Prosecutors had in July 2013 obtained the warrants ordering Facebook to turn over account information belonging to people suspected of criminal fraud.
The court found that under NY law, Facebook didn't have standing to challenge search warrants in a criminal case on behalf of its clients.
The NY state Court of Appeals NY has rejected Facebook's challenge to search warrants.
As Reuters reports, "Among the targets were retired police officers and firefighters suspected of feigning illness after the Sept 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center". Facebook sought to quash the warrants, calling them too broad and objecting to a prohibition against informing its users about them.
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The executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, Donna Leiberman on the ruling said that she is heartened as the announcement has been made only on the procedural grounds. "We are grateful to the many organizations that joined us in challenging these overbroad warrants, and we are continuing to evaluate our options because we believe strongly in the issues underlying this case".
Facebook has lost more skin in its battle to avoid handing over user account details to a U.S. court.
Despite the moral victory for Facebook, the decision itself is still chalked up as a loss for tech companies hoping to push back against law enforcement agencies requesting access to user data-a mission that has produced checkered results thus far. The court found that only users themselves have the right to challenge warrants in criminal proceedings. The warrants ordered the company to provide information from hundreds of user accounts in connection with a fraud investigation.