The Washington Post reports on a group of federal magistrate judges who are beginning to push back against what they call overly broad requests for cellphone and digital data in law enforcement investigations. Praised by civil libertarians and scoffed at by investigators, the judges’ rulings call for more focused data collection with timely data deletion where information is not relevant to an investigation. The most aggressive opinions, according to the report, belong to DC Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola. In addition to calling for more focused searches, Facciola has issued a series of written opinions laying out his concerns about sweeping investigations. “For the sixth time,” he wrote, “this court must be clear: If the government seizes data it knows is outside the scope of the warrant, it must either destroy the data or return it. It simply cannot keep it.” In an appeal, the Justice Department called the ruling “unreasonable.” (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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