increasing exponentially. Much of this data is personal. According to IBM, every day, people globally send 294 billion emails, publish 230 million Tweets, and upload 100 terabytes of data to Facebook. These statistics account for a small fraction of online ESI, which can include purchase invoices, travel itineraries, contact lists, private correspondence, photographs, calendar appointments, tax documents, medical information, and so on. A collection of such digital information provides an archive of an individual’s personal life—more detailed, reliable, and intimate than the most meticulously maintained diary or scrapbook. This phenomenon is equally true in the business world. The average American office worker creates 1.8 million megabytes of ESI each year, and more companies are considering moving their enterprise data into cloud storage to manage this growth.

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