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Facebook fighting court order over secret government access

FILE - In this April 18, 2017 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at his company's annual F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif. An Ohio family says they learned just 20 minutes before dinner this week that a planned mystery guest would be Zuckerberg. He dined Friday, April 29 with the Moore family in Newton Falls, Ohio, about 55 miles southeast of Cleveland. Zuckerberg announced on Facebook in January that he was challenging himself to visit people in all 50 states. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Technology companies and civil liberties groups have joined Facebook in a fight over government access to social media accounts.

The Washington Post reports that the timing of the government's request and other references in court documents suggest the search warrants relate to demonstrations during President Donald Trump's inauguration, when more than 200 people were charged with rioting.

A court order blocks Facebook from letting users know when law enforcement investigators ask to search their online information, particularly their political affiliations and comments.

Facebook argues the court order violates First Amendment protections of the company and individuals.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment on the case, which is in the D.C. Court of Appeals.

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