ShutterstockFacebook attorneys appeared in a Portland, Ore., courtroom to fight what is becoming an increasingly common demand across the country: Turn over user content that lawyers say they need to defend clients accused of murder, robbery and other crimes.

Facebook won’t share the pages of more than 1 billion active users, citing a 1986 federal Internet privacy law that it says prevents it from relinquishing the information.

That stance is sure to draw many more legal tussles in coming years as Americans continue to post copious amounts of revealing information online and criminal defense attorneys realize the treasure trove that Facebook and other social-networking sites, including Twitter and Google+, provide.

Criminal defense attorneys contend that withholding the information — despite what the Stored Communications Act says — clashes with the constitutional rights of their clients to gather evidence that might exonerate them.

Facebook Protects User Content in Portland Murder Case | DFI News.

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