The Latest: California court grants some social media access

The Latest on California high court's decision on social media access for criminal defendants (all times local):

Continue Reading Below

12:30 p.m.

The California Supreme Court has ruled that Facebook and other social media companies must turn over user content that is public to criminal defendants.

The court on Thursday kicked the specific case back to the trial court to decide whether information requested by the defendants was open to the public - and, therefore, information that companies must provide.

Attorneys for the social media companies had argued that federal privacy law prevents the release of any user content and that the defendants had other ways to get the material.

At issue were requests by a defendant charged with murder in San Francisco who wanted videos and other content posted to Facebook and Instagram by the victim and a witness.

The defendant also sought information from Twitter.

___

10 a.m.

The California Supreme Court will decide whether Facebook and other social media companies must turn over user content to criminal defendants.

The justices are expected to rule Thursday in a case that has pitted some of Silicon Valley's biggest companies against public defenders.

At issue are requests by a defendant charged with murder in San Francisco for videos and other content posted to Facebook and Instagram by the victim and a witness. Lee Sullivan and a co-defendant also sought information from Twitter.

The defendants say their constitutional right to a fair trial entitles them to the material to prepare their case.

Attorneys for the companies say a federal privacy law prevents the release of user content, and the defendants have other ways to get the material.