Fourth Circuit Strongly Suggests Including Temporal Limitations on Search Warrants for Social Media Account Information

Earlier this year, the Fourth Circuit decided United States v. Zelaya-Veliz, 94 F.4th 321 (4th Cir. 2024). Phil summarized it here when it came out, but we thought it merited its own post because of its extended discussion of how the Fourth Amendment applies to search warrants for social media account information. The court’s discussion of the need for temporal limitations in such warrants is especially noteworthy, as is the court’s analysis of the scope of the information seized pursuant to the warrants approved by the court. We’ll start with a recap of the case, and then end with some thoughts for law enforcement and prosecutors, and for defenders.

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