Prosecutors have declined to block Facebook from informing users of the search warrants they receive from law enforcement agencies in their accounts, the court said.
Prosecutors did not base their arguments on the legal arguments raised by Facebook, civil liberties groups and e-privacy groups, but the plaintiffs saw no need for a non-disclosure clause.
The announcement came less than 24 hours after the appeals court in Washington resumed hearing the arguments in the case. The lawyers asked the District Court to dismiss the case and agreed to the request.
“Although the organization was pleased with the result, it is expected that there will be other cases in the future that will lead to final judgments on the always controversial question, when possible,” said Net Cardozo, a lawyer for the Buzz Rights group of Buzzfeed. For the government to prevent technology companies from informing customers of the demands related to their information? “We have won the battle but the war is not over yet.”
There is already another pending case at the Federal Court in Seattle, where Microsoft sued the Department of Justice for a clause in the federal law that prevents technology companies from informing subscribers of applicants’ request for information.
Arthur Spitzer, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in the District of Columbia, said in an e-mail to Buzzfeed, Facebook can now notify users that their accounts are subject to a search warrant.