USDNJ OKs Fake Fed Accounts

The United States District Court for the District of NJ held recently that it is permissible for law enforcement officials to create fake accounts to access otherwise quasi-public internet social media accounts.  The one at issue here is essentially used only for posting pictures, usually taken from a cell phone.  The Feds created a fake account, sent a request to the subscriber-cum-defendant for access to look at pictures of their dinner, cat, narcissistic selfie, etc.  These pictures contained stolen merchandise.  So, an arrest followed.

Click here for a link to a copy of the opinion.

*Hat tip to Jon Lomurro for spotting this.

Legal Tech Item Roundup

Here are some technology-related legal items that may be of interest:

1. There is a motor vehicle event data recorder (“black box”) legislation pending in NJ. This is the data that nearly all newer MVs record a few seconds of before a crash. The bill basically keeps law enforcement from getting it without a warrant or consent. The version attached below is a little unclear about whether an “owner” includes anyone other than the registered owner or not, despite the drafters best intentions.

-Click here for the Assembly version.

-To find out more about the EDR/”black box”, click here.

2. Here are two links on FBI investigation of otherwise harmless hacker activity. The first is written by an attorney who defends many of these cases, the second is an article about what seems to be the beginning of such an investigation into socially helpful activity.

3. Finally, the recent opinion denying alleged online drug market Silk Road’s head Ross Ulbricht’s motion to suppress reminds us that even if the Feds obtained evidence by illegally hacking into a data server in Iceland, you have to assert a possessory interest in it to get standing.  Click here is a copy of the opinion.

Helpful Websites for Criminal Practice

A handful of go-getters have been working on a book about technology in the practice of law.  Included in it are links to various soures of information to help us all be better lawyers.  It contains a healthy coverage of criminal practice, so here are a few websites that will help you in your quest for justice, no matter which side of the "v." you are on.  You can click on the blue link directly, or copy and paste it into your internet browser's address bar.

NJ Judiciary website: it has so much.  Notices to the bar, committee reports, appellate decisions, the "numbers", Administrative Orders of Court, model jury charges, etc.

NJ Attorney General Directives and Guidelines:;

 NJ Criminal Jury Charge Generator (use Internet Explorer to access it, not Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc.):

NJ Criminal Code:

Wiretap Guidelines:

NJ Dept. of Criminal Justice Computer Search Manual:

US Dept. of Justice Policy on E-Communications Retention:

NJ County Jails:



Cape May:;







NJ Department of Corrections Inmate Locator (Offender information is only available for one year after expiration of their maximum sentence date or their mandatory parole supervision date, if applicable. Offenders sentenced to Community Supervision for Life or Parole Supervision for Life will not be removed.):

Federal Prisons:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

Military Personnel:

Sex Offender Registries:;

Promis Gavel (limited to cases which were disposed of with a conviction to an indictable offense.  So no PTI dismissals, remands to municipal court, no bills, or disorderly persons offenses):


Facebook Takes Issue With Police Undercover Profiles

A woman has sued and has written the DEA following their use of pictures and personal information obtained from the woman's cell phone to create a fake facebook profile in an attempt to find ne'er-do-wells engaged in criminal behavior.  Apparently the Feds justify it by asserting it was “for a legitimate law enforcement purpose.”  Recall that in NJ, although private counsel and their agents are ethically prohibited from misrepresenting during the course of investigations, law enforcement usually is not.

Click here for the original article from buzzfeed.

Click here for the letter sent to the DEA.