Cambodian Exile Loses Facebook Data Demand, Gets Another Try

(Bloomberg) -- A U.S. judge denied a Cambodian opposition leader’s bid for a court order requiring Facebook Inc. to turn over information for his legal fight against the ruling government, while offering him a road map to renew his request.

Sam Rainsy, the exiled leader of Cambodia’s National Rescue Party, wants to subpoena Facebook to help him fight criminal and civil claims against him brought by the regime of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim in San Francisco ruled Friday that Sam Rainsy’s initial request was too broad. Kim added that Rainsy "might satisfy" subpoena rules and "evade any problems" of U.S. privacy law by focusing narrowly on information about an investigation of Hun Sen’s Facebook page. The request should be limited to investigations about the "likes" on Hun Sen’s Facebook page -- without revealing the identities of users who made the posts, Kim said.

Sam Rainsy, through his lawyer Noah Hagey, said an in email that he will file a "renewed subpoena very shortly." Facebook declined to comment.

The case is Sam Rainsy v. Facebook Inc., 18-mc-80024, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.