Powerful keyword warrants face new challenge in deadly arson case

Kristen Radtke / The Verge

A case being brought in the Colorado district court of Denver County is challenging the constitutionality of a controversial keyword search warrant and potentially curbing a law enforcement practice that has implications for the criminalization of abortion.

A reverse keyword search warrant is a surveillance technique that lets police start with a search term of interest and identify users who have searched it within a particular period. In concrete terms, that could mean identifying all the users who search for a specific name or address — or in a scenario that has caused anxiety recently, everyone who searches for “abortion drugs.” Proponents of the technique say they’re an important tool for identifying criminals, but civil liberties…

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