This is a copy of the Redacted Search Warrant as filed with the court earlier today. This was unsealed and made available to the public intentionally after a hearing and due process. Sometimes this disclosure is accidental, as discussed in Examining a Leaked Criminal Warrant for Apple iCloud Data in a High Profile Case – Part 3, Part 2, and Part 1. Before the warrant, I have included an excerpt of Judge’s ruling that allowed the unsealing with redactions. In re Warrant, No. 22-8332-BER, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150388 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 22, 2022).
Despite the First Amendment right of access, a document can be sealed if there is a compelling governmental interest and the denial of access is “narrowly tailored to serve that interest.” Globe Newspaper Co. v. Superior Court, 457 U.S. 596, 606, 102 S. Ct. 2613, 73 L. Ed. 2d 248 (1982). . . .
The Government argues that unsealing the Affidavit would jeopardize the integrity of its ongoing criminal investigation. The Government’s motion says, “As the Court is aware from its review of the affidavit, it contains, among other critically important and detailed investigative facts: highly sensitive information about witnesses, including witnesses interviewed by the government; specific investigative techniques; and information required by law to be kept under seal pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e).” ECF No. 59 at 8. . . .
After weighing all the relevant factors, I find that the Government has met its burden of [*16] showing good cause/a compelling interest that overrides any public interest in unsealing the full contents of the Affidavit. . . . I must still consider whether there is a less onerous alternative to sealing the entire document. The Government argues that redacting the Affidavit and unsealing it in part is not a viable option because the necessary redactions “would be so extensive as to render the document devoid of content that would meaningfully enhance the public’s understanding of these events beyond the information already now in the public record.” ECF No. 59 at 10; see also Steinger, 626 F. Supp. 2d at 1237 (redactions not feasible because they would “be so heavy as to make the released versions incomprehensible and unintelligible.”). I cannot say at this point that partial redactions will be so extensive that they will result in a meaningless disclosure, but I may ultimately reach that conclusion after hearing further from the Government. . . . I therefore reject the Government’s argument that the present record justifies keeping the entire Affidavit under seal.Id. at *15
The judge then ruled the partial redactions were not so extensive to result in a meaningless disclosure and this allowed the redacted Search Warrant to fe filed today, August 26, 2022.