Many would argue that cops cross the line when they impersonate people on social networks to catch suspects, but that doesn’t mean that fake accounts are always off the table. In a recent opinion, New Jersey district judge William Martini contends that police don’t need search warrants to create bogus Instagram accounts for the sake of seeing a suspect’s photos.
A federal judge in New Jersey has signed off on the practice of law enforcement using a fake Instagram account in order to become “friends” with a suspect—thus obtaining photos and other information that a person posts to their account. “No search warrant is required for the consensual sharing of this type of information,” United States District Judge William Martini wrote in an opinion published last Tuesday. “[Defendant Daniel] Gatson’s motion to suppress the evidence obtained through the undercover account will be denied.”