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Apr 19, 2013

Tester demands IRS stop illegally obtaining Americans’ emails

Senator says IRS policy violates the Constitution

BIG SANDY, Mont.) - Senator Jon Tester is demanding that the IRS stop gathering Americans' personal emails without a warrant - a violation of their constitutional rights.

Tester takes issue with existing IRS policy that says the agency has the authority to obtain some private electronic communications without having to obtain a warrant. He told IRS Commissioner Steven Miller that the IRS's policy is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment that prohibits unreasonable search and seizure.

"Today, millions of Americans use the Internet for all facets of life," Tester wrote Miller. "It defies common sense that some emails should receive fewer legal protections than a letter filed in a drawer. We urge the IRS to provide further details and a timetable to update policies to adhere to Americans' constitutional rights."

Miller recently told a Senate committee that the IRS is updating its policies to abide by a recent court ruling. But Tester argued that the Internal Revenue Manual still states that a warrant is not required for emails older than 180 days.

Tester, a strong advocate for Montanans' civil liberties, has repeatedly voted against the PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that expands the government's ability to spy on law-abiding Americans.

Tester’s letter to IRS Commissioner Miller by les_braswell5524

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


208 North Montana Avenue
Suite 104
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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