The Champion

August 2010 , Page 14 

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It's Time to Level the Playing Field - The Defense's Use of Evidence from Social Networking Sites

By Thomas G. Frongillo; Daniel K. Gelb

If a client is in the crosshairs of a criminal investigation, chances are that law enforcement has already scoured Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites to search for incriminating evidence. Several hundred million people have active Facebook and MySpace accounts.1 Unlike traditional Web sites, where users are limited to passive viewing, social networking sites permit users to create personal profiles; post photographs, videos, and audio clips; write blog entries and status updates; send and receive private messages; and link to pages of others. Across the country, law enforcement agents and prosecutors are effectively mining these sites for inculpatory evidence. But evidence from social networking sites is not just for the prosecution. Evidence from these sites can also bolster the defense.

Government Uses of Social Networking Sites

A recently obtained document from the U.S. Department of Justice titled Obtaining and Using E

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