Pennsylvania Supreme Court Is Urged To Find Keyword Search Warrant Unconstitutional

If you’re tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net. Law enforcement agencies are always seeking innovative but questionable methods to solve crimes. One such method is the keyword search warrant. Unlike conventional warrants, these warrants do not target a person or a place but are based on specific search terms used by individuals on search engines, social media, and other online platforms. In other words, agencies are finding information on everyone who searched for a specific search term. When law enforcement agencies suspect a crime, they can request a keyword search warrant from a court. This warrant compels tech companies to hand over data on who searched for specific terms. For example, if the police are investigating a burglary, they might ask a search engine for data on who looked up “how to pick a lock” in a certain location. The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. Critics argue that keyword search warrants are inherently overbroad and indiscriminate, potentially infringing on this fundamental right. These warrants often capture data on individuals who have no connection to the crime under investigation. In a recent legal filing to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with several other advocacy groups, has vehemently opposed the use of keyword search warrants. We obtained a copy of the filing for you here. The EFF, alongside the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Pennsylvania Association of…Pennsylvania Supreme Court Is Urged To Find Keyword Search Warrant Unconstitutional