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Facebook's appeal to block bulk search warrants rejected

Facebook's appeal to block bulk search warrants rejected

NY state's Court of Appeals just rejected Facebook's challenge to hundreds of search warrants.

The case dates back to 2013 when search warrants for information on 381 Facebook accounts were issued as part of an investigation into the fraud case. Facebook had tried to argue that the warrants were too broad, and that they overstepped the mark by demanding it not tell users the warrants existed.

Thus, Microsoft, Google and Twitter and other groups like New York Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have chose to stand by Facebook's appeal.

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"This case undoubtedly implicates novel and important substantive issues regarding the constitutional rights of privacy and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and the parameters of a federal statute establishing methods by which the government may obtain certain types of information", wrote Judge Leslie E. Stein, writing for the majority.

Facebook complied but challenged the warrants.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) today took a loss in New York's highest court - but in a manner that suggests the underlying question in the case has yet to be decided.

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Facebook appealed the Supreme Court's order, and sought a stay pending resolution of its appeal.

Tuesday's decision upheld a July 2015 ruling by an state appeals court in Manhattan. The warrants ordered the company to provide information from hundreds of user accounts in connection with a fraud investigation.

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

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The decision is a defeat for Internet privacy advocates such as the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as technology and social media companies including Apple AAPL.O , Google GOOGL.O , Microsoft MSFT.O and Twitter TWTR.N that supported Facebook's appeal.


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