Electronic Frontier Foundation fights US link law

Weblog: Advocacy group highlights potential for ‘overreach ’ by law enforcement

The case of US v Nikolai Bosyk established that clicking on a URL was grounds for a prosecutor to get a warrant to search a home.

The case of US v Nikolai Bosyk established that clicking on a URL was grounds for a prosecutor to get a warrant to search a home.

 

Is clicking on a URL linking to illegal content enough for authorities to obtain a search warrant for your house? The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is arguing that it is not.

Currently, in the United States, the case of US v Nikolai Bosyk established that clicking on a URL was grounds for a prosecutor to get a warrant to search the home of Bosyk because the link was to a file-sharing service used to share child pornography. The EFF is arguing that the warrant was obtained without knowing how the defendant found the link or if he knew what it linked to.

Filing an Amicus brief (a legal document filed on behalf of an interested but independent party), the EFF says the prevalence of link shorteners and prank links such as Rickrolling means that an individual may click on something they never wanted to see.

“Although it may be tempting to overlook law-enforcement overreach when it comes to tracking down potential paedophiles, the ramifications for our Fourth Amendment rights are dire,” said EFF staff attorney Aaron Mackey.

eff.org/press/releases/click-url-isnt-enough-search-warrant