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Tech companies can be targeted with search warrants

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Criminal Defense

In many cases, the police cannot search electronic devices without getting a warrant. They can also ask for consent, of course. If an officer is making an arrest, they could ask that person to give them access to their phone. But civilians are not obligated to do this, even when facing arrest, and the police often need a warrant to conduct a search.

But it’s important to remember that tech companies could also be targeted by these warrants, removing the individual from the equation. For instance, there was a case involving Facebook where investigators believed two people had been sending messages relating to illegal activity under current state laws. They served a warrant to Facebook, which then gave them access to those personal messages. The investigators didn’t need to search the individuals’ phones, computers, tablets or other devices because they got the evidence they needed from Facebook directly.

The growth of modern technology

Things like this are only going to happen more often in the future, as technology continues to evolve. People already use it at an unprecedented level, and there’s an incredible amount of information changing hands every day.

But if you’re utilizing this technology, it’s important to remember who controls that information. Always keep in mind that you can never fully delete something that you write on the Internet, and be very careful about what you say on any platform. It may not be as private as you assume if the company will give the records to law enforcement officers. 

If you do end up facing criminal charges, be sure that you know about your rights during a potential search or a criminal trial.