Law Enforcement: Please Unfriend Me

January 26, 2015 Uncategorized
The Wall Street Journal (the “Journal”) reports that law enforcement agencies are turning to social media to assist in their investigations and prosecutions of suspects.  In a case highlighted by the Journal, the Drug Enforcement Agency (the “DEA”) agreed to pay $134,000 to a woman after the  DEA “concocted a Facebook profile in her name using images stored on her cell phone.”  The DEA also sent a “friend” request to a wanted fugitive associated with the woman.  The DEA  previously confiscated her cellphone and argued that she “implicitly” agreed to the use of images on her phone.
Ostensibly, the purpose of the fake Facebook page was to identify associates of the woman that may have been involved in the drug trade.  The woman in question filed suit against the DEA for creating the Facebook page, alleging, invasion of privacy.  The United States Government, perhaps seeing the error of its ways, opted to settle the matter without any admission of guilt or liability.  Journal link here:
Uploaded by Ryan Gustafson, Esq. January 26, 2015