Facebook fights in court over secret government access to user accounts


A man check his facebook on his smart phone with a message reading “error loading news feed” on the skytrain (bts) in Bangkok on May 28, 2014. Facebook users in coup-rattled Thailand reacted with alarm when they were suddenly unable to access the popular social networking site, but the junta quickly denied imposing a block. […]

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Technology companies and civil liberties groups have joined Facebook in a fight over government access to social media accounts.

The Washington Post reports that the timing of the government’s request and other references in court documents suggest the search warrants relate to demonstrations during President Donald Trump’s inauguration, when more than 200 people were charged with rioting.

A court order blocks Facebook from letting users know when law enforcement investigators ask to search their online information, particularly their political affiliations and comments.

Facebook argues the court order violates First Amendment protections of the company and individuals.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment on the case, which is in the D.C. Court of Appeals.

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