The Latest: Court says defendants could get Facebook info

FILE - In this June 11, 2014, file photo, a man walks past a mural in an office on the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, Calif. The California Supreme Court will decide whether Facebook and other social media companies must turn over user content to criminal defendants. The justices are expected to rule Thursday, May 24, 2018, in a case that has pitted some of Silicon Valley's biggest companies against public defenders. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Latest on California high court's decision on social media access for criminal defendants (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

The California Supreme Court has ruled that Facebook and other social media companies could be required to turn over user content that is public to criminal defendants.

Attorneys for the social media companies had argued that federal privacy law prevents the release of any user content and that the defendants had other ways to get the material.

At issue were requests by a defendant charged with murder in San Francisco who wanted videos and other content posted to Facebook and Instagram by the victim and a witness.

The defendant also sought information from Twitter.

The court on Thursday kicked the specific case back to the trial court to decide whether information requested by the defendants was open to the public — and, therefore, information that companies could be required to provide.


This story has been corrected to say that the court ruled that social media companies could be required to turn over user content, rather than that they must turn over the content.