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Friday, August 17, 2012

Court rules 'friends' can share your Facebook profile with the government

A suspected Bronx gang member has learned the hard way last week that oversharing the details of his highly questionable street life on Facebook was a bad idea.

In a ruling handed down on August 10, U.S. District Judge William Pauley III wrote that accused gangster Melvin Colon cannot rely on the Fourth Amendment to suppress Facebook evidence that led to his indictment because users on the popular social media site cannot control what other people do with the information they post.

Colon, 20, had argued that federal investigators violated his privacy by looking through his profile after one of his Facebook friends turned on him and agreed to give law enforcement officials access to his private messages, according to Gigaom.

After taking a peek at his page, federal investigators discovered that Colon has not been shy about sharing details of his alleged gang life with the world, including posting messages about violent acts and threats to rival gang members.

The government used these tidbits to obtain a search warrant for the rest of Colon’s Facebook account as part of a larger investigation into crack-dealing and murder in The Bronx. Read More