Facebook can now notify its users if the authorities are looking at their account data after a court filing affirmed the government is backing off its efforts to keep the social network quiet when investigators ask to search a user’s political communications. When the federal prosecutors submitted warrants to Facebook requesting information on three users earlier this year, they also demanded the social network keep mum over the matter.
That has now ended after a court filing affirmed the government is doing away with the non-disclosure orders (NDOs) that had gagged Facebook from telling its users that the authorities were looking at their account data, Engadget reported on Wednesday. Facebook had been fighting the government on the legality of the NGOs and its stance elic the ted support of major US technology companies and civil liberties groups. While Facebook lost the initial ruling, a District of Columbia appeals court set a date for a public hearing — which was scheduled for Thursday. ALSO READ: Facebook launches group video chat app Bonfire
The details of the case at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals have been sealed, but the timing of the investigation and other references in public court documents suggest the search warrants at issue are connected to protests during President Trump’s inauguration, the Washington Post reported.