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Facebook Cries Foul Over Nearly 400 Government Requests for Data

Facebook takes its case to the public after a court issues "sweeping search warrants" for data from its users.

Facebook is in a public fight with the Manhattan district attorney’s office over the privacy of its users. Since last summer, the court has issued "sweeping search warrants" for "nearly all data" from 381 users, Chris Sonderby, Facebook's deputy general counsel, wrote on Thursday. Facebook pushed back, claiming the requests violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Even worse, Facebook said, was that the court barred the company from alerting the users that their data had been requested. That was fixed when Facebook filed an appeal and the court unsealed the warrants and court filings. Facebook, which has been on the receiving end of plenty of criticism over its own privacy policies, has previously issued statements with other tech giants like Google and Yahoo decrying gag orders that stop them from notifying users about data requests.

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- Keith Wagstaff