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posted by n1 on Wednesday October 22 2014, @10:58AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the facebook-charged-with-obstruction-of-justice dept.

CNNMoney reports that Facebook has sent a letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration demanding that agents stop impersonating users on the social network. "The DEA's deceptive actions... threaten the integrity of our community," Facebook chief security officer Joe Sullivan wrote to DEA head Michele Leonhart. "Using Facebook to impersonate others abuses that trust and makes people feel less safe and secure when using our service."

Facebook's letter comes on the heels of reports that the DEA impersonated a young woman on Facebook to communicate with suspected criminals, and the Department of Justice argued that they had the right to do so. Facebook contends that their terms and Community Standards - which the DEA agent had to acknowledge and agree to when registering for a Facebook account - expressly prohibit the creation and use of fake accounts. "Isn't this the definition of identity theft?" says Privacy researcher Runa Sandvik. The DEA has declined to comment and referred all questions to the Justice Department, which has not returned CNNMoney's calls.

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  • (Score: 2) by jackb_guppy on Wednesday October 22 2014, @11:20AM

    by jackb_guppy (3560) on Wednesday October 22 2014, @11:20AM (#108608)

    Facebook if government backs off will you please stop stocking me. Filling my in box with same posts of two unanswered messages. I know you want the government to pay you since you are better at than the NSA, but please back off.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 22 2014, @11:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 22 2014, @11:48AM (#108612)

      I deleted my Facebook profile. Goodbye Facebook.

      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday October 22 2014, @04:46PM

        by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday October 22 2014, @04:46PM (#108764) Journal

        Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup! Me too.

        Better off without it. :P

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 2) by skullz on Wednesday October 22 2014, @05:46PM

          by skullz (2532) on Wednesday October 22 2014, @05:46PM (#108795)

          skullz and 9001 others like this.

  • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Wednesday October 22 2014, @11:54AM

    by choose another one (515) on Wednesday October 22 2014, @11:54AM (#108613)

    DEA to Facebook:

    C'mon, we're the DEA, what are you smoking ?

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 22 2014, @12:52PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 22 2014, @12:52PM (#108623)

    The DEA's fake profiles must be creating false positives on the NSA/FBI facebook thought-crime dragnet surveillance machine.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Common Joe on Wednesday October 22 2014, @01:09PM

    by Common Joe (33) <common.joe.0101NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 22 2014, @01:09PM (#108631) Journal

    "The DEA's deceptive actions... threaten the integrity of our community," Facebook chief security officer Joe Sullivan wrote

    Absolutely correct. Once they stop the DEA from performing these deceptive deeds, Facebook can go back to the wholesome, family friendly, non deceptive actions that Facebook is well known for. You know what I mean. Because malware distribution, intrusive advertising, and selling under-the-radar user data would never threaten the integrity of "their" community.

    • (Score: 2) by hubie on Wednesday October 22 2014, @02:25PM

      by hubie (1068) on Wednesday October 22 2014, @02:25PM (#108679) Journal

      It is funny to hear them get on their high horse with the government regarding tracking and integrity. The biggest problem for them is not that it undermines the faith people have in Facebook, but the fact that fake accounts add noise into the information they collect and sell to advertisers and others.

      • (Score: 1) by monster on Thursday October 23 2014, @03:42PM

        by monster (1260) on Thursday October 23 2014, @03:42PM (#109219) Journal

        It's not funny, it's business. The DEA is pissing in Facebook's pool and F is angry about it.

  • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Wednesday October 22 2014, @01:09PM

    by paulej72 (58) on Wednesday October 22 2014, @01:09PM (#108632) Journal

    If you crate a fake person it is identity creation not theft. Dumbass privacy researcher.

    --
    Team Leader for SN Development
    • (Score: 2) by Leebert on Wednesday October 22 2014, @01:17PM

      by Leebert (3511) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 22 2014, @01:17PM (#108638)

      I didn't read anything that says it created fake PEOPLE, just fake accounts. From the Slashdot link (WTF?) in the summary:

      The woman was charged with being part of a drug ring and sentenced to probation, after which a DEA agent set up a Facebook page in her name, uploaded images to it (including pictures of her son and niece), and used it without her consent.

      The BuzzFeed article linked from the /. story corroborates this (for what THAT is worth). So, yeah, for at least some reasonable definition of identity theft, it is indeed identity theft.

      • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Wednesday October 22 2014, @03:14PM

        by paulej72 (58) on Wednesday October 22 2014, @03:14PM (#108709) Journal

        Then it is not a fake account if it based on a real person. It is a fraudulent use of a real person's identity to create an account. Lets get the facts straight.

        --
        Team Leader for SN Development
        • (Score: 2) by Leebert on Wednesday October 22 2014, @08:27PM

          by Leebert (3511) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 22 2014, @08:27PM (#108862)

          Then it is not a fake account if it based on a real person. It is a fraudulent use of a real person's identity to create an account. Lets get the facts straight.

          The point wasn't whether or not it was a "fake" account. The claim was that it wasn't "identity theft", which I said it actually IS, for a reasonable definition of identity theft. By your logic, if I open up a bunch of accounts and take loans out in your name, it's not identity theft because I'm using a real person's identity to create a bank account?

          If your complaint is about the general misuse of the term "theft" in this context, then sure, we're in agreement. I prefer the term "fraud", since "theft" implies physically taking something from someone. But using the term-of-art definition of identity theft, this is identity theft.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday October 22 2014, @10:01PM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Wednesday October 22 2014, @10:01PM (#108920) Homepage
      https://freedom.press/about/staff-tech/runa-sandvik

      "Runa A. Sandvik is a privacy and security researcher, working at the intersection of technology, law and policy."

      = Unable to contribute significantly to any field, she sits between them pretending to be useful as to those she interfaces with she probably has better insights into those other two fields (even if she's not particularly good in ours, but then again, ours is a difficult field, no?)

      "Prior to joining the Freedom of the Press Foundation as a full-time technologist in June 2014"

      = ... Oh, actually, I take that back, I didn't realise that she's a *full-time >technologist<*. Damn, I'm glad she had time time between her sessions of technologising to write that analysis. She really ought to get back to her technologisms.

      Is that unfair on her? Nah - I'm an equal-opportunities insulter, and that includes self - she may do her worst with "FatPhil is a coding monkey. That's it. I write code motherfucker."
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday October 22 2014, @01:14PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 22 2014, @01:14PM (#108636)

    Conspiracy theory of the day:

    "I helped you guys out to catch a guy who ripped me off, but I was outed, and snitches aren't treated very well and neither are their families, and you guys owe me big time , so we're going to put on a little show that results in nothing changing other than I'm out of trouble. Or else I'm telling everyone who your currently undercover agent is, and if you thought the threats to my family were bad, wait till you see what they actually do to your agent once they get a hold of him, assuming you ever find all the pieces. Or we could just pretend this conversation never happened and file some paperwork that is in the end, meaningless to everyone other than getting me out of trouble and keeping your undercover agent hidden."

    Another good one revolves around (if I have the case correct) she's at least a semi-attractive chick, and she was promised immunity if she cooperated, although her handler thought "cooperation" meant getting some, but she kicked him in the balls so she ended up in prison too, and now she's pissed off and getting even.

    Either would make a better Hollywood movie than most of the crap they release.

  • (Score: 2) by Geezer on Wednesday October 22 2014, @01:55PM

    by Geezer (511) on Wednesday October 22 2014, @01:55PM (#108660)

    Zuckerberg awakes to a nice, fresh NSL: "The NSA is supporting the DEA in a narco-terrorism investigation. You will allow such activity as they require, and shut your pie hole about it."

    I'd be willing to bet that some such NSL is already in place or on the way, with enough wiggle room in the confidentiality department to allow FB to make a public protest and still comply anyway.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 22 2014, @09:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 22 2014, @09:08PM (#108887)

      "NSA" is just the new boogeyman, and is overused and over-sensationalized to the point where it's starting to lose its significance. Anyone could claim to be from the NSA without any credentials and many would bow down and beg for their lives, but in reality the NSA is just another government bureaucracy. The NSA is a scammer's wet dream. If you receive any correspondence claiming to be from the NSA, just throw it in the bin where it belongs. If it really was the NSA, you might receive a knock on the door 30 seconds later, but I doubt it. Unless your name is on CNN or Fox, the government likely doesn't care about you.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday October 22 2014, @10:05PM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Wednesday October 22 2014, @10:05PM (#108923) Homepage
      > a narco-terrorism investigation

      *phew* - so that paedo-terrorism case has finally blown over, that's a weight off my mind
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.