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The Founding Fathers Would Have Protected Your Smartphone
June 25, 2014 7:30 AM   Subscribe

The Supreme Court has unanimously reversed (large PDF) the California Court of Appeals in Riley v. California, deciding that police cannot search the contents of a phone without a warrant during an arrest, and that "the fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought."

“A smartphone is our alter ego,” Carney said. It can tell where we have been, what we have been doing and when we did it. “The expectation of privacy is different.”

ABA Journal: Do cops need warrant to search cellphones seized during arrest?
posted by roomthreeseventeen (57 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
*waves tiny American flag* yay 4th amendment!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:36 AM on June 25 [17 favorites]


Now all that time I devoted to figuring out how to wipe my phone during or after an arrest without me or anybody else breaking a law was for naught!
posted by cmchap at 7:38 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Wow. Even a broken clock ...
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:38 AM on June 25 [11 favorites]


You're traveling through another dimension -- a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Twilight Zone!

Seriously, Did I wake up in an alternate reality where the SC is a just and logical institution?
posted by Twain Device at 7:39 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


oh thank goodness, i was worried
posted by likeatoaster at 7:42 AM on June 25


Waiting for the inevitable "NOT!" at the end of the Supreme Court's decision.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:42 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Unanimous. Right on.
posted by Glomar response at 7:42 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


Yay! As if it needed to be spelled out for people. I guess it did. Police steal freedom through violating these rights like the wealthiest steal wealth: push all acceptable norms and take what you can get legally for all definitions of "not flagged as blatantly illegal" and hope that norms and expectations change such that thinking people have honest debates about truly sleazy behavior and actually debate whether you should be able to insure investments you don't own so that you profit when they fail, or if it's OK not to respect privacy with respect to technology because that's like, a new untapped frontier of liberties to fuck over
posted by aydeejones at 7:43 AM on June 25 [10 favorites]


Seriously, Did I wake up in an alternate reality where the SC is a just and logical institution?

Wait until tomorrow or Monday when the Hobby Lobby decision comes out.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:43 AM on June 25 [12 favorites]


First the software patent thing, then this. Why do I feel like the court is buttering us up for something really unspeakably awful coming down the pipe?
posted by enn at 7:44 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


The Supreme Court has a long history of solid decisions regarding privacy and defendant rights. This decision was pretty obvious. Scalia is no friend of the police, in particular.
posted by empath at 7:45 AM on June 25 [8 favorites]


A good decision. The government is seizing the phone. It is like a minicomputer. So a warrant should be needed.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:45 AM on June 25


Seriously, Did I wake up in an alternate reality where the SC is a just and logical institution?

No, they just ruled that Aereo is copyright infringement so they're still clearly in the "make no damn sense on matters related to technology" camp.
posted by Freon at 7:45 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]


Is this retroactive? Do guilty verdicts based on warrantless searches of mobile devices now get pronounced unconstitutional, or does constitutional protection only apply from hereon in?
posted by Devonian at 7:45 AM on June 25


Really law enforcement and Wall Street act like my six year old sometimes. WHEN YOU SAID NO UNREASONABLE SEARCHES YOU DINNT SAY I COULDNT SEARCH TECHMOLOGY

they get all specific when the curtailing is on them. When it's on us the law is wide and varied and open to interpretation
posted by aydeejones at 7:47 AM on June 25 [14 favorites]


From the SCOTUS opinion: "And, at least as to remote wiping, law enforcement currently has some technologies of its own for combatting the loss of evidence."

So... what are those technologies? During the oral argument, the prosecutor talked about faraday bags and "airplane mode" (which the Dreeben argued strongly against, as it may not exist on most phones in the near future), but is there anything else?
posted by cmchap at 7:48 AM on June 25


“Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the privacies of life. The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought. Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant."

This is good.
posted by pinsomniac at 7:49 AM on June 25 [9 favorites]


The Supreme Court has a long history of solid decisions regarding privacy and defendant rights

? There have been some good decisions, yes (often written by Scalia), but let us not forget the recent you-can-strip-search-every-arrestee case, or the automobile exception, or upholding stop-and-frisk, or
posted by likeatoaster at 7:50 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]


> Scalia is no friend of the police, in particular.

What led you to conclude that? Scalia's approval of warrantless searches in cases where "Criminals are stupid"?
posted by at by at 8:00 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Wait until tomorrow or Monday when the Hobby Lobby decision comes out.

And the recess appointment case.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:00 AM on June 25


What led you to conclude that? Scalia's approval of warrantless searches in cases where "Criminals are stupid"?

eg,

"Scalia is often criticized by people who would not be labeled conservative. Liberals don't count his Fourth Amendment cases or the confrontation clause cases. He is one of the most pro-Fourth Amendment judges on the court," [Justice] Ginsburg told the Wall Street Journal last week.
posted by jpe at 8:07 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


During the oral argument, the prosecutor talked about faraday bags and "airplane mode" (which the Dreeben argued strongly against, as it may not exist on most phones in the near future), but is there anything else?
The removable battery is often an option, and the off button is pretty universal.
posted by roystgnr at 8:12 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


9-0! 9-0!
posted by twsf at 8:15 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Another nice quote from the opinion (emphasis added):

We cannot deny that our decision today will have an impact on the ability of law enforcement to combat crime. Cell phones have become important tools in facilitating coordination and communication among members of criminal enterprises, and can provide valuable incriminating information about dangerous criminals. Privacy comes at a cost.
posted by Carmelita Spats at 8:15 AM on June 25 [9 favorites]


A Faraday cage is nothing fancy. Switching a phone fully off and only turning it back on in a wire mesh cage (or - when spending taxpayer money is no problem - a special room with wire mesh embedded in the walls) is not a big deal, and it will prevent most remote wipe protocols.

Now if I were a criminal mastermind I'd go shopping for encryption options that wipe my phone unless they receive coded "stay alive" confirmations at specific intervals...

I still can't believe that we have a rational 9-0 decision. Wow.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:19 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


This decision was not necessarily obvious because it's well established that the police can search objects on your person when they arrest you. Cell phones are now a major exception to that rule.

(Also, my understanding is that the decision will not be retroactive to the vast majority of defendants. But I'm a bit rusty on 4th Amendment retroactivity, so please correct me if I'm mistaken.)
posted by Carmelita Spats at 8:30 AM on June 25


Seems to me that a software deadman's switch wouldn't be impossible to write that would wipe the phone or online accounts. We just need a smarter class of criminal. You could also build a phone that wipes itself if the battery is removed or if it's "turned off".
posted by blue_beetle at 8:36 AM on June 25


No, this would not be held retroactively to any searches made before the decision came out because of the good faith exception. Police officers who are acting legally under the law as the law is understood at the time will not have their evidence kicked out of court.
posted by Inkoate at 8:47 AM on June 25


9-0! 9-0!

So, if I understand the way this works, this decision will be pretty hard to beat on goal-differential. Unless Scalia bit someone again.
posted by yoink at 8:53 AM on June 25 [22 favorites]


Scalia is no friend of the police, in particular.

Does he have any friends?
posted by Naberius at 9:01 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


What about tablets, do those fall under this rule?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:10 AM on June 25


Nice, though I wonder if this applies at the border too. Which I believe has come to extend about 100 miles in-land, right?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:29 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


Does he have any friends?

Business.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:47 AM on June 25


While I approve of this decision and think it was the correct one, the fact that it was unanimous makes me wonder exactly what certain justices have on their cell phones.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:53 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


benito.strauss: I wonder if this applies at the border too. Which I believe has come to extend about 100 miles in-land, right?

Excellent point.

As far as I understand it, (some) legal protections don't apply - especially to non-citizens - at the border because you are requesting the privilege of being (re-)admitted to the country. They can certainly poke through your laptop, for example.

And ICE has claimed a "border enforcement zone" that covers, for example, I-10 between Las Cruces in NM and El Paso in TX, or the I-90 between Buffalo and Rochester in NY.

So if the Border Patrol were to stop you somewhere ... ???
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:13 AM on June 25


While I am very pleased with this decision, I do wonder this, just out of curosity / a desire to understand things:

From a legal standpoint, what is the difference between searching a phone found on one's person during an arrest and searching the contents of a (paper) notebook found on one's person during an arrest?
posted by Juffo-Wup at 11:25 AM on June 25


Nice, though I wonder if this applies at the border too. Which I believe has come to extend about 100 miles in-land, right?

This case concerns searches incident to a lawful arrest, so I'm guessing that it doesn't directly apply to the claimed border-zone powers of the border patrol which, to my knowledge, are claimed to exist pre-arrest or without any arrest at all.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 11:27 AM on June 25


Using the Chimel justifications for warrantless searches as a basis for walking back Robinson's "you can search an arrestee's person and items on their person" bright line rule and requiring a warrant to search a smart phone? Called it back in 2011.

It's great to see SCOTUS continuing a robust approach to the Fourth Amendment it's signaled is necessary in a digital age. Heck, in United States v. Jones, the "you need a warrant to attach a GPS tracker to someone's vehicle" case, you had Sotomayor and Alito (!!!) giving a nod to or outright embracing the "mosaic" theory of the Fourth Amendment, i.e., established precedent says that you don't need a warrant to surveil where someone goes or what they do in public, but in a time of highly-sophisticated, comprehensive surveillance capabilities, "public" information can be combined to form a "mosaic" that, when data mined and analyzed, all sorts of private information, and the Fourth Amendment must protect against such intrusions into privacy. They seem to grok to a surprising extent the privacy concerns of the technological world we're living in.

Regarding whether this decision applies retroactively or not, the answer is yes and no. Yes, it likely applies to cases that aren't "final," i.e., that haven't exhausted their appeals. No, in the sense that the state can just argue under the "good faith" exception to the warrant requirement that law enforcement officers reasonably believed such warrantless searches were lawful prior to this case. Of course, some states with greater privacy protections in their constitutions, like Washington, have outright rejected a "good faith" warrant exception, so that argument is a non-starter in jurisdictions like that.

For cases that are already "final," the decision would be retroactive only if it passed the "test" of Teague v. Lane, which is a joke to call a "test", because nothing has ever passed it and likely never will.
posted by onebadparadigm at 12:44 PM on June 25 [5 favorites]


This is a very good decision, and I am so happy it is unanimous. When the Court speaks with one voice like this, the signals it sends and the public's confidence in the validity of their perspective are unmistakable. It is a shame more opinions cannot be this way. But unfortunately the Court has entangled itself so much in the cultural and policy decisions that the court is fractured and confidence is in the gutter. It is a nice reminder on cases like this when the Court is looking at an apolitical pure constitutional question that the Court can made strong and good law.

(The Court did leave the exigent circumstances exception in place, but made clear that it should be a very limited bounded exception for things like kidnapped children or bombs."
posted by dios at 1:05 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


> This decision was not necessarily obvious because it's well established that the police can search objects on your person when they arrest you. Cell phones are now a major exception to that rule.

onebadparadigm explained it [and see the link to the earlier comment], but a search incident to arrest is supposed to be used for seizing a knife (officer safety issue) or a folder full of papers (destruction of evidence), but that folder full of papers shouldn't be opened and examined until a warrant is issued by the judiciary.
posted by morganw at 1:18 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Yea for the SCOTUS! I wasn't confident they'd get this one right, since technology tends to confuse even bright people's perception of a problem.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:21 PM on June 25


Now all that time I devoted to figuring out how to wipe my phone during or after an arrest without me or anybody else breaking a law was for naught!

Pretty sure the opposite outcome would have led to a plethora of apps to delete content when a specific password was entered ostensibly to unlock the phone. In fact, I'm surprised they don't already exist.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:29 PM on June 25


Gosh, how how very special of them. Why did this have to be adjudicated anyway? The language is VERY clear.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Now if they'd just end stop-and-frisk, and stop SWAT teams from breaking people's doors, shooting 90-year-old ladies dead, and shooting grenades into baby's cribs, the US would start feeling less like Nazi Germany. Phone searches are more pressing? Really? Screw SCOTUS, they don't deserve applause for this.
posted by Twang at 2:32 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


For cases that are already "final," the decision would be retroactive only if it passed the "test" of Teague v. Lane, which is a joke to call a "test", because nothing has ever passed it and likely never will.

Wouldn't these cases fall under Stone v. Powell rather than Teague v. Lane?
posted by Carmelita Spats at 2:47 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't these cases fall under Stone v. Powell rather than Teague v. Lane?

Totally right, my bad. I always forget SCOTUS at least extends the courtesy of expressly telling you "NOPE" re: raising Fourth Amendment claims on federal collateral review rather than offering illusory hope under Teague.
posted by onebadparadigm at 3:22 PM on June 25


The Supreme Court has a long history of solid decisions regarding privacy and defendant rights. This decision was pretty obvious.

Do you really think it's been "obvious" that the Supreme Court wouldn't apply its holding from US v. Robinson to a search of a cell phone taken from someone who's been arrested? The Robinson decision said:
A custodial arrest of a suspect based on probable cause is a reasonable intrusion under the Fourth Amendment; that intrusion being lawful, a search incident to the arrest requires no additional justification. It is the fact of the lawful arrest which establishes the authority to search, and we hold that in the case of a lawful custodial arrest a full search of the person is not only an exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment, but is also a 'reasonable' search under that Amendment.
If you think it's "obvious" that Robinson didn't pose an enormous hurdle to the defendants who won in today's decision, I'd suggest this is 20/20 hindsight.

The court noted today that more searches are conducted pursuant to the exception to the warrant requirement ("search incident to a lawful arrest") than are conducted pursuant to a warrant!
posted by John Cohen at 3:30 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Gosh, how how very special of them. Why did this have to be adjudicated anyway? The language is VERY clear.

Actually, as was pointed out in oral argument, the plain text of the 4th Amendment doesn't explicitly say that there's a warrant requirement for all searches and seizures. It just says searches and seizures can't be "unreasonable" (whatever that means), and gives requirements for issuing a warrant (whenever one is needed).

I'm sorry you're frustrated that constitutional issues needed to be "adjudicated" rather than the right answers magically occurring to everyone, but the only reason we can even confidently say there's a general warrant requirement (subject to numerous exceptions, of course) is that the Supreme Court has interpreted the 4th Amendment that way. You seem to have subscribed to this mythical notion (generally more popular on the right than on left-leaning websites like Metafilter) that the text of the Constitution is so clear that the words should simply apply themselves, rather than being interpreted by real live human beings.
posted by John Cohen at 3:42 PM on June 25 [5 favorites]


And as to the comment that the Supreme Court doesn't "deserve applause for this" because other branches of government are still doing a lot of bad stuff ... well, I don't know if you know how the certiorari process works. There's a limit to the number of cases the court can decide — generally less than 100 a year. Out of all the decisions being made by state and federal courts, there's no way the Supreme Court will even come close to correcting all or even most of the legal errors going on in this country. The Supreme Court is 9 people tasked with making decisions for a country of more than 300 million. You and I may both wish the Supreme Court could simply decide to make everything all better. But that's never going to happen.

It's always going to happen, routinely, that the government infringes on people's liberties and ruins people's lives, with impunity. That's what government does. Government can also make our lives better, and sometimes government makes smart decisions, like the Supreme Court's decision today. But making decisions like this isn't easy. It is easy for us internet commenters to react by logging on and typing out comments saying: well, duh! But today's landmark decision couldn't have happened without years of painstaking effort by a lot of people (far more than 9 of them). The life-ruining or liberty-infringing acts of government happen much more easily, quickly, efficiently.
posted by John Cohen at 3:57 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


What led you to conclude that? Scalia's approval of warrantless searches in cases where "Criminals are stupid"?

I don't see how that comment even makes sense. Wasn't his reference to "stupid" criminals intended to be an argument in favor of more stringent requirements on police? You might not like the tone of what he said...
posted by John Cohen at 6:53 PM on June 25


in another unanimous decision, with a lot less to cheer about, the buffer zone for protestors at abortion clinics has been struck down on free speech grounds.
posted by nadawi at 8:07 AM on June 26


in another unanimous decision, with a lot less to cheer about, the buffer zone for protestors at abortion clinics has been struck down on free speech grounds.

Ugh. I heard that on the radio this morning on my drive in. Although I understand the 1st amendment argument, I'm troubled by the rights of those seeking medical care confidentially. It's not up to SCOTUS to provide remedies, but did anyone see anything in the decision that addressed this competing, but less fundamental right?
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:38 AM on June 26


The abortion case was unanimous in judgment (that is, that the statute was unconstitutional) but was very contentiously 5-4 in reasoning. Scalia wrote an especially hostile concurrence (even for him) belittling the majority for creating a separate First Amendment that applies only to abortion. The dispute is over whether or not the Commonwealth's ordinance was content-neutral or not, and if so, would it survive strict scrutiny.

I understand that most people just care about the result, but here you see a really interesting dispute over how that result is obtained from a constitutional analysis. Literally the dispute is over whether you need to answer the question of whether the a restriction of is "content-based" or "content-neutral" and would violate a higher standard when it would be unconstitutional under a lower standard. And having decided to address whether it is content neutral, they get in a spat over whether it is or isn't---a fight that they don't need to be having.

Here I fault the Chief Justice. This is a really interesting but rather ugly spat to be having. It looks like a true unanimous result could have obtained without any of this bickering. But the majority wanted to go beyond the narrowest possible result and picked a fight that set the hot-headed Scalia off in a tizzy and resulted in a 5-4 split when they agree as to result. This is where the Chief should have come in and worked the rooms to deliver a unanimous majority opinion.
posted by dios at 9:06 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Although I understand the 1st amendment argument, I'm troubled by the rights of those seeking medical care confidentially. It's not up to SCOTUS to provide remedies, but did anyone see anything in the decision that addressed this competing, but less fundamental right?

Uh, that's pretty much what the whole opinion is about. So, yeah. I saw something about it. About 30 pages of analysis about the competing interests. Balancing competing interests is pretty much what First Amendment analysis is about. If there was not a concern for the competing interest and there was just a naked restriction on speech rights, it would not have made it to the Supreme Court.
posted by dios at 9:34 AM on June 26


I'm troubled by the rights of those seeking medical care confidentially. It's not up to SCOTUS to provide remedies, but did anyone see anything in the decision that addressed this competing, but less fundamental right?

The opinion of the court makes several references to the rights of those seeking medical care, but never to their confidentiality or privacy, as far as I can tell.

It is important to note that the stated goal of the buffer zone laws was not to protect the privacy of the people going to abortion clinics. The stated purpose of the laws was to create an easily enforceable way to keep the sidewalks clear of obstruction so that the public could move freely along the street.

With that in mind, the privacy of the pregnant women was not the question at hand, instead the SCOTUS was asked to decide whether the states had used the least restrictive means possible to achieve their goal of keeping the sidewalks clear. According to the SCOTUS, the states in the case already had laws that would, if enforced, keep the sidewalks clear, or they could create laws that would not limit the speech of the petitioners as much as a blanket buffer zone for all abortion clinics at all times.

From the opinion:
"The Commonwealth [of Massachusetts] also asserts an interest in prevent­ing congestion in front of abortion clinics. According to respondents, even when individuals do not deliberately obstruct access to clinics, they can inadvertently do so simply by gathering in large numbers. But the Common­wealth could address that problem through more targeted means. Some localities, for example, have ordinances that require crowds blocking a clinic entrance to disperse when ordered to do so by the police, and that forbid the individ­uals to reassemble within a certain distance of the clinic for a certain period...For a problem shown to arise only once a week in one city at one clinic, creating 35-foot buffer zones at every clinic across the Common­wealth is hardly a narrowly tailored solution.
"The point is not that Massachusetts must enact all or even any of the proposed measures discussed above. The point is instead that the Commonwealth has available to it a variety of approaches that appear capable of serving its interests, without excluding individuals from areas histor­ically open for speech and debate. "
(p.26-27)

So the court thinks that Massachusetts could have had come up with a less restrictive law because making a law "easily enforceable" is not the goal, protection of the liberties of the people is:
"To meet the [First Amendment's] requirement of narrow tailoring, the government must demonstrate that alterna­tive measures that burden substantially less speech would fail to achieve the government’s interests, not simply that the chosen route is easier." (p.28)

It is put most simply in the summary of the Opinion on pg.30:
"Petitioners wish to converse with their fellow citizens about an important subject on the public streets and sidewalks—sites that have hosted discussions about the issues of the day throughout history. Respondents assert undeniably significant interests in maintaining public safety on those same streets and sidewalks, as well as in preserving access to adjacent healthcare facilities. But here the Commonwealth has pursued those interests by the extreme step of closing a substantial portion of a tradi­tional public forum to all speakers. It has done so without seriously addressing the problem through alternatives that leave the forum open for its time-honored purposes. The Commonwealth may not do that consistent with the First Amendment."

I'm not claiming if it's right or wrong, I'm just claiming that the question at hand did not involve the privacy of those seeking medical care.
posted by cmchap at 9:42 AM on June 26


dios: This is where the Chief should have come in and worked the rooms to deliver a unanimous majority opinion.

For what purpose? Keeping up appearances? Everyone knows the Court is split ideologically. Even assuming justices were willing to compromise to get more unanimity, why should we want them to?

We send them there to rule based on how they interpret the Constitution. If they can't be convinced by their colleagues through the normal deliberation that goes on, I don't see any reason we should want the Chief Justice to twist arms and whip votes just to get outcomes that make them look like they agree more than they really do.

In fact, the worst possible outcome would be the kind of horse-trading that goes on in Congress, and that's pretty much what this kind of "work[ing] the rooms" would end up being in practice. "Sure, I'll give you the ninth vote on the buffer zones if you give me the fifth for Hobby Lobby. Anthony Kennedy may as well change his name to Ben Nelson at that point.

I know that there is a tradition in the Court of preferring more unanimous votes, but I don't see why we should see that as desirable. If there's conflict, let's see it out in the open (relatively speaking.)
posted by tonycpsu at 4:42 PM on June 26


Thanks for your detailed, thoughtful, and thorough response, cmchap! That's exactly what I was curious about.

To the meat of the ruling, I think the decision doesn't reflect an accurate understanding of the challenges faced by a municipality when the anti-choice protesters come day after day and each time a policeman has to show up and ask them to move off the sidewalk and not to interfere with those coming and going. I've seen this at a clinic in my neck of the woods.

Sure, if it were just individual, occasional behavior, then existing laws would work to do that without undue burden on the rest of the public. But when it is an organized action, taken almost constantly, then I think it is a reasonable, measured, minimal response to set these hassle-free zones. Just my humble, ineffectual opinion.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:10 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Relatedly -- Forced to Hand Over Data, Facebook Files Appeal:
Facebook argues that Manhattan prosecutors last summer violated the constitutional right of its users to be free of unreasonable searches by demanding nearly complete account data on 381 people, ranging from pages they had liked to photos and private messages.

When the social networking company fought the data demands, a New York judge ruled that Facebook had no standing to contest the search warrants since it was simply an online repository of data, not a target of the criminal investigation. To protect the secrecy of the investigation, the judge also barred the company from informing the affected users, a decision that prevented the individuals from fighting the data requests themselves.
And that's precisely what Facebook is now appealing.

(I'm trying to figure out what is their angle in this, since I refuse to believe that FB has any real interest in protecting its user's privacy, but there you have it.)
posted by Westringia F. at 4:25 PM on June 28


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