It is a felony to wiretap someone without a court order.
"Tech" has claimed a "necessity defense" on this repeatedly, and there's logic to it to the extent it really is necessary. That is, it's not a felony for the phone company to "wiretap" (listen into your call) to find a fault in their circuit. The intent isn't to divulge the contents of the conversation or monitor it per-se; it is to find out why there's static on the line and repair the fault.
Same applies in the tech world. When I ran MCSNet if you were having problems with email, for example, there's nothing wrong with me, or a tech in the company, looking into the system to find the problem and fix it, even though we might wind up reading emails to or from you in the process. Our intent isn't to monitor your communications which you have a reasonable expectation of being private even though I did not encrypt them, it is to find and address technical issues with the service. This is perfectly legal.
Facebook has been spying on the private messages and data of American users and reporting them to the FBI if they express anti-government or anti-authority sentiments — or question the 2020 election — according to sources within the Department of Justice.
Under the FBI collaboration operation, somebody at Facebook red-flagged these supposedly subversive private messages over the past 19 months and transmitted them in redacted form to the domestic terrorism operational unit at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, without a subpoena.
IMHO that's a felony.
Facebook can respond to a subpoena; I used to get them from time to time and while you can challenge one I never got one that I believed was worth of challenge. We therefore complied rather than go to court because on its face the subpoena was reasonable. I didn't know if the claimed thing was true but that's not the test -- the test is whether or not the subpoena, given the information available to me without taking upon myself a duty I don't have (e.g. to investigate and prove up or not the allegations made) is reasonable. Said subpoena was reasonable in every case, therefore it was complied with.
I have, in other contexts, fought subpoenas -- successfully. In fact every time I did challenge one I prevailed and it was either withdrawn or quashed. Yes, people do use them as weapons and that's why you have a right to challenge them.
But the allegation here is that Facebook, despite holding forth the statement that "messenger" is a person-to-person and not public communications medium then systematically violated the privacy of the people involved.
There is no expectation of privacy in what you post to the public. But if I am having a private conversation via a venue or method that some company or other entity represents is limited to the knowing participation of the parties involved, as is the case for a phone call, surface mail with a stamp on it or, as is the case here, an electronic emulation of the same then for that to be systematically invaded for the purpose of monitoring the content and giving it to outside parties, including the government, without a subpoena is quite-arguably both a felony and a ruinously-serious civil cause of action as well.
So where are the handcuffs?
Oh, about in the same place they are for Pfizer's CEO who stated in public that his jabs prevented you 100% from getting Covid when he knew damn well that was a lie -- and yet without that being true there was utterly no basis, ever, for any mandate issued against anyone since all benefit, whatever it might be, would be entirely personal.
We will never stop the crazy in this country until and unless people who lie in this fashion are held to account -- and "held to account" does not mean the firms are fined.
It means people MUST go to prison, which is an equally-nasty consequence for all irrespective of how rich you are, a severity that is never true in the case of a fine because a fine that impoverishes a middle-class chump is laughed at by people like Zuckerpig.