Justice Served With Precision, Passion, and Professionalism Call Now

No Privacy When Posting to Social Media "Friends"

Keith G. Langer Feb. 7, 2024

Be careful who you accept as social media “friends” - and don't be stupid enough to send photos of you committing crimes:

“The defendant maintains that his "permission" should not be considered valid, given that it was obtained via a ruse.  That Connolly did not reveal his true identity to the defendant, however, does not vitiate the permission the defendant extended to him.  See Hoffa, 385 U.S. at 300, 303 (rejecting argument that informant's "failure to disclose his role as a government informer vitiated the consent that the [defendant] gave to [him]"); Commonwealth v. Sepulveda, 406 Mass. 180, 182 (1989) ("It makes no difference that the defendant's consent to police entry was obtained by a ruse").  See also 4 W.R. LaFave, Search and Seizure § 8.2(m) (6th ed. 2021) ("consent is not vitiated merely because it would not have been given but for the nondisclosure . . . of the other person's identity as a police officer or police agent").  Indeed, to hold otherwise would require police officers to "identify themselves as [such] when they investigate criminal activity," thus rendering "virtually all undercover work" unconstitutional.  United States v. Butler, 405 Fed. Appx. 652, 656 (3d Cir. 2010).  This we decline to do.  See Commonwealth v. Garcia, 421 Mass. 686, 692 (1996) ("undercover police work is a legitimate investigative technique").

Order denying motion to suppress affirmed.”

Commonwealth vs. Averyk Carrasquillo; MA SJC-13122 (2/7/22) (BOLD added)