Administration gets search warrants demanding info on anti-Trump Facebook users; ACLU files suit

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President Donald Trump’s administration has served Facebook with three search warrants to obtain user information for people associated with an anti-Trump page.

The warrants would allow the government access to thousands of pages of anti-administration protesters but, according to LawzNews, the warrants specifically target three Facebook users who, their attorneys claim, are “anti-administration activists who have spoken out at organized events, and who are generally very critical of this administration’s policies.”

User Emmelia Talarico ran the “DistrumptJ20″ page which helped to organize the Inauguration Day protests.

The administration previously obtained a search warrant in July for the DisruptJ20 website and argued that the website “was used in the development, planning, advertisement and organization of a violent riot that occurred in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017,” the Washington Post reported.

The warrants are being fought by the ACLU-DC who, on Thursday, filed in D.C. Superior Court claiming that the warrants violate the Fourth Amendment and threatened the First Amendment.

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“The warrants make no provision for avoiding or minimizing invasions into personal and associational/expression information, for preventing such information from being shared widely within the government, or for destroying irrelevant material when the investigation is concluded,” it said.

The warrants also target Facebook users Lacy MacAuley and Legba Carrefour.

“What is particularly chilling about these warrants is that anti-administration political activists are going to have their political associations and views scrutinized by the very administration they are protesting,” ACLU attorney Scott Michelman told CNN.

Facebook was served with the warrants in February 2017 which included a gag order which prevented Facebook from informing the three users of the warrants.

The gag order was lifted in September, which led to the ACLU court filing.

Carrefour, who describes herself as a political activist, has fought the warrants, citing his claim that his Facebook account “contains a significant amount of private material concerning my personal life.”

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Talarico said that the warrants would give the government access to her “personal passwords, security questions and answers, and credit card information,” and “the private lists of invitees and attendees to multiple political events sponsored by the page.”

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Carmine Sabia

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