Flickr Graffiti and Police Warrants

Thursday, March 24, 2011

flickr police

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.


“We respond to subpoenas, court orders, or legal process, or to establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims.

We believe it is necessary to share information in order to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person, violations of Yahoo!’s terms of use, or as otherwise required by law.” -Yahoo!

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.


  • Swamp Wolf March 25, 2011, 4:57 am

    Yeah, the law tried that with my content on social networking sites, they failed miserably. Apparently they think that legislation and bylaws supercede common laws (this is why I make the police pay for all my traffic violations and other NOTICE’s). They seem to imagine that Acts and ByLaws are actual laws. And under the Bills Of Exchanqe act of 1985, a contract is required to be shown (a contract between you and the law stating facts) before a revenue collection agent (police, judge, etc.) can contract with you via a NOTICE. Under the Bills Of Exchange Act of 1985 whomever issues the notice with the signature of the agent who issues it is fully responsible for paying the fine on the notice if they fail to show you a bi-lateral contract as required under the highest LAWS of the land.

  • Swamp Wolf March 25, 2011, 4:58 am

    P.S. by LAW the white copy of the NOTICE must be handed over to the party the police/revenue agent attempted to joinder with. Failure to do so is a chargeable offence under the Canada Criminal Code.

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