Feds use Facebook ‘Likes’ in terrorism case against al-Qaida suspects

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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The FBI is not only monitoring what social network users post, but also what they “Like” on Facebook, in order to build cases against suspects.

“Earlier this month, the FBI’s Los Angeles field office revealed it had charged four men over alleged involvement in an al-Qaida-inspired terror cell based in and around California,” Slate reported Thursday.

“One part of the complaint, headed ‘DEFENDANTS’ SOCIAL MEDIA,’ lists Islamist content the men had ‘liked,’ ‘shared,’ commented on or posted on their Facebook pages,” said Slate.

The use of digital information by law enforcement — such as social networking, email and cellphone communications — has become an area of growing concern for digital privacy advocates fearing the erosion of civil liberties.

Facebook argued in August that a “Like” is protected by the First Amendment.

Thursday evening, the Senate judiciary committee approved legislation that would require law enforcement to obtain a search warrant when looking to access private consumer files and communications via Google, Facebook, Yahoo and other sites.

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