Snapchat allows law enforcement to use unopened messages

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Snapchat is willing to give copies of snapchats to law enforcement officers with a warrant. (Photo by Ari Davis.)
Snapchat is willing to give copies of snapchats to law enforcement officers with a warrant. (Photo by Ari Davis)

Snapchat admitted in a blog post dated Oct. 14 to providing messages to law enforcement officials after receiving search warrants.

“Since May 2013, about a dozen of the search warrants we’ve received have resulted in us producing unopened Snaps to law enforcement,” Snapchat said in the blog post. “That’s out of 350 million Snaps sent every day.”

BYU students have their own thoughts about the blog post.

“I think unopened Snapchats should be treated as unopened letters, unheard (messages) or unopened emails,” said David Germann, a junior studying business management. “I’m not familiar with all the legal rights or privileges of either party, but I think unopened Snapchats should be treated just like other personal property such as that.”

Other BYU students think it may be warranted in some circumstances to give law officials access to these messages.

In response to those people that say that this is a violation of privacy, I would say that, if a person is communicating something or doing something that is against the law, that they … give up their right to this protection,” said Ben Wright, a junior studying exercise science. “Therefore, with (a) warrant, I think we should give law officials access to Snapchats.”

The blog post made it clear that only two people have the ability to manually access unopened messages: Bobby Murphy, cofounder and chief technology officer of Snapchat; and Micah Schaffer, in charge of Snapchat trust and safety.

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