An appeals court on Tuesday ruled that law enforcement can order tech companies to hand over data on hundreds of users in one swoop – and the companies can’t challenge the warrant or even warn users about the search.
Instead of applying for individual search warrants, New York prosecutors instead use a single affidavit as the basis for demanding Facebook root through the accounts of 381 users. And to avoid tipping off the suspects, the prosecutors also asked for a gag order to prevent Facebook from telling those users about the search. The ACLU, alongside other tech companies like Google and Microsoft, joined Facebook in asking a judge to declare the bulk warrants were an unconstitutional search and seizure.
The challenge didn’t get far, as a judge last year rebuffed Facebook, and forced the company to hand over the information.
Details may be found at http://fortune.com/2015/07/22/facebook-warrants/.