In general, if you plan to do anything against the law, it’s a bad idea to tell someone about it. It’s an exceedingly terrible idea to talk about that plan in writing.
Yet some people exchange incriminating messages over messenger apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter DMs, Instagram Direct, Discord, Snapchat, and other services they believe to be completely private.
Others just get caught in law enforcement’s fantastic ability to twist words to mean just about anything when they’ve decided to go after someone.
Still, others are engaged in activities they don’t realize law enforcement might take exception to, such as feeding the homeless.
Either way, if you think your messenger apps are safe, think again. These communications are no more secure than email communications or SMS messages. They may be called “private messages,” but this won’t stop law enforcement from getting their hands on them.
In reality, even private conversations aren’t that safe anymore, at least not if either party has their phone on them. Phones are notorious for recording every word their users say. You can alleviate this problem somewhat by turning off your phone’s microphone, deleting your voice request history, and using a VPN.
All they need is a search warrant.
Be sure to keep all of this information in mind if you’re already facing criminal charges. Anything you say over an instant messenger app can be used against you.
Secure options do exist.
You could download an app known as Signal, developed, in part, by the ACLU. End-to-end encryption ensures it can’t read your messages or listen to your calls. A warrant won’t help law enforcement get your information. The information it’s easy to retrieve on other apps doesn’t exist on Signal’s servers.
We encourage our clients and readers to use Signal even if you aren’t taking an action that might get you into legal trouble. Innocent people get charged with crimes all the time. Why allow your private message history to be dragged out into court and used against you?
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While we can’t stop law enforcement from getting a warrant to break into your DMs and messenger apps, we can give you outstanding representation to bring your case to its best possible conclusion.
Plus, we can help you suppress any evidence which may have been illegally obtained.
Contact our office to schedule a free case review today.
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