CFAA Case References

CFAA: Plain View Doctrine

Applying the Plain
View Doctrine to the
Computer Context:

The plain view doctrine operates as
an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s
warrant requirement, allowing an officer
to seize and/or use evidence outside of
the scope of the warrant if (1) the officer
was lawfully in the place where the
object was seen; (2) the object was in
plain view; (3) the object’s incriminating
nature was immediately apparent,
meaning the officer had probable cause
to believe the object was contraband or
evidence of a crime:” and (4) the officer
had a lawful right of access to the object
itself. 54 The initial application of the
plain view doctrine contemplated a situation
in which the contraband was in
“open, obvious view.?”


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