Electronic Communications/Transmissions

A lawyer may transmit information relating to the representation of a client by unencrypted e-mail sent over the Internet without violating the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility. American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Formal Opinion No. 99-413 (March 10, 1999). American federal law grants to Internet e-mail and other “electronic communications” the same privacy that applies to the Postal Service, commercial mail services, land-line telephone communications and facsimile (”fax”) transmissions. Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-508, 100 Stat. 1848 (1986), amending this Federal Wiretap Statute, 18 U.S.C.A. Sec. 2510 et seq. (1998). This law provides criminal and civil penalties for the unauthorized interception or disclosure of any wire, oral or electronic communication. 18 U.S.C.A. Sec. 2511.

 

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