Some of our readers may be familiar with the term “catfishing”. The term has an interesting etymology, but really rose in popularity several years ago in connection with the girlfriend hoax involving New Orleans Saints linebacker Manti Te’o. The long and short of it is that Te’o had fallen in love from online interactions with a person he thought was a young woman. In reality, it was another man who had himself fallen in love with Te’o and used an online persona to interact with him.
Previously, we began looking at the legal troubles besetting former New York representative Anthony Weiner. As we noted, federal prosecutors are currently weighing the possibility of charging Weiner with production of child pornography in connection with his sexting activity with a 15-year-old girl. The charge carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 years.
Recent posts on this blog have explored the issue of privacy in the context of smart phones and criminal investigation. In this increasingly digital world, the issue is bound to become increasingly important as the government continues to search connected or smart devices as part of the work of criminal investigation and prosecution.
In our last post, we looked at a recent Florida case in which it was ruled that police officers acted illegally by failing to obtain a warrant prior to searching a password protected cell phone dropped by a criminal suspect. The case shows that tapping into a password protected cell phone for information constitutes a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, at least in some circumstances.
In our last post, we began looking at the issue of search and seizure law, particularly the warrant requirement, which is an important area to explore when building a thorough criminal defense case. This is especially true when it is suspected that law enforcement hasn’t done its job properly in this area.
Law enforcement agencies use all kinds of tools and strategies to improve their efforts to identify criminal activity and bring offenders to justice. This includes making use of technologies like three-dimensional crime scene imaging, body-worn cameras, predictive analysis software, thermal imaging, and through-the-wall radar.
Last time, we spoke briefly about Florida’s so-called revenge porn law, noting the importance of working with an experienced attorney when one faces charges under the law. This is particularly with respect to search and seizure issues, which can become an issue in any criminal case.
As the Internet, social media, and mobile devices increasingly become an all-pervasive reality of life, there are more and more opportunities for criminal activity to take place via these mediums. One area where this is evident is with child pornography, sexting and so-called “revenge porn.” Here in Florida, the latter has been in the news more and more in recent months, particularly after the passage of Florida’s revenge porn law last year.