Local

Whatcom County drops warrant for Facebook data on pipeline protest

Protesters block northbound Interstate 5 near Lakeway Drive in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Saturday, Feb. 11, in Bellingham, Wash.
Protesters block northbound Interstate 5 near Lakeway Drive in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Saturday, Feb. 11, in Bellingham, Wash. eabell@bhamherald.com

Whatcom County has withdrawn a sheriff’s search warrant that sought private Facebook data as part of an investigation into a Dakota Access oil pipeline protest that blocked traffic on Interstate 5 last month.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington challenged the request, and said in a news release that the Whatcom County prosecutor’s office on Monday withdrew the search warrant obtained by the Whatcom County Sheriff Department.

The ACLU filed a motion challenging the constitutionality of the warrant last week. The warrant was for data on the Bellingham #NoDAPL Coalition Facebook page, including private communications.

It also sought data related to individuals who merely interacted with the group around a Feb. 11 Bellingham protest against the pipeline.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said previously the purpose of the warrant was to seek electronic data that related to chaotic, disruptive and criminal behavior.

  Comments