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Court Demands Private Facebook Data 113

Posted by kdawson
from the judge-is-your-new-friend dept.
Defeat Globalism writes in with a Canadian court decision that has ordered a man suing over injuries from a car accident to answer questions about content on his private "friends only" Facebook page. "Lawyers for Janice Roman, the defendant in the lawsuit, believe information posted on John Leduc's private Facebook site — normally accessible only to his approved 'friends' — may be relevant to his claim an accident in Lindsay in 2004 lessened his enjoyment of life. As a result of the ruling by Justice David Brown of Ontario's Superior Court of Justice, Leduc must now submit to cross-examination by Roman's lawyers about what his Facebook page contains. Brown's Feb. 20 ruling also makes clear that lawyers must now explain to their clients 'in appropriate cases' that postings on Facebook or other networking sites — such as MySpace, LinkedIn and even blogs — may be relevant to allegations in a lawsuit, said Tariq Remtulla, a Toronto lawyer who has been following the issue."
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Court Demands Private Facebook Data

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:20PM (#27197261)

    Like harrassment, it really isn't up to the perpetrator to determine just how victimized a victim feels.

    It is unclear to everyone but the victim just how much loss of enjoyment of life he sustained. Using something as innocuous and meaningless as tweets on Facebook to determine someone's state of mind is like trying to determine the intelligence of someone from their postings on Slashdot.

    • by acvh (120205) <geek.mscigars@com> on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:40PM (#27197331) Homepage

      with all due respect to a fellow slashdot poster, if you are asking a court to give you money for "loss of enjoyment of life" then your life is now fair game for examination. relying solely on the plaintiffs statements would not make for a just proceeding.

      • by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:19PM (#27197495) Homepage

        The reality is though that facebook is not about your or anybody else's life, it is a fabricated digital facade, a impression you wish to create of yourself to be viewed by others be they strangers or friends. The lawyers fishing expedition was not even about catching real fish, it was all about trying to catch phantom illusory fish and then hoping to present that illusion as real.

        So a real warning to people who naively surrender their privacy, about how that information can be misused and twisted out of shape to present in what ever light people can use to their advantage. So face book, myspace et al, a really bad idea unless you simply want to put up a completely non personal digital illusion of yourself and present yourself in the best possible light. New online business prospect, the creation and maintenance of PR=B$ on line profiles, you too can now be like the rich and greedy pseudo celebrities, where publicists create an illusion to hide the venal self serving worthless reality.

        Do you also know that you can also use that illusory personal profile in court cases to your advantage, as long as it is suitable and carefully prepared over an extended period.

        • by saiha (665337)

          He should have had a Digg facade where his persona was an angry troller to counteract any "happy" that was on facebook.

          • by mdwh2 (535323)

            Heh - indeed, it would be funny to see this backfire. Imagine him revealing a load of depressing emo poetry and suicide notes. He'd get triple damages!

            • That sounds like my online profile, minus the emo poetry. Just depressed statements, trollings, suicide notes, fake suicides, and not being able to enjoy myself because I get angry responses to my Slashdot, etc postings.

        • by icebike (68054) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @01:57AM (#27198065)

          Well said. But bear in mind:

          If the loss of enjoyment of life refers to what we all suspect it refers to, and the "vic" brags about banging every hot bod in town to his private friends it goes directly to credibility, and possible perjury.

          The private pages are not necessarily the same as the public facade pages. The public pages amount to public statements.

          The private pages amount to a private discussion in the lobby of a hotel with friends.

          If they differer the vic has a problem.

          Far too many people jump into the meat market of web 2.0 thinking it will make the cool, relevant, and part of the in crowd.

        • by Jurily (900488)

          it is a fabricated digital facade, a impression you wish to create of yourself to be viewed by others be they strangers or friends.

          Yes. Just like the one he's trying to create in court.

        • by vux984 (928602) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @05:47AM (#27198649)

          The reality is though that facebook is not about your or anybody else's life, it is a fabricated digital facade, a impression you wish to create of yourself to be viewed by others be they strangers or friends.

          vs the fabricated facade he and his lawyers are trying to present in court?

          Everyone knows everyone in the courtroom is projecting an image they want bought.

          If the the facade he offers up when not in court are much more caveleir about his accident, or are even contradicts the claims he's making in court, that should count against him.

          Like the cliche about the guy who shows up in court in a wheelchair because 'he can't bear the pain of even walking' yet the insurance investigator catches him on the following weekend moving a fridge and playing ball hockey.

          Or better still catching him bragging about the Swiss Alps skiing trip he's going to take with his 'soon to be paid out' settlement.

          Do you also know that you can also use that illusory personal profile in court cases to your advantage, as long as it is suitable and carefully prepared over an extended period.

          Yes. Of course. The criminal mastermind is truly hard to catch. Most criminals, however, aren't masterminds.

        • Seriously, though. Anything you share with third parties, even to a limited audience, can no longer be considered private. And somehow I doubt that his "close friends" were only his doctors, his lawyers, and his clergy. The privacy argument is a bullshit argument.

          • by fractoid (1076465)

            Anything you share with third parties, even to a limited audience, can no longer be considered private.

            Never could, really. It's just that this information, just like most other information, is now much more readily accessible because it's indexed online. Twenty years ago they'd have had a P.I. snooping around hoping to snap photos of the guy frolicking with buxom wenches. Now they just check his Facebook page for said photos that he's snapped himself.

        • by westlake (615356)
          The reality is though that facebook is not about your or anybody else's life, it is a fabricated digital facade, a impression you wish to create of yourself to be viewed by others

          The same could be said of the self image you create off-line.

          People are careless. People are vain.

          The more complicated and hastily improvised the lie the more likely it will expose some inconvenient truths.

        • The reality is though ... a fabricated digital facade, a impression you wish to create of yourself to be viewed by others be they strangers or friends.

          there, corrected it for you. :-)

        • by fugue (4373)

          So a real warning to people who naively surrender their privacy, about how that information can be misused and twisted out of shape to present in what ever light people can use to their advantage. So face book, myspace et al, a really bad idea unless you simply want to put up a completely non personal digital illusion of yourself and present yourself in the best possible light.

          You are right. Of course, the problem is that if you never tell anyone about yourself, you will have no friends, and the Internet is remarkably useful for communication. Written media like facebook are a problem, but so are letters, diaries, anything that goes beyond the spoken word. Does facebook help more than it hurts? Every piece of technology can be used for good and for ill, and there is no easy way to foresee whether it will work out well in any case.

          The American Indians invented the Internet a

      • by packeteer (566398)

        I think the lawyer is looking for the guy to say "oh man I am about to sit the pants off this sucker and go retire somewhere nice." I don't think they are going to try and decide how bad he REALLY felt based on what emoticons he used.

        • Or if he's got pictures of himself enjoying life.

          "Oh, you're smiling in this photo. Clearly, watching your kids get run over didn't affect you at all."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nurb432 (527695)

        Sure, public information is fair game Watching you mow your grass, or cruise the mall.

        But what abut watching you in your house? That is private. Why is this not also private ? The 'its on the public internet so live with it' argument shouldn't apply as you specifically marked it private.

        Its not much different then reading others emails 'because its on the internet'...

        • But what abut watching you in your house? That is private. Why is this not also private ?

          Because it is directly relevant to a case being heard in a court of law.

          I'm a firm believer in privacy rights and limiting government powers to investigate someone arbitrarily. However, for any justice system to function effectively, there must be some means of investigating the truth or otherwise of a claim as part of due process. In most of our countries today, this happens via a case being heard in court, and we give that court special privileges that Joe Public does not have so that it can carry out its

          • by nurb432 (527695)

            I still disagree. It was marked private by the owner, it should remain as such. Any thing less borderlines on self-incrimination which is prohibited here in this country.

            Now, if its public facing pages, by all means use it in court.

            • I don't think your position is unreasonable in itself; after all, if we had the ultimate ability to invade privacy by reading minds, would we want to allow that as evidence in court, and if so, with what safeguards about anything else that might be encountered while collecting evidence? However, in this case, it sounds like the guy is arguing that he's suffering in some way that isn't necessarily externally observable, so if you can't look at evidence relating to his private thoughts, it's hard to see how i

              • by fractoid (1076465)
                If it were non-invasive (ie. without physical or mental side effects) then why not? Because it might unearth further wrongdoing? Don't get me wrong, I tend to be more on the side of freedom than the side of safety, but from a purely utilitarian point of view, if you COULD read minds, wouldn't it be the simplest way to determine guilt? Except in the case of the insane, of course... but they're treated differently anyway, and presumably if one could read thoughts one could determine sanity.

                Of course, if you
            • by tlhIngan (30335)

              I still disagree. It was marked private by the owner, it should remain as such. Any thing less borderlines on self-incrimination which is prohibited here in this country.

              Now, if its public facing pages, by all means use it in court.

              Quite possibly true, except it's a civil case, and the guy who marked the page private is the prosecution. Self-incrimination applies to the defense, in that the defendant doesn't have to give testimony that might indict him. A lot of fun can happen if anyone can sue anyone else

        • by penix1 (722987)

          It's called discovery and both sides are entitled to it. If discovery is found to not be pertinent, then that discovery is discarded as non-responsive. That doesn't mean you can hide discovery and in fact if you do things can go heavily against you for spoliage. This goes doubly for corporations such as Facebook:

          http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=900005516406 [law.com]

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by MrNaz (730548) *

      Are you telling me that my conclusion that Slashdot members are actually anthropomorphised vegetables is unfounded?

    • Innocuous and Meanlingless parts of our daily lives might need to be rethought, revamped....Which is to say that people might begin to be more responsible and thoughtful about the vocabulary flying out of their mouths in all arenas. Kids mean every word they say. Most adults don't claim ownership for anything they say. The global community might benefit from a little more ownership and personal responsibility in the long run. Let's not hide and create B.S. in such a crowded world, yes?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can the courts require that relatives and friends turn over data to the court? Why not just require every contact the suspect or defendant has turn over "pertinent data including email, voicemails, contact lists, letters, bank accounts and personal ties?

    If I ever got in trouble Kevin Bacon would go down.

    • by saiha (665337) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @12:09AM (#27197721)

      By "friends", do you mean people I've raided with on WoW?

      • by pbhj (607776)

        It's actually an interesting question - friends 2.0 would be the people you spend your leisure time with, whether your rl friends or not.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Peyna (14792)

      Typically, in the U.S at least, discovery requests must be reasonably calculated so as to result in the discovery of evidence relevant to the issues in the case. So, if you have good reason to believe that the person's e-mail, voice mail, etc. might contain something relevant to the lawsuit, you are entitled to it.

      "The public has the right to every man's evidence." - Many sources, no idea which is the original.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      More to the point, how will they know that what the guy prints off for them is really what was on there? Say he deletes anything he doesn't want them to see - short of requiring Facebook to hand over the historical data (which they do keep), this just seems like an opportunity for the accuser to produce pages and pages of sob stories and complaints about crash related injuries.

  • by LKettle (1492341) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:33PM (#27197307) Homepage Journal
    From what I understood from this article, and a surprisingly poorly written one for a newspaper imo, is simply that their private facebook postings maybe relevant to a civil court case, and they'll have to provide them to the other side.

    I don't see any problems here. In reading groklaw over the years I was surprised at the level of disclosure IBM and SCO had to provide eachother, whole servers of data were exchanged.

    The moral of the story and a good example in the article: If you're on disability and post pics of yourself skiing on your facebook, even only visible to 'friends', don't be surprised if it comes back to bite you in the ass.
    • This is pretty much what I thought. A friends-only posting somewhere is no more inherently private than a conversation had between friends without anyone else present.

      • This is pretty much what I thought. A friends-only posting somewhere is no more inherently private than a conversation had between friends without anyone else present.

        Actually, it's substantially less private. Most in person conversations aren't digitally recorded and kept until the end of time.

        • Most in person conversations aren't digitally recorded and kept until the end of time.

          Sure they are. They have to be, since not all calls go through that AT&T box.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      From what I understood from this article, and a surprisingly poorly written one for a newspaper imo

      This is the Toronto Star. While it happens to be the largest newspaper in Canada by circulation, this is only because Toronto is the largest city.

      The Star is a left-wing paper that has been bleeding money for years. The Star has been a dedicated supporter of the Liberal party for years. The only reason the Star hasn't gone bankrupt is they also own Harlequin Enterprises, which publishes trashy romantic fiction

    • by icepick72 (834363) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:44PM (#27197611)
      Well "imo" doesn't constitute a well written comment in my opinion... so now you're even with the newspaper.
  • Ya well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:51PM (#27197375)

    If you post it online, you should assume anyone can see it. None of these minor protections like "friends only" are any sort of serious impediment. Online is where things go to be seen by the world. So, if you aren't comfortable with it getting out, don't post it. That's not to say you can't make use of privacy settings, just don't count on them to keep everyone out.

    If something is private, keep it off websites and other such things. If something is really private, keep in encrypted and/or stored in a secure location (like a good safe). If something is really, really private, don't have a record of it at all, keep it just in your head.

    • by saiha (665337)

      While that is true, it greatley decreases the usefulness of the internet. While I don't know if there is a way to avoid it, continuous demanding (and subsequent acquiescing to the demand) of data is harmful to society.

    • by HoustonB (1499767)
      You are ignoring p2p networks like FreeNet, where files are encrypted and highly fragmented with the intention of guaranteeing anonymity - to facilitate free speech in oppressive regimes like China and to a lesser extent the USA.

      In the USA for example a court can compel you to provide a decryption key, failure to do so resulting in contempt of court charges. There is little plausible deniability for something the authorities pull from your safe.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by icebike (68054)

        In the USA for example a court can compel you to provide a decryption key, failure to do so resulting in contempt of court charges.

        I don't believe you have that part exactly correct.

        The only case I am aware of involved Border searches of a laptop, where the suspect cooperated and volunteered SOME information but balked at providing the decryption key.

        Once you waive your right to refuse self incrimination you can not un waive it for certain acts only.

        When asked what's on your lap top the best answer is to simply plead the 5th and refuse to answer anything more. Don't show your soft porn and then expect to hold back the good stuff.

        IANAL

        • by HoustonB (1499767)
          I agree that one cannot switch course midway and as per the Oliver North case, it is best to adopt the 5th from the get go.

          My reply to the original post was aimed at: "If something is private, keep it off websites and other such things. If something is really private, keep in encrypted and/or stored in a secure location (like a good safe)."

          Keeping things encrypted or in a safe location (like a safe) is inadequate.

          I agree with only the final sentence: "If something is really, really private, don't h
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by icebike (68054)

            > In the case of a private key, the immunity is extended only to the content of the key itself.

            Nope, thats far too narrow.

            If you are given immunity it will be transactional immunity or Use immunity.

            Transactional means the testimony and any evidence obtained via the testimony can't be uses in THIS proceeding.

            Use immunity means it can be used against you at ALL for any future proceedings.

            It has never been suggested (except by you) that the actual digits of the key are the only thing immunized, thats just t

    • by icebike (68054)

      If you post it online, you should assume anyone can see it. None of these minor protections like "friends only" are any sort of serious impediment.

      Apparently in this case the impediment is sufficient to force the vic to answer questions under oath.

      I suspect cross-boarder issues prevents the Canadian court from simply getting a warrant for Facebook to produce the page, or they suspect the pages in question may be already taken down.

    • If something is really, really private, don't have a record of it at all, keep it just in your head.

      That didn't work so well for the developers of Fogbank [slashdot.org].

    • Re:Ya well (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @08:04AM (#27199021) Journal

      Exactly right, its like mother always said never write something down unless you expect others to read it. Anytime you record anything anywhere on any medium you invite the possibility someone else will view it. If that is not ok then don't record it; encrypted or not.

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      Part of me thinks all this encryption software poses a certain danger. Most users my self included are not cryptography experts. How can we be sure sound practices of around key management, avoidance of enciphering known texts such as control information are being used? Even encryption does not mean its automatically safe to go writing down any old secret.

      If you don't want it viewed by others don't write it down.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      The parent makes a good point. If you write something down, in a letter, email, memo or anywhere, it can be later used for/against you in a court of law.

  • I don't know about this guy, but when my life is being crappy I tend to escape to the net. So online I'll appear happier than I would in person because I'll be consciously focusing on doing things that don't remind me of the crap I'm going though. *shrugs* Of course, if I'm in the middle of a lawsuit I'm not going to be a moron and post things on the internet that would contradict what I'm suing for.
    • Agreed. Instead of posting "Jesus H. Christ, my head hurts, I can barely move my shoulder anymore and just now my wife needed to help me to the toilet." I would post something like "Yaaaay, let's go and have some fun tonight!"

      Bitching about how crappy your life is or has become isn't really something you do on a social networking site, unless of course you want pity.
  • Discovery (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kirijini (214824) <kirijini@yahoo . c om> on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:00PM (#27197419)

    Duh!

    Its called discovery.

    I don't know about canadian laws, but in the US, any documents relevant to a lawsuit can be sought a party to the suit, even from non-parties from facebook, and this can be backed up by a court with a subpoena.

    Its all in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

    F.R.C.P. 26(b)(1): "Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense"

    F.R.C.P. 34(1)(a): "A party may serve on any other party a request within the scope of Rule 26(b) ... to produce ... any designated documents or electronically stored information"

    F.R.C.P. 45 covers subpeonas.

    Basically, the rules are: if its relevant to the suit, and not privileged (like spousal privilege or 5th amendment self incrimination rights), it can be sought by a party. Even private letters to friends. That this information was published to friends on an online service probably means that any privilege the material had was waived.

    If you have evidence, you may be compelled to produce it. This shouldn't shock anybody - our justice system won't work without it. Whether or not it's "private" doesn't matter except as provided in the rules or protected by law as "privileged" material.

    Finally - its right there in the facebook privacy policy: "We may be required to disclose user information pursuant to lawful requests, such as subpoenas or court orders, or in compliance with applicable laws."

    • Re:Discovery (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shihar (153932) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:11PM (#27197457)

      I really don't see why this is news worthy myself. So a court ordered someone to hand over private documents... this happens all the time. The fact that it is stuff posted on the quasi private Facebook doesn't really change much. If the government demanded that Facebook hand over its entire database to search for terrorist, I would be concerned. The fact that someone who is being sued is getting their Facebook page opened up as apart of normal evidence gathering is unremarkable.

      People... if you are breaking a law, don't post it on Facebook and assume that the magic of the internet will keep it from the authorities.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I agree. This is a non-story. Some people just can't get over the notion that "cyberspace" is a separate dimension where the only reality that exists is the one they want to exist. As much as I love the internet, it is only a means of communication. Vastly complex communication, but communication nonetheless. And it is subject to the same laws that already govern communication between individuals or groups.
      • Well, my question would be, if you had been writing a bunch of letters to friends/family/etc, could the supeona those in a civil trial

        The internet *is* a different reality, but not necessarily in a good way. In real-life, every little thing you do isn't as likely to be logged away waiting for somebody to dig up the sordid details of your life...

    • Thank you for saving me a lot of typing. :-)

    • by Torodung (31985)

      But not if you have self-incriminating evidence. You can't be compelled to provide that under fifth amendment protections. Discovery be damned.

      The really relevant problem is once it's on Facebook's servers, it's no longer you being compelled to give the evidence, it's Facebook.

      Sounds like the perfect end run around the fifth amendment.

      Don't put anything you wouldn't want the whole world to see into "the cloud."

      --
      Toro

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Paradise Pete (33184)

        But not if you have self-incriminating evidence. You can't be compelled to provide that under fifth amendment protections. Discovery be damned.

        This is a lawsuit, not a criminal trial. No protection.

      • That protection doesn't exist in Canada.
    • by icebike (68054)

      Did you read the story, or even the summary?

      1) its in Canada, not the US. So grandstanding post of FRCP means nothing.

      2) Nothing is being subpoenaed. He is being asked to testify about what he had in his pages, not to produce those pages.

      I don't know if Canada has the equivalent of the 5Th amendment, but this tactic would never work in the US. They can go for the originals and subpeona facebook, but you can't make the man testify against himself.

      In Canada, it appears that he CAN be made to testify against

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by canajin56 (660655)

        Canada does have a 5th amendment equivalent. You cannot be compelled to testify at your own trial, at least not to anything related to the charge. However, if issued a subpoena for somebody else's trial, you must give testimony, even if it implicates you in a crime. That testimony cannot be used against you in another trial though. Unless its a trial for perjury, of course.

        But this person is not being charged with a crime. And he won't be, not unless something on his facebook page show's he's outrig

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by icebike (68054)

          > I don't think the 5th protects you from being compelled to give testimony that might damage your civil case!

          The fifth only applies in criminal cases. However, if you are forced to testify in a civil case and thereby lay the groundwork for a follow-on criminal case (fraud, say) you can demand a "use immunity" hearing, preventing any use of the testimony or related evidence derived there from in subsequent criminal cases.

          Criminal cases usually go to trial first in the US, precisely because the state doe

  • by debrain (29228) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:28PM (#27197543) Journal

    The Rules of Civil Procedure [canlii.org] govern this case. There's nothing new about this case, per se. Anything published on Facebook is a relevant document, and the laws of Ontario oblige disclosure (even if that document was private, notwithstanding rare exceptions for such as solicitor-client privilege) by the person with control over it.

    The relevant section governing documentary discovery is Rule 30. Rule 30.01 defines "document", and 30.02 places an obligation on a party to make appropriate disclosure of all relevant documents. The curious can read more about a report on electronic discovery in the Ontario Bar Association's guidelines (pdf) [oba.org] (see also OBA "e-discovery" [oba.org]), and a e-Discovery web-site [umontreal.ca].

    I've reproduced cited excerpts of Rule 30, here:

    RULE 30 - DISCOVERY OF DOCUMENTS

    INTERPRETATION
    30.01 (1) In rules 30.02 to 30.11,
    (a) "document" includes a sound recording, videotape, film, photograph, chart, graph, map, plan, survey, book of account, and data and information in electronic form; and
    (b) a document shall be deemed to be in a party's power if that party is entitled to obtain the original document or a copy of it and the party seeking it is not so entitled.

    SCOPE OF DOCUMENTARY DISCOVERY
    Disclosure
    30.02 (1) Every document relating to any matter in issue in an action that is or has been in the possession, control or power of a party to the action shall be disclosed as provided in rules 30.03 to 30.10, whether or not privilege is claimed in respect of the document.

    There are some interesting scenarios related to Sedona obligations, namely the obligation to not destroy or delete electronic documents once a party has been advised of the potential relevance of certain electronic documents.

    • by debrain (29228)

      The first paragraph would be better if it read:

      The Rules of Civil Procedure [canlii.org] govern the procedure in this case. There's nothing new about this case, per se. Anything published on Facebook that is relevant to a proceeding is considered a relevant document, and the laws of Ontario oblige disclosure (even if that document was private, notwithstanding exceptions such as solicitor-client privilege) by the person with control over it.

    • by icebike (68054)

      If it were as cut and dried as you seem to suggest they would simply subpeona the pages.

      Instead they are asking him to testify about those pages.

      Maybe because Facebook is located in the US, or maybe because they already hacked in and know what was there but by doing so they committed a crime, or maybe because the pages are already taken down and all they have is hear-say as to their content.

      But by forcing the guy to testify they are going for self incrimination, and THAT is the wrinkle that makes this case

      • But by forcing the guy to testify they are going for self incrimination

        It's a lawsuit. It would be the same in the US. It happens to be on Facebook, but if instead the guy had, for instance, videos of himself doing cartwheels, and the other side found out about them, then they could demand that he produce them.

  • Facebook? (Score:4, Funny)

    by InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @11:32PM (#27197561)

    We all know they should evaluate his porn downloads, not Facebook, to get an accurate assessment of the impact to his enjoyment of life.

  • That chap had better hope the most exciting pictures posted on facebook are of him crawling across the floor ...
  • by Requiem18th (742389) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @12:50AM (#27197867)

    Why stop at facebook? I want his house raided, maybe he keeps a personal diary hidden in his daughter's room, camouflaged with flower stickers, stenographically encoded in valley speak.

    • by tftp (111690)
      A personal diary may be a privileged document because of possible self-incrimination. But the court can summon his daughter as a witness and ask if her dad looked happy or depressed on a certain date; and you don't need to raid the house for that.
    • by Atrox666 (957601)

      Don't worry they are just working out the kinks in the technology and they will be able to scan your memory with machines.
      Then they won't need to search your home or Facebook just rifle through your most personal thoughts.
      Of course you'll be able to opt out but that will play to the jury/judge about as well as pleading the 5th in the US.

      I miss the old days when people who claimed the NSA were trying to read their thoughts with machines are crazy.
      What I need is a tin foil turban I can claim I can't take it o

    • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

      Wow, could you be anymore of an idiot?

      Facebook, MySpace, LiveJournal, etc. are NOT the equivalent of a diary. A diary is a private collection of private thoughts that are rarely, if ever, shared. Those websites exist to SHARE your thoughts and feelings and are not priviledged in any way. This is no different than subpoenaing the letters he sent to his penpals or even his friends to testify as to what he has done and said to them.

      They wouldn't need to raid his house to get his diary. All they need to do is s

      • "wouldn't need to raid his house"?

        Spoilsport! You are missing the point in investigation harassment! Also I don't get how a jury can assert the difference between a personal diary and a personal online profile.

        Explain me, as you would explain an 8 year old kid, why two documents that are not supposed the be accessible to anyone but oneself and one's closest persons do not deserve the same level of respect?

        Until you can produce a good explanation that a jury can understand I'll be b

        • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

          This is not investigation harassment, and if you would dig your head out of your ass you would see that. And, I will not put up with your idiotic hyperbole as an attempt to generate outrage where there should be none, fuckwit.

          These two documents are being accord the same level of respect. As I showed in my previous post, a personal diary can be subpoenaed in the exact same manner as his Facebook information. I have no idea why you think a personal diary could not be subject to a discovery subpoena. That bel

  • The solution to this problem is very simple. After you have an accident, you go to your social profiles and document, as accurately and as specifically as possible, exactly how the accident affected you, including the specific areas of your body that have been affected, how much each area hurts on a scale of 1 to 10, what activities you find difficult or impossible following the accident, etc. Be sure to mention the related expenses that you are incurring. To add a dramatic flair, motion to quash the subpoe
  • First off, if he's posting about how much fun he's been having, he should have known better; more to the point, his lawyer should have warned him not to. When my mother was involved in a lawsuit many years ago, she was advised to do, basically, nothing. The problem is that not everyone is in a position where they can sit on the couch all day, and sometimes they must get up to do chores, even if it causes great pain. Unfortunately, when a PI takes video of a person doing various work (or even play; even pe
  • We have none.

  • It's not private (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anita Coney (648748) on Sunday March 15, 2009 @08:47AM (#27199201) Homepage

    Under the law if you divulge secrets to third parties, they're no longer secrets. So if I write three friends about a secret, heck, even one friend, the state can subpoena those letters even though they were marked as private. The same is true of Facebook. Merely marking a Facebook page as private does not change the fact that it was used to give out information to third parties.

    The only exception to this is if there is some sort of privilege. Such as when the third party is a priest or your therapist and is legally obligated not to divulge your secret. Then, there's an expectation of privacy that you keep. But if you tell your friends, it's discoverable under the law. And it's been this way for centuries.

    Note to the internet generation: If you want to keep secrets, don't fricken tell anyone your secrets!

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI

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