Facebook is challenging the US federal prosecutors over a court order that bars the social networking giant from notifying some users about investigation into their data. According to Buzzfeed, Facebook received search warrants from the government for three account records over a three-month period. “The warrants were accompanied by a nondisclosure order from a District of Columbia Superior Court judge barring Facebook from notifying users about the warrants before Facebook complied,” said the report this week. Facebook lost an initial challenge to the gag order, but has now taken the case to the DC Court of Appeals.
“A decision is still pending, but the court did rule that Facebook and the government could post an unsealed notice to any groups with an interest in the matter,” Engadget reported. In its fight against the government over user data requests, Facebook has received support from Microsoft, Google, Apple, Snap, Dropbox and Twitter, along with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“The Constitution can offer adequate protection only if the targets of seemingly overbroad warrants, such as those at issue here, know their rights are under threat,” wrote lawyers for ACLU and Public Citizen Litigation Group in one of the briefs.
“Facebook is challenging the government over data searches that are possibly related to protests that happened during US President Donald Trump’s inauguration,” Engadget reported. A Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed that the company was “grateful to the companies and civil society organizations that are supporting us in arguing for people’s constitutional rights to learn about and challenge these search warrants.”