ACLU Sues Suffolk DA Prosecutors Over What It Calls 'Warrantless Surveillance'

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A lawsuit against Suffolk County prosecutors was been filed Tuesday in what's already been a long legal battle in Massachusetts. The suit centers on what are known as administrative subpoenas, or subpoenas that grant law enforcement access to someone's personal information — particularly online information — without seeking a warrant or going before a judge.

Massachusetts lawmakers approved the use of such subpoenas almost a decade ago as a way to more quickly identify child predators, but opponents say these subpoenas are now widely used in various cases, and they essentially amount to warrantless surveillance.

Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Liberty Project for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, says that is essentially the crux of the lawsuit. Crockford joined Morning Edition to explain how this fight began with an administrative subpoena sought at the end of the Occupy Boston protests in 2011.

This segment aired on June 28, 2017.

Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.



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