Hennepin sheriff investigator's warrant to access encrypted Facebook messages worries digital privacy advocates

"But, Riana Pfefferkorn said that the warrant highlighted the lengths to which law enforcement officers are willing to go pursue a suspect, likening it to the well-publicized dispute between the FBI and Apple over the iPhone maker’s refusal to unlock the phone of one of the perpetrators of the San Bernardino, Calif. Mass shooting. In that case, Apple refused to budge, and federal investigators eventually announced that they’d found another way to get into the locked phone.

“We’ve seen repeated efforts by law enforcement to try to stretch the law and to convince judges to take an expansive view of what existing surveillance laws authorize,” said Pfefferkorn, associate director of surveillance and cybersecurity at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society. “When providers such as Facebook are the subjects of these efforts to push the envelope, it’s important that they push back and stand up for user privacy and security.”"