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Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal

Authors

Danielle Levine

Abstract

With the rise of social networking sites such as Facebook, individuals are sharing information about themselves at alarming rates. With such copious amounts of personal information on the Internet, it is unsurprising that the government is using social networking sites to gain access to data for use in criminal investigations and prosecutions. This paper examines the ways in which social networking sites and the government's search for information collide. Part I looks at Facebook and discusses the ways the government has used Facebook and similar social networking sites in its investigations. Part II outlines the statutory framework through which the government gains access to electronic data and then analyzes its impact with respect to information privacy and Fourth Amendment litigation. Finally, Part III examines the intersection between the law and social networking sites, highlighting that the law, as it currently stands, has not adequately kept pace with the speed of technology, and therefore, is in need of revisions.

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