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Appeals court to reconsider e-mail snoop case

Order reinstates charges against a former executive for Amazon.com accused of snooping on clients' e-mail messages.

A federal appeals court said Tuesday that it will reconsider its June 29 decision that dismissed a case against a man accused of snooping on clients' e-mail messages. In that case, which has drawn fire from Capitol Hill, a three-judge panel said that Bradford Councilman, a former executive for an online bookseller, did not violate federal wiretap laws by allegedly snooping on e-mail that Amazon.com sent to customers through accounts Councilman provided.

The U.S. Justice Department had asked the full 1st Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case. Tuesday's order reinstated the charges against Councilman and scheduled oral arguments for Dec. 8 in Boston.