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Facebook The Courts Privacy Social Networks United States Your Rights Online

Facebook Posts Mined For Courtroom Evidence 191

Posted by timothy
from the objection-relevance dept.
littlekorea writes "Defense lawyers are increasingly gaining permission from US courts to mine the private comments and postings on Facebook accounts to be used as evidence during trials. The first example — noted in Slashdot in September — has given way to an avalanche of new cases — and a worrying precedent that judges consider social networking content to be public data."
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Facebook Posts Mined For Courtroom Evidence

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  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Friday January 28, 2011 @08:21AM (#35030888)

    "As you can see your honour, the defendant is innocent.

    This comment "I'm innocent" posted this morning has received 100 likes already.

    I rest my case"

  • Re:Well Yea (Score:4, Funny)

    by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe AT jwsmythe DOT com> on Friday January 28, 2011 @09:38AM (#35031812) Homepage Journal

          It's more like, anything you post online is as private anything you write, photocopy, and send to a few hundred people.

          I posted on my Facebook wall a little while back, that anything I write online is disinformation. I know the information is datamined. It will, at some point, be shared with someone you don't want it exposed to. There is a chance something I post is factual. It's true, right down to where my location is.

        My fictional online persona has had me drifting around various government facilities and and other remote locations (Rachel, NV; McLean, VA; Fort Meade, Maryland; Wild Goose Chase, Woombah, New South Wales, Australia; etc). Then sometimes I give my real location. Most are virtually impossible to confirm. If I were were at the NSA headquarters, is there any expectation that a random person trying to find me could ask the guard "Is Mr. JW Smythe here?" The response would range from prolonged laughing, to detainment and questioning.

        It's not just what I say about myself either. Bouncing through various proxies around the world, if Facebook were subpoenaed for something as simple as the list of IP's that I accessed from, it would be a nonsensical pattern of locations. In a day, I may log in from Moscow, Beijing, London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, or Brasilia.

        If I already admitted that most of what I post online is a lie, and any of it was brought up in court to prove anything about me, the judge would would get tired of any line of questioning that related to my online statements, simply because I do, and frequently repeat, that many are complete works of fiction, dressed loosely as fact.

        So ya, when I go off on a government or alien conspiracy rant, it isn't because I necessarily believe it. Maybe I do. Maybe I don't. Maybe I've considered writing fictional books, and haven't had a real inspiration to sit down and write hundreds of pages of my best bullshit^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H fiction, to submit to publishing houses and receive the string of rejections, possibly followed by one acceptance, and then have my had word become a $9.95 paperback that I'll find in the $0.50 clearance bin in just a few years. Dejected because the publisher made so much money from me, and for all the hoops I jumped through, I only made a few thousand dollars. Sad and dejected, I sit in my beachfront shack in Cuba. I admire the waves rolling in, and beautiful women on the beach, hoping an approval letter finally comes in, while I churn out more pages of mediocre fiction, knowing that the cycle will repeat endlessly until I die in a few years, with my family not caring where I went, comfortable in the idea that I went with a smile on my face and a local prostitute riding me to my final moments...

        Or maybe, just maybe, a good bit of what I write is pure fiction. Data mine that!

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"

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