SANS Digital Forensics and Incident Response Blog: Daily Archives: Dec 22, 2008

Annoucning: SANS WhatWorks Summit in Forensics and Incident Response 2009

SANS WhatWorks Summit in Forensics and Incident ResponseForensic and Incident Response Summit 2009


Summit: July 6-7, 2009

Searches and the US 4th Amendment

In much of the common law world (including the USA, UK, Canada, NZ and Australia), law enforcement needs to obtain a legal authorization in order to search and seize evidence. Generally, this power is granted through a request for a search warrant which states the grounds for the application including the law which has been broken. In the United States and the United Kingdom the requirements further require that the application describes the specific premises to be searched as well as the items being sought.

In the US, the Fourth Amendment and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) determine the lawfulness of a search. The Fourth Amendment only applies to government searches (such as those conducted by law enforcement officials). The ECPA applies to everyone (whether government or private) and