Yahoo is objecting to a Delaware bankruptcy’s order to provide access to one of its email accounts arguing that its compliance would violate the Stored Communications Act. At issue is a Yahoo email account purported to be maintained by a subscriber named Abdullah Rasimov. The Irish Bank Resolution Corp, Ltd., the debtor in the bankruptcy, claims that the Rasimov email account contains information supporting an alleged scheme by former billionaire Sean Quinn and his family to evade payment on $3.8 billion in loans.
After Rasmov failed to respond to an order requiring disclosure of his e-mails, the bankruptcy judge ordered that two IBRC representatives were the actual subscribers of the account. As a result, the Court ordered the emails be disclosed to IBRC.
Yahoo argued that the bankruptcy court’s rulings did not fall within the narrow exceptions of the Stored Communications Act. Additionally, Yahoo contended that the Court’s decision as to the identity of the actual subscribers of the email account did not “in fact” render them the subscribers under the SCA.
The bankruptcy judge did not rule on Yahoo’s arguments presented at the March 1 hearing indicating that he wanted to further research the matter. However, the Court did express some reservation with Yahoo’s position stating that email accounts are routinely transferred in bankruptcy proceedings and he is simply doing so by judicial order.
We will keep you apprised of developments as they arise.
The case is In re: Irish Bank Resolution Corp. Ltd., case number 1:13-bk-12159, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.