Warrant for Facebook pipeline protest data dropped

By The Associated Press

A sheriff's search warrant in northwestern Washington that sought private Facebook data as part of an investigation into a Dakota Access oil pipeline protest has been withdrawn after an American Civil Liberties Union challenge.

 

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A sheriff's search warrant in northwestern Washington that sought private Facebook data as part of an investigation into a Dakota Access oil pipeline protest has been withdrawn after an American Civil Liberties Union challenge.

The ACLU of Washington said in a news release that the Whatcom County prosecutor on Monday withdrew the search warrant obtained by the Whatcom County Sheriff Department.

The ACLU filed a motion challenging the constitutionality of the warrant last week. The warrant was for data on the Bellingham #NoDAPL Coalition Facebook page including private communications.

It also sought data related to individuals who merely interacted with the group around a Feb. 11 Bellingham protest against the pipeline.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said previously the purpose of the warrant was to seek electronic data that related to chaotic, disruptive and criminal behavior.

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