1st Amendment Violated as Facebook Assists Police in Pre-Crime Investigations

On August 16th former US Marine Brandon Raub was arrested for posting his opinion about the US government on his Facebook page .

Raub is currently being held in a psychiatric ward.

In a statement by Raub, he explains : “I’m currently in John Randolph in the psychiatric ward being held against my will. They were concerned about me calling for the arrest of government officials.”

Raub’s lawyers say that he will be held for “up to 30 days’ further confinement in a VA psych ward” after “government officials again pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the sole reason for their concern and for his continued incarceration.” While Raub was taken forcefully, put into handcuffs and taken by the FBI to be questioned, both the FBI and Secret Service deny that Raub was arrested or detained by them.

Facebook comments were recently cited as evidence in a court case concerning cyber bullying where comments on a personal page were ruled by a US Federal court as information that can be lawfully obtained by the police to be used against a defendant.

William Pauley, US District Court Judge, stated that because the defendant made violent threats in his posts which are deemed public information that they are allowable as evidence against him by prosecutors.

On April 24th, District Judge Raymond Jackson ruled that by clicking a “like” button on Facebook, that this affiliation is public domain and not protected by the 1st Amendment. Jackson wrote : “Simply liking a Facebook page is insufficient.

Full article here

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