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June 17, 2010
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Supreme Court backs department that read cop's sexual texts

Decision potentially opens way for employers to see information stored on government- or company-issued equipment

Warren Richey
The Christian Science Monitor

WASHINGTON, DC — Officials in Ontario, Calif. did not violate the privacy rights of a police sergeant when they audited transcripts of his department-issued pager and discovered sexually-explicit messages to and from his girlfriend, the US Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

In a unanimous decision, the high court said that even if police Sgt. Jeff Quon had an expectation that his pager messages would remain private, a police department audit of his messages was nonetheless reasonable.

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“Because the search was motivated by a legitimate work-related purpose, and because it was not excessive in scope, the search was reasonable,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court.

Read more on the Christian Science Monitor.



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