MySpace on the record: The admissibility of social website content under the Federal Rules of Evidence

Stacey Schesser

Abstract


With the increased reliance on technology in everyday life — including business, recreation, and culture — individuals leave traces of criminal activity on their computers, and now, online. As scholars address the U.S. Fourth Amendment and digital search and seizure issues, questions as to the admissibility of such acquired evidence begin to emerge. This paper explores the issues that both prosecutors and defense counsel face in determining whether digital evidence from Internet-based sources, primarily social networks, should be admitting under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Using an analysis of recent case law involving the admissibility of electronic evidence, the paper concludes with predictions on how these precedents would apply to social network Web sites like MySpace, Craigslist, personal blogs, and eBay.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v11i12.1419



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