Facebook and other tech industies appeal the bulk search warrants
Facebook says the bulk search warrant process is illegal, A higher court says that Google, Facebook and the ACLU among others can go against the order. It,s old news that the government can Access Facebook and other social networks’ private information, but what procedures they must undertake is still under scrutiny, can they demand bulk information like this at their whim and do these networks have a right to protect their users’ information?
Its the time now that things are made clearer. Five jusdges from a court in New York finally agreed to hear a case regarding the forcing of Facebook to turno ver secret information of about 381 accounts all at once. This was called the bulk warrant process. Also the judges also gave other companies and organisations such as Google and Kickstarter to be involved in the proceedings.
The case is about this in summary; hundreds of New York employees were receiving disability payments when they obviously did not have any disabilities. These people claiming to be disabled had photos up on Facebook of them scuba diving and jogging etc.
The maint point in focus is what the government is or is not allowed to do regarding the obtaining of secret information such as is on Facebook. While the prosecutors of New York say they need to obtain this information in a way that will not open way to the defendants deleting it, others argue that this kind of procedure invades all laws on the privacy of information.
For Facebook and other tech companies, the problem in focus is not just about the topic of search warrants, it is about whether these companies can speak up about their users and provide their secret information. This issue is important because many demands of search warrants come with orders that prevent companies from saying a word to their users regarding that an investigation is even going on.
Justice Melissa C. Jackson,who issued these search warrants in July, says Facebook has no right to say anything because it is just quite simply holding the information of their users. A similar case occurred last year involving company Twitter.
It can be sensed from the actions of the court judges of the five appeals that they want to pay closer attention to the issues of warrants and the gag orders.
This granting of the appeal comes at a time when the Supreme Court has expressed a new concern for privacy. This is most notable in a 9-0 decision this summer that said police must get a warrant before they are allowed to be searching a cell phone. In the meantime, Apple caused quite a bit of controversy this month by saying that it will no longer provide this type of secret information to police concerning its users.
The complete list of organizations who were allowed to participate in the Facebook appeal are: Microsoft,Google, Dropbox, Yelp, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Meetup,Twitter, Tumblr, the New York Civil Liberties Union and American Civil Liberties Union.