Northern District of Georgia decides computer Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses are not covered by Carpenter.

In this case, the Defendant made a motion to suppress asking that all evidence derived from the execution of search warrants be suppressed based on the argument that the factual bases for the warrant was illegally obtained via a subpoena/summons rather than by a warrant supported by probable cause.

Law enforcement issued summons to Kik, Comcast, and Sprint where law enforcement obtained Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses, user names, dates and times the accounts were used, and other information.

The Defendant argued that law enforcement, based on Carpenter, required a warrant to obtain these records. He argued that an IP address is akin to historical cell site records.

The Court denied the motion, deciding that IP addresses are not like historical cell site location information, citing United States v. Monroe, 350 F. Supp. 3d 43, 2018 WL 5717367, (D.R.I. 2018);. United States v. Tolbert, 326 F. Supp. 3d 1211, 1225 (D.N.M. 2018). These records were therefore covered by the third party doctrine as these records were more like the telephone and bank records covered in Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 99 S. Ct. 2577, 61 L. Ed. 2d 220 (1979) and United States v. Miller, 425 U.S. 435, 96 S. Ct. 1619, 48 L. Ed. 2d 71 (1976).

In the alternative, the Court invoked the good faith exception. It states that, shortly after the Carpenter decision was issued, the Eleventh Circuit had ruled that good faith should apply, citing United States v. Joyner, 899 F. 3d 1199, (11th Cir. 2018) (See September 10 blog post).

The case is United States v. Jenkins, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63344, (N.D. Ga.) February 5, 2019.

Related Posts
  • Fighting Google Keyword Warrants Read More
  • Three new cases coming up that will affect Carpenter litigation, all in Massachusetts. Read More
  • Middle District of Tennessee holds Iphones in plain view can be seized during a lawful arrest or encounter. Read More