The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Wiretap Act, a law designed to prevent unauthorized eavesdropping, doesn't protect e-mail stored on ISP and e-mail provider servers.

The decision comes after a criminal wiretap charge was brought against Bradford Councilman, VP of Interloc. Interloc provided e-mail to book dealers who were its customers, and frequently scanned e-mails that bore in the sender portion.

"We believe that the language of the (wiretap) statute makes clear that Congress meant to give lesser protection to electronic communications than wire and oral communications," appeals Judge Jaun R. Torruella wrote.