Thursday, August 16, 2012

Judge rules Facebook users can share friends' profiles with the feds

If you were ever thinking of sharing items on facebook in hopes of keeping them private, then you thought wrong. In addition to the privacy policies that FB has, you now have to keep an eye out for the feds.

US District Judge William Pauley III has now ruled that it and other law enforcement agencies are entitled to view your Facebook profile if one of your "friends" gives them permission to do so. This ruling comes as part of a New York City racketeering trial, in which one of the accused, Melvin Colon, had tried to suppress evidence turned up on Facebook that led to his indictment. 

That information was obtained through an informant who gave investigators access to the profile, something that Colon had argued violated his rights against unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment.

As you may have predicted, Judge Pauley dismissed that claim, likening the Facebook access instead to a phone wiretap in which one person on the call allows the government to monitor it -- a practice that has been ruled constitutional.

Let me know of your thoughts in the comments below.