After all, as von Lohmann points out, VoIP companies preserve phone conversations in RAM for a few brief seconds. One could easily imagine a plaintiff arguing that a VoIP company should start keeping audio files of all the phone calls between two parties to a case, since those audio files should have existed before. As a result, the plaintiff will have access to everything those parties say to each other after the lawsuit has been brought. Unfair? You bet. Legal? According to Judge Chooljian, yes.
If you're worried about government-issued wiretap orders, maybe it's time to start worrying about Hollywood-issued ones too. *
Annalee Newitz is a surly media nerd who has a hell of a lot of information about you stored in her short-term memory.