Your Friends Can Legally Narc On Your Facebook Profile

Bad news if you're a drug dealer or murderer or some sort of sex criminal operating in the US: a judge just rules your "friends" can show the police your Facebook profile. And then you can go to jail. Time to start deleting!

The ruling, handed down by US District Judge William Pauley III, showed that a suspect in question had no 4th Amendment protection against Facebook peeping, if his friends ratted him out. Which is exactly what happened to one Miami fellow who made gang-related threats on his Facebook profile.

Unfortunately for him, his "legitimate expectation of privacy ended when he disseminated posts to his "friends" because those "friends" were free to use the information however they wanted — including sharing it with the Government." All it takes for your Timeline to be evidence is a friend to show a cop an LCD screen.

Makes sense. And really, should give you all the more reason to thin out your social herd a little bit — even if you're not part of a Miami crime ring, you might not always be posting your best behaviour to Timeline. And with your updates admissible in court, you don't want to take any risks with some snitchy tattle tale friend-of-a-friend going to the cops, man.

Also, general Facebook tip: if you're part of a gang, and doing gang stuff, and possibly facing police scrutiny, maybe don't upload this picture of yourself.

[GigaOm]


Comments

    Seems like really good news to me. I hope they do this here in Australia too.

    natural selection works.....

    Do bad stuff. Get caught. It is basically identical to a cop asking the questions in the absence of facebook anyway and you knowing the answer.

    Aside from being an idiot to upload that sort of stuff anyway (might as well walk into a cop shop with a kilo of smack and skip the middle man).

    Either way to me, that's still a pretty dog act to do anyway ... ratting out your friends.

    But seriously people need to understand the implication behind these sorts of rulings extend beyond criminal matters to such a degree that can an impact on the lives of ordinary people. And in this case you are quite literally bypassing several pieces of privacy legislation and in the extreme infringing on constitutional rights.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now