NJ Panel Finds Data Warrant Covers Stored Facebook Material

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By Jeannie O’Sullivan (April 4, 2022, 4:23 PM EDT) — A New Jersey state appeals court ruled Monday that investigators probing drug-dealing rings needn’t obtain wiretap warrants to obtain stored Facebook messages, reasoning that the requested data doesn’t necessitate the heightened constitutional privacy protections for in-transit communications.

In a published decision, a three-judge Appellate Division panel reasoned that investigators wouldn’t be intercepting, or eavesdropping on, information as it was en route to a destination since it was already in storage. Accordingly, the panel said that general communications data warrants, or CDWs, were sufficient for the two criminal matters at issue.

“Though the CDWs compelled Facebook to disclose the entire stored contents…

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