EPIC, EFF, and CDT to New Jersey Supreme Court: Don’t Let Police Sleight-of-Hand Avoid Wiretap Requirements

January 10, 2023

In an amicus brief submitted in Facebook v. New Jersey, EPIC, EFF, and CDT—with help from Davis Wright Tremaine, urged the New Jersey Supreme Court to rule that police need a wiretap order if they want Facebook to provide them with users’ future communications in 15-minute increments. When police request prospective communications, they need a wiretap order with its extra protections, not a search warrant. But the New Jersey police in the case tried to get by without a wiretap order based on a technicality: Facebook’s servers store the communications, so they weren’t asking to intercept the communications like a traditional wiretap or secret recording device does. EPIC, EFF, and CDT’s amicus brief explained that this technicality is legally meaningless: electronic communications are sensitive and deserve the wiretap statutes’ protections. EPIC regularly submits amicus briefs in cases involving communications privacy.

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