Lawyers for the Trump administration have demanded that Facebook hand over private account information of potentially thousands of anti-Trump protesters using three separate search warrants.
The requested data specifically targets three Facebook users, Lacy MacAuley, Emmelia Talarico, and Legba Carrefour. However, one of the three users, Emmelia Talarico, ran a distrupt20 page to discuss and organize protests for Inauguration Day, which had about 6,000 users that the government would have access to.
The legal proceedings took seven months because Facebook wanted to make sure the three main users knew that the government wanted their information.
On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has revealed they are fighting the warrant.
ACLU attorney Scott Michelman stated, “What is particularly chilling about these warrants is that anti-administration political activists are going to have their political associations and views scrutinized by the very administration they are protesting.”
The warrants were initially served in February 2017. There was also a gag order that prevented Facebook from notifying the three users that the government was trying to obtain their private information. But, in mid-September, the government dropped the gag order and allowed Facebook to expose the warrants.
The Justice Department has not commented yet on the search warrants.
However, government attorneys reveal that there is a similar search warrant to DreamHost, a web provider, to try to obtain the information about the users of the disrupt20.org website. Originally, the search warrant was only supposed to include the IP addresses of the visitors who clicked on the disruptj20.org. However, DC Superior Court Judge Robert Morin granted the request to obtain a detailed record that would include user emails and membership lists.
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