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Facebook Search Warrant Challenge Rejected by NY Court


The 381 warrants were issued in July 2013 by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, as part of an investigation into suspected social security disability fraud.

NY state's highest court on Tuesday rejected Facebook Inc's FB.O challenge to 381 search warrants to uncover suspected widespread Social Security disability fraud by its customers.

Menlo Park, California-based Facebook challenged the warrants, but the courts sided with prosecutors, citing legal procedure that says it is up to individual users to challenge warrants seeking their information. Not only this, it had asked to provide private photos as well as conversations.

It complied with the warrants after prosecutors threatened to hold it in criminal contempt, but continued the appeal.

The judge added that the court was constrained by state law to affirm the Appellate Division's order.


According to The New York Times, he said: "We're disappointed by the court's ruling".

Facebook had high-profile support in resisting the warrants, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Twitter. "We are grateful to the many organizations that joined us in challenging these overbroad warrants, and we are continuing to evaluate our options because we believe strongly in the issues underlying this case". Facebook has been resisting the warrants ever since they were issued, and maintained that position even after the threat of criminal contempt forced it to start turning over account information.

Two of the justices agreed Facebook and other companies should have the right to appeal search warrants.

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