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employer's monitoring efforts. U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 4.
*1139 David F. Ness, Assistant Federal Defender, Great Falls, MT, argued the cause for
the defendant-appellant. Anthony R. Gallagher, Federal Defender, District of Montana,
was on the briefs.
Marcia Hurd, Assistant United States Attorney, Billings, MT, argued the cause for the
plaintiff-appellee. William W. Mercer, United States Attorney, District of Montana, was
on the brief.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Montana; Richard F.
Cebull, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CR-03-00008-RFC.
Before: O'SCANNLAIN, SILVERMAN, and GOULD, Circuit Judges. 78 O'SCANNLAIN, Circuit Judge:
We must determine whether an employee has an expectation of privacy in his workplace
computer sufficient to suppress images of child pornography sought to be admitted into
evidence in a criminal prosecution.
Frontline Processing ("Frontline"), a company that services Internet merchants by
processing on-line electronic payments, is located in Bozeman, Montana. [FN1] On
January 30, 2001, Anthony Cochenour, the owner of Frontline's Internet-service provider
and the fiancé of a Frontline employee, contacted Special Agent James A. Kennedy, Jr. of
the FBI with a tip that a Frontline employee had accessed child-pornographic websites
from a workplace computer.
FN1. Although the district court referred to the company as "Front Line," we use the
single-word formulation which more frequently appears in the record.
Agent Kennedy pursued the report that day, first contacting Frontline's Internet
Technology ("IT") Administrator, John Softich. One of Softich's duties at Frontline was
to monitor employee use of the workplace computers including their Internet access. He
informed Kennedy that the company had in place a firewall, which *1140 permitted
constant monitoring of the employees' Internet activities. [FN2]
FN2. A firewall is a piece of "computer hardware or software that prevents unauthorized
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.
- Spring '08