On Wednesday, New York City unveiled a new surveillance system powered by Microsoft that would provide near-real-time analysis of camera footage across the city. In its press release, the City boasts that the system features “the latest crime prevention and counterterrorism technology.” The security-minded among us may cheer this development as providing heightened protections against terrorism and other planned acts of violence, but for those of us who are more interested in privacy, this announcement reeks of “Big Brother.”
Tensions could reach a new high point today in the Facebook ownership claim lawsuit between plaintiff, convicted felon Paul Cegilia (inset), and Defendants Facebook and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.
What are they all about?
More lawyers are learning the hard way that courts will not grant social media discovery requests without first laying a foundation for access to the accounts and information being sought.
A trial court judge on New York’s Long Island recently granted two different motions to strike defense requests for social media and electronic discovery in a single personal injury case (read the decision below).
The decision reinforces the idea that Facebook “fishing expeditions” are likely to be denied. Lawyers who simply ask for social media and electronic data, will be wishing they had done their homework, because without showing how and why they should be granted access to it, their requests will almost certainly be denied.
Last week a New York trial judge denied a defense discovery request for a personal injury plaintiff’s current and historical Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter account information.
New York Justice George J. Silver of State Supreme Court in Manhattan reasoned that simply making conclusory allegations that a party’s “Facebook account is material and necessary to their [client’s] defense” is insufficient to justify disclosure of a litigant’s private Facebook records.
Then Justice Silver talked about a Facebook “fishing expedition”: