In criminal investigation when hours may mean the difference between successful resolution of a case or not, law enforcement must have an effective method of obtaining necessary information. The author offers an overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and proceeds in a presentation of cybercrime investigations. The article further examines the differences and the occasional conflict existing between the federal and state law, traced into the variety and multitude of state and local laws and procedures regulating the obtaining of information but also into lack of state and local resources. Indeed state and local laws not only differ to the ECPA provisions but they also from state to state. In this context the author addresses methods available to compel production of information from the ISPs and discusses approaches to resolve the confusion and facilitate the discovery of ISP records for state and local law enforcement.
Monique Mattei Ferraro, The States and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act: The Need for Legal Processes That Keep Up With the Times, 22 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 695 (2004)