Requests for warrants to investigate the Facebook accounts of known suspects is surging.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration and other such agencies often gain access to the social networking accounts with the user’s knowledge.
The cases typically range from acts of terrorism, to rape and even arson. Law enforcement will generally scour the accounts, delving into everything from friend’s lists, calendars, events, posting updates, links, videos, photos and will even look back at rejected friend requests. Under U.S. laws, neither Facebook nor the government has to inform a user when an account is being searched by law officials.
According to Reuters, at least two dozen warrants have been granted by federal judges to search the Facebook accounts of suspects. In addition, another 11 warrants have been authorized by federal agencies this year alone, nearly double that for 2010.
Not one of the warrants have been challenged regarding violating a person’s Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure.