Flickr Graffiti and Police WarrantsThursday, March 24, 2011
The graffiti writers Utah and Ether have put together another Paperwork Wednesday. This week they discuss the legal issues that the popular photo sharing website Flickr can have.
A warrant for your Flickr account can be subpoenaed a few different ways. Police are known for lurking on internet forums and social networking platforms. When they come across a Flickr account that posts photos of the same tag repeatedly, it is not too difficult for them to convince a judge to issue a warrant for that account (as seen in the paperwork above). Also, a surprising amount of well established writers have public Flickr accounts under their tag name, and have back and forth conversations about personal matters with others in the comments section, making it even easier to tie the account to a specific writer. When your Flickr account is subpoenaed, it allows law enforcement to view any email accounts tied to the Flickr account, and also the IP address you login from (which then leads them having access to any other emails/personal accounts that log in from the same IP address). Another way authorities can get a warrant for a Flickr account is if they already have one for your Emails/IP address. Even if you put your Flickr in a fake name and email, chances are you are still logging into it from the same IP address as you log into your personal email, thus making it available to authorities.
YAHOO’S OFFICIAL INFORMATION SHARING AND DISCLOSURE:
“We respond to subpoenas, court orders, or legal process, or to establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims.
The above is Yahoo!’s policy regarding warrants and subpoenas. As Flickr is owned by Yahoo!, this policy applies to it as well. It’s a pretty straight forward policy that says they will give law enforcement agencies any and all information that they request (including password information, email information, access to your private photos/messages, etc).
For more information check out Utah and Ether’s blog.