Foursquare, Kickstarter, Meetup, and Tumblr submitted an amicus brief in
an appeal challenging search warrants obtained by the Manhattan District
Attorney instructing Facebook to produce content and other data
associated with 381 Facebook accounts-the largest set of search warrants
Facebook has ever received. Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP moved for
leave to file the brief Friday.
A trial court in New York County denied Facebook's challenge to the
search warrants and directed Facebook not to inform its users of the
existence or execution of the warrants. On appeal, Facebook is arguing
that the search warrants violated the Fourth Amendment and that the
nondisclosure order violated the First Amendment.
The amicus brief presents the perspective of Foursquare, Kickstarter,
Meetup, and Tumblr as small and mid-size online platforms based in New
ork. The amici argue that gag orders like the one the trial court
issued violate their First Amendment rights to notify users of
government information requests so that users can decide whether to
challenge those requests. Moreover, the amici argue that contrary to
what the trial court held, online platforms can raise Fourth Amendment
objections to search warrants, both on their own behalf and on behalf of
"With the burgeoning tech industry in New York, the need to protect the
privacy of users has never been greater," said Judge Richard Holwell,
co-founder of Holwell Shuster & Goldberg and a former federal judge in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. "It is
critical that online platforms be able to inform their users about
government requests for private information and, when appropriate,
object to violations of privacy rights."
Holwell Shuster & Goldberg attorneys who drafted the brief include
founding partner Richard J. Holwell, chair of the firm's Intellectual
Property Department John M. DiMatteo, and Daniel M. Sullivan, associate
and former law clerk to the Honorable Antonin Scalia of the United
States Supreme Court.
About Holwell Shuster & Goldberg
Founded by Southern District of New York Judge Richard Holwell and trial
lawyers Michael Shuster, Daniel Goldberg, and Dorit Ungar Black, Holwell
Shuster & Goldberg is a litigation boutique focused on the
representation of clients in complex commercial, securities, antitrust,
intellectual property, and bankruptcy litigation, as well as related
civil, criminal, and regulatory matters.
[ Back To NFVZone's Homepage ]