Facebook Inc cannot challenge search warrants New York prosecutors used to get information from its site on hundreds of users suspected of Social Security fraud, a state appeals court said on Tuesday, in a decision likely making it harder for New Yorkers to keep their digital lives private.
The warrants, which applied to 381 users' photos, private messages and other account information, could only be challenged by individual defendants after prosecutors gathered evidence, the Manhattan-based court unanimously ruled. Facebook was backed in the case by a group of large Internet companies including Google Inc and Microsoft Corp, which argued the case could set a troubling precedent giving prosecutors access to all kinds of digital information.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.