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Facebook fighting court order over granting access to law enforcement

July 17, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Facebook fighting court order over granting access to law enforcement

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Facebook is currently trying to fight a court order that prevents the social media mega house from letting users know when police request to search their information, particularly their comments and political affiliations.

Major tech companies and civil liberties organizations have joined Facebook in the case, which is similar to the legal issues throughout the U.S. from technology businesses that oppose how the government attempts access to internet data in emails or social media accounts during investigations.

According to the Washington Post, Facebook is claiming in the D.C. Court of Appeals that the order infringes First Amendment protections of the company and its users.

Facebook is fighting a court order granting secret government access to accounts

Many documents in the case have been sealed, and hearings have been closed to the public.

The timing of the probe and references in court documents that have been released indicate that the search warrants were related to demonstrations during President Trump’s inauguration when over 200 people were charged with rioting.

The warrants at the center of the investigation sought “all contents of communications, identifying information, and other records” and name three accounts for a three-month duration in each request.

In April, a D.C. Superior Court judge rejected Facebook’s request to stop the gag order and ordered the company to turn over the documents covered by the search warrants to authorities. Facebook appealed, and the court permitted the company to share some details of the sealed case to obtain legal support for its cause from other organizations.

In the last half of 2016, Facebook reported roughly 41,000 requests for data from the government and said it provided information in 83% of those cases.

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