Can federal investigators monitor social media on a phone seized from a suspect?

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Can federal investigators monitor social media on a phone seized from a suspect?

I found that a friend was arrested by federal marshals. I had not heard from her for over a month though my text messages on Facebook messenger showed up as delivered but not read. I have not committed any crime but am concerned I could be subpoenaed or be under investigation

for being in close contact with this person.

Asked on October 12, 2016 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

With the proper warrant, they could monitor messages sent to the phone; they need the legal authorization to do this, but with the authorization, it's legal, and it's most likely not terribly difficult for them to get that authorization. And if they do, they could certainly choose to investigate someone in contact with a suspect or fugitive, if the communications or circumstances suggest that other person was doing something wrong, and/or they could subpoena him or her to testify.


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