Category Archives: Social media warrants

E.D.Cal.: Contraband cell phone in prison can be wiretapped outside of Title III

Because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in a prison or in a cell phone in prison, a contraband cell phone can be wiretapped without a Title III warrant. United States v. Bash, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180680 (E.D. … Continue reading

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D.D.C.: No REP in Facebook posting tracking information

There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in the “tracking information” of underlying data in one’s social media accounts or time and location information of postings. Moreover, Facebook post tracking information is more voluntary and not fulltime tracking like CSLI … Continue reading

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N.D.Ga.: Former AUSA as USMJ not automatically recused from hearing motion to suppress

The USMJ hearing the motion to suppress in this case was earlier an AUSA in the office prosecuting it. She had nothing to do with this case, so recusal is not required. (“Neutral and detached” never mentioned.) United States v. … Continue reading

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E.D.Va.: Drug paraphernalia was in plain view before flashlight put through window

Drug paraphernalia seen from outside the vehicle before sticking a flashlight in the window was a valid plain view. United States v. Johnson, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149401 (E.D. Va. Aug. 19, 2022).* There was probable cause for plaintiff’s prosecution, … Continue reading

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W.D.Mo.: SW for the entirety of def’s Instagram account was not a general search

The warrant for the entirety of defendant’s Instagram account was not a general search. United States v. Smith, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147892 (W.D. Mo. Aug. 18, 2022). Seeing a handgun protruding from defendant’ waistband as he walked down the … Continue reading

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D.Md.: Cell phone dump on a SW wasn’t shown to be overbroad

A cell phone dump after a search warrant wasn’t necessarily overbroad, and didn’t show it. “More particularity was impractical, and was not required.” United States v. Nelson, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125994 (D. Md. July 15, 2022). Officers who used … Continue reading

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W.D.Wis.: No REP in one’s Facebook posts, even when accessed by a “ghost” account

A law enforcement officer’s creation of a ghost Facebook account to access defendant’s private pages violated no reasonable expectation of privacy. United States v. Randall, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122615 (W.D. Wis. July 12, 2022), and more elaborate than I … Continue reading

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D.Md.: Facebook subject to search because of interactions there with co-conspirator

Defendant’s Facebook page was subject to being searched because there were interactions on it with a coconspirator, and that showed probable cause. United States v. Daprato, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78626 (D.Md. May 2, 2022).* “Frey’s motion to suppress evidence … Continue reading

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D.Mont.: Burden on def to show extent of privacy interest in Instagram account

Defendant had the burden to show the extent of his privacy interest in his Instagram account. Were the parts to be evidence obtained from the private or public parts? He doesn’t show. The Terms of Service would limit it in … Continue reading

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Bloomberg: Facebook Data Release to Cops Evades 4A Limits Deep Dive

Bloomberg: Facebook Data Release to Cops Evades Fourth Amendment Limits Deep Dive by Jake Holland (“A Ninth Circuit ruling that allows tech companies to turn over an individual’s online account data to law enforcement for preservation without violating the Fourth … Continue reading

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NJ: Facebook searches require SWs, not intercept orders

A communication data warrant requires probable cause. Facebook’s data in hand is not “intercepted” for wiretapping purposes. Facebook, Inc. v. State, 2022 N.J. Super. LEXIS 40 (Apr. 4, 2022):

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DC: Facebook has no right to a SW instead of subpoena for subscriber information on an account

A civil investigative subpoena to Facebook for information about posters of Covid misinformation was not unreasonable. n.3: “Meta suggests that the Fourth Amendment requires the District to obtain a search warrant to get this information. … One sufficient response is … Continue reading

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D.Kan.: No REP in Twitter account it closed for violation of TOS for child porn

Twitter deactivated defendant’s account for violation of its terms of service and reported him to NCMEC. Defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the files Twitter had preserved on him. “The Court finds under the circumstances of the case … Continue reading

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MA: No REP in privacy settings on social media when def let undercover officer in

An officer sending defendant a SnapChat “friend” request which defendant accepted created no reasonable expectation of privacy in his SnapChat account. Thereafter, defendant posted a video of him with a firearm, and police looked for him and arrested him for … Continue reading

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D.Nev.: Def’s Facebook posts he was selling fake IDs gave PC to search it

An officer found defendant selling fake IDs via Facebook. “The Facebook Warrant contained posts from this account indicating that the account-operator was selling fake IDs, including by specifying that the IDs could help people avoid warrants, fines, and jail time. … Continue reading

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CA11: FBI’s negligence in taking six months to search def’s truck and computers did not require suppression

“Bruce Nicholson, an Alabama man convicted of federal child sex crimes and sentenced to life in prison, challenges his conviction on direct appeal. The main question in this criminal appeal is, as it often is, whether a criminal should ‘go … Continue reading

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N.D.Ill.: Losing search issue in state court collaterally estops civil § 1983 case over same search

Collateral estoppel bars plaintiff’s suit against officers who arrested and searched him. He lost on the same search issue in state court, and that’s order is final. Bertaux v. Aurora Police Dep’t, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11260 (N.D.Ill. Jan. 21, … Continue reading

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M.D.Fla.: Facebook capturing CP was private search; its ToS show no REP

Facebook’s passing on suspected child pornography on its platform is a private search. Moreover, Facebook’s terms of service show a lack of a reasonable expectation of privacy for child porn. United States v. Montijo, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4577 (M.D.Fla. … Continue reading

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DE: Officer’s use of fictitious “friend” account didn’t violate REP in Facebook account

The officer violated no reasonable expectation of privacy of defendant by creating a fictitious Facebook account and then getting “friended” by defendant. Then on defendant’s Facebook account, the officer saw that defendant parolee had firearms. That led to a valid … Continue reading

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D.Minn.: Nexus shown for Facebook account SW

“[T]he totality of the circumstances described in the search warrant affidavit establishes the requisite nexus between Kyle Clark’s Facebook account and evidence of suspected drug-trafficking activities.” United States v. Clark, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 229926 (D.Minn. Dec. 1, 2021).* The … Continue reading

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