Feds Want Facebook Names to Prosecute Inauguration Day Protestors

They Want Your Facebook Names

The Trump administration is pushing to get a list of names that posted on a Facebook account in an effort to find people who participated in riots and demonstrations on Inauguration Day.  The American Civil Liberties Union is fighting the effort.

Even some who would like to see those who destroyed property be prosecuted do not support this move by the government because of the ‘dangerous’ precedent it sets.  I would count myself in this group.

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From Mint Press News

Attorneys haggled Friday in the D.C. Superior Court over whether the government should be allowed to proceed with search warrants for Facebook accounts associated with Inauguration Day protests, and if so, what information it should be allowed to access.

During an afternoon hearing, U.S. Attorney John Borchert said the federal government wanted to conduct a “front to back” search of the accounts. The government, he said, would scroll through the account information it requested – including private messages, pictures and news feeds – to find what it needs.

But American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney Scott Michelman called that “the opposite of particularity,” which the Fourth Amendment requires in tailoring search warrants.

Michelman, representing political activists Emmelia Talarico and Lacy MacAuley, is asking Chief Judge Robert Morin to quash the search warrants, arguing they would have a chilling effect.

MacAuley echoed that concern.

“I think it’s pretty obvious that the government is trying to lift the lid on the Facebook accounts of political dissidents and activists,” MacAuley said in an interview after the hearing. “And I think this is not only a big violation of our privacy…this is actually something that could have a chilling effect on activism.”

The government charged nearly 200 people swept up and arrested Jan. 20 during protests organized by political group DisruptJ20, which intended to disrupt President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

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