Amended Opinion in Forrester:
Good news for those following United States v. Forrester, the computer pen-register case; the Court very helpfully amended the opinion today to clarify that the surveillance program was installed at the ISP's connection facility rather than on the individual's personal machine. That's very good to know, for reasons I explained here. I think the opinion is clearly correct in light of it.

  I trust some readers are thinking that even if the court's decision is correct as a matter of Fourth Amendment law, the result is still troubling as a matter of policy. Pen register orders are very easy to get, and non-content Internet surveillance can be quite invasive. I think that's basically right, which is why I think the Pen Register statute needs to be amended. As I argued in this article, I think the standard for an Internet pen register order should be a showing of "specific and articulable facts" rather than a mere certification of relevance. In traditional Fourth Amendment terms, Congress should use a Terry stop standard rather than a subpoena standard. That's a question for Congress, not the courts, but I hope the Forrester case helps bring attention to the need for statutory reform.