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Yahoo complies with court order, releases e-mail of deceased Marine

[JURIST] One day after a Michigan probate court ordered Yahoo! [portal entry] to release the contents of an e-mail account belonging to deceased Marine Justin Ellsworth [memorial website], the company complied Thursday by delivering a CD of the private documents to Ellsworth's father, John Ellsworth. The case highlighted a conflict between the privacy policies [Yahoo terms] of Internet Service Providers and the property interests of an estate, specifically raising the question of whether e-mail account information should be treated like other possessions of the deceased's estate. Although Yahoo stated it will not alter its policy of withholding account information from surviving family members until a court order issues, the company reportedly responded quickly to John Ellsworth's request once the court ruled. Justin Ellsworth was killed by a roadside bomb [Detroit Free Press report] near Fallujah, Iraq last November. CNET has more information.

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