Northern District of Ohio invokes third-party doctrine, permitting administrative subpoena for internet service provider subscriber information

A federal agent viewing a peer to peer network discovered a user from a specific IP address asking for child pornography. The agent discovered that the IP address is registered to a specific Internet Service Provider. This led to an administrative subpoena issued to that provider for subscriber information, followed by the issuance of a search warrant for the defendant’s computers once he was identified by the subscriber information provided.

The Defendant claimed in his motion to suppress that a warrant was required for the administrative subpoena. The Court disagreed, invoking the third-party doctrine and stating that Carpenter did not change the Fourth Amendment analysis for these kinds of records.

The case is United States v. Popa, 369 F. Supp. 3d 833, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31350, 2019 WL 950259 N.D. OH (February 27, 2019).

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