“It is presently unclear where these Facebook status updates originated, however, the Facebook website states that several of the updates were sent ‘via Mobile Web’ which indicates that the originated from a cellular device (which Danson may have unlawful access to inside the D.C. Jail),” the affidavit said.
Three days before their arrests, a response to a status update on Mr. Danson’s Facebook page from user “Kaiser Sorsay” also stated, “I told fb this morning that the streets don’t love me. Jumpers came like I had a bomb strapped to me yesterday.”
Jumpers is a reference to “jump out” or vice police officers patrolling around the Barry Farm neighborhood, the FBI said in the affidavit.
According to court records, U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciloa approved the FBI search warrant on March 30. The same day, the FBI emailed the warrant to Facebook. The company responded by emailing three files on April 18.
While it’s unclear what information Facebook provided in the case, court records show authorities were searching for, among other things, all postings, videos, contact information, photos, private messages, “friend” requests and “information about the user’s access and use of Facebook applications.”
Email inquiries to Facebook about the case were not returned by deadline Wednesday, but the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Samuelson Clinic at the University of California at Berkeley recently obtained through open records requests a company document describing how Facebook handles inquiries from law enforcement. The groups also obtained other social media companies’ law enforcement policies.
“For requests pursuant to formal compulsory legal process issued under U.S. law, we will provide records as required by the law,” the Facebook guidelines state.
In addition, the company also considers “emergency requests” that “will only receive a response if we believe in good faith that serious bodily harm or death of a person may occur if we do not respond quickly,” according to the document.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Jim McElhatton is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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