How do you like that for a combination blog title? First, Facebook. It has to do with a fourth amendment argument versus government access. Plus, a bit of a fraud argument sprinkled in.
From the NY Times comes the story of Facebook fighting for its members… and for itself! Facebook is contesting subpoenas and search warrants issued by the Manhattan District Attorneys’ office that are seeking Facebook information regarding 381 people. Prosecutors are claiming that some police officers, fire fighters and other government workers are currently receiving disability benefits without really being disabled.
The Prosecutors claim that Facebook entries from the individuals will show that they are not truly disabled, based on activities discussed and pictures included in the individual accounts. Facebook initially lost in the lower level court, in the fight to keep from producing the account information. Now, they have appealed. The case places the argument of Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches by the government, against the needs of prosecutors to seek evidence from digital sources where people normally store their most sensitive data.
Clearly, Facebook does not want to have its members feel like personal information can be legally “taken”. That might cause members to stop using the service. As a possible reference, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled 9-0 that cellphone information was so vial to people’s lives that police could not just enter someone’s house and take their cellphone without a warrant. Maybe such concerns of privacy will apply to Facebook’s argument.
DID YOU KNOW that there are reportedly 18.6 million vacant homes in the U.S. and 3.1 homeless people.
And now for Batman pic o’ day: