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posted by janrinok on Tuesday April 02, @03:51PM   Printer-friendly
from the we-just-want-to-keep-everyone-safe,-honest dept.

The FBI spends "every day, all day long" interrogating people over their Facebook posts. At least, that's what agents told Stillwater, Oklahoma, resident Rolla Abdeljawad when they showed up at her house to ask her about her social media activity:

Three FBI agents came to Abdeljawad's house and said that they had been given "screenshots" of her posts by Facebook. Her lawyer Hassan Shibly posted a video of the incident online on Wednesday.

Abdeljawad told agents that she didn't want to talk and asked them to show their badges on camera, which the agents refused to do. She wrote on Facebook that she later confirmed with local police that the FBI agents really were FBI agents.

"Facebook gave us a couple of screenshots of your account," one agent in a gray shirt said in the video.

[...] Shibly says that he doesn't know which Facebook post caught the agents' attention, and that it was the first time he had heard of Facebook's parent company, Meta, preemptively reporting posts to law enforcement. Andy Stone, a spokesman for Meta, and Kayla McCleery, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Oklahoma City office, declined to comment.*

Meta's official policy is to hand over Facebook data to U.S. law enforcement in response to a court order, a subpoena, a search warrant, or an emergency situation involving "imminent harm to a child or risk of death or serious physical injury to any person." The company received 73,956 requests from U.S. law enforcement and handed over data 87.84 percent of the time in the first half of 2023, according to the Meta website.

[...] *UPDATE: After publication, McCleery provided the following statement; "Every day, the FBI engages with members of the public in furtherance of our mission, which is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States. We can never open an investigation based solely on First Amendment protected activity. The FBI is committed to ensuring our activities are conducted with a valid law enforcement or national security purpose, while upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans."

Related:


Original Submission

Related Stories

Woman Posting “love” of ISIS on Facebook Charged with Promoting Terrorism 58 comments

Ars Technica published a story that should give many of us some pause:

A 29-year-old Virginia woman is set to appear again in federal court Wednesday after being charged in connection to favorable Facebook posts about the Islamic State of in Syria (ISIS). One of her posts simply read, "I love ISIS."

The woman, Heather Coffman, was caught in a terrorism sting operation after the authorities got a search warrant to unmask her Facebook account information. The warrant noted that there was probable cause to unveil who was behind several Facebook accounts because there were pictures of ISIS freedom fighters with words at the bottom that said "Allah has preferred the Mujahideen over those who remain [behind] with great reward." She also shared a job description on the social networking site that said "jihad for Allah's sake."

"In my experience, this indicates support for violent jihad. Further, the mujahideen are individuals that fight violent jihad," FBI agent Odette Tavares said in court documents. Additionally, in response to a question on Facebook about why she published pro-ISIS pictures, Coffman responded, "I love ISIS," according to the government. The feds also said she posted that she hates gays and Zionists and that "they should all die."

Since when did advocating a revolution, even one as distasteful and violent as ISIS, become illegal? Does this mean that if we support the work of Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, Wikileaks, the ACLU, EFF, or Anonymous we're just as guilty of supporting terrorism and espionage in our own ways?

The FBI "Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny" That It Monitors Your Social Media Posts 24 comments

The FBI 'Can Neither Confirm nor Deny' That It Monitors Your Social Media Posts

In recent years, the federal government has significantly ramped up its efforts to monitor people on social media. The FBI, for one, has repeatedly acknowledged that it engages in surveillance of social media posts. So it was surprising when the bureau responded to our Freedom of Information Act request on this kind of surveillance by saying that it "can neither confirm nor deny the existence of records."

The six other federal agencies we submitted the FOIA request to haven't produced a single document. The request, filed last May, seeks information on how the agencies collect and analyze posts from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

Today we sued the agencies to get some answers, because the public has a right to know about the exact nature of social media surveillance — especially whether agencies are monitoring and retaining social media posts, or using surveillance products that label activists and people of color as threats to public safety based on their First Amendment-protected activities.


Original Submission

Facebook Paid for a Tails Zero-Day Exploit to Help the FBI Catch a Predator 15 comments

Motherboard reports that Facebook hired a cybersecurity firm to develop a zero-day exploit for the video player in Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System). Facebook provided this exploit to the FBI to aid in the apprehension of a predator using Facebook to harass victims. This exploit was not disclosed to the Tails developers.

Also covered by Gizmodo, as seen on Schneier's blog.

[Ed Note - The zero day was provided to the FBI via a third party, not directly from Facebook.]


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Tork on Tuesday April 02, @04:23PM (17 children)

    by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 02, @04:23PM (#1351364)

    Shibly says that he doesn't know which Facebook post caught the agents' attention, and that it was the first time he had heard of Facebook's parent company, Meta, preemptively reporting posts to law enforcement. Andy Stone, a spokesman for Meta, and Kayla McCleery, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Oklahoma City office, declined to comment.*

    One thing Facebook does is 'suggest' groups or threads by just plopping them in your feed. Once that happens it's awfully tempting to engage in the discussion. For example: There is a LOT of anti-EV nonsense bubbling around. I saw one recently that claimed someone was busted running from the law in a Tesla ran out of charge. Giggle giggle! Sure enough the first reply is along the lines of: "Yeah, remember when Elon invented the phrase 'out of gas'?" (Eventually it got to someone delcaring 'gasolione forever!', which is hilarious, but I've drifted off-topic.)

    I don't have the slightest idea what happened in this person's case, but it would not be surprising at all if she responded heatedly in one of those 'recommended posts' which... usually.. try to BAIT you into responding. Facebook/Meta might not have handed over anything, she might have volunteered to post in a group she's not in control of. It wouldn't even be a huge surprise if a three letter agency purposefully put posts out there to reel people in. Now I want to be clear I personally don't know of that actually happening, but it could happen and there's nothing preventing any other government from doing something similar.

    If I'm right, and that is a big if... I'm really low on actual facts to work from here... but it's possible that Facebook's only real contribution to this issue is the purposeful pushing of content designed to get people to engage.

    --
    🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
    • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Username on Tuesday April 02, @04:45PM (3 children)

      by Username (4557) on Tuesday April 02, @04:45PM (#1351368)

      The X thread says she made pro- Palestinian post on Facebook.

      No real surprise considering Facebook was created and ran by jews, the main ethnicity of Israel.

      Sue the fuck out of the FBI and Meta.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday April 02, @06:32PM (2 children)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday April 02, @06:32PM (#1351389) Journal

        "Pro Palestinian speech" could mean damn near anything these days.

        "Let's stop bombing children" probably shouldn't warrant a visit but "here's my plan for 10-6 version 2.0" probably should!

        • (Score: 5, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @06:47PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @06:47PM (#1351393)

          ...my plan for 10-6 version 2.0...

          Can you tell me more about this? I'm intrigued.

          -random AC

          • (Score: 4, Funny) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday April 03, @06:42PM

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday April 03, @06:42PM (#1351510) Journal

            Sure let me grab that pamphlet for you......oh wait hold on, there's somebody at the door.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @05:33PM (10 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @05:33PM (#1351375)

      ...there's nothing preventing any other government from doing something similar.

      So it's ok when we do it then?

      it's possible that Facebook's only real contribution to this issue is the purposeful pushing of content designed to get people to engage.

      No, Facebook's only real contribution to this issue is that they are giving user info to the FBI, possibly even unsolicited. Just another reason to stay away from Facebook. I only wish that these abuses would be on peoples' minds when they vote. I also want a pony

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @05:45PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @05:45PM (#1351380)

        I only wish that these abuses would be on peoples' minds when they vote.

        I wish I knew how to categorize and what to call statements like that. I'm sure there's a term. Maybe pompous, maybe smug, I'm looking for something more encompassing.

        You might be right, but you're not being clear, and certainly not helpful. I can't tell who you're suggesting we should vote for. D? R? I? P? G? ??

        As polarized as the US has become (and sadly much of the rest of the world), no party completely aligns with my values.

        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday April 03, @06:58PM

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday April 03, @06:58PM (#1351513) Journal

          no party completely aligns with my values.

          No human will ever completely align with your values. Why would you expect a large group of them to?

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Tork on Tuesday April 02, @06:11PM (7 children)

        by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 02, @06:11PM (#1351386)

        So it's ok when we do it then?

        Read the entire sentence you quoted, then read the one before it.

        --
        🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @09:09PM (6 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @09:09PM (#1351410)

          I did... So what? Why bring up "other governments"? We only have control of our government, something we squander every two years, hence the abuse. Maybe we're dealing with a sadomasochism thing.

          • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday April 02, @09:19PM (5 children)

            by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 02, @09:19PM (#1351411)

            I did... So what?

            🙄

            I didn't say it was okay. I was saying it might not be as simple as Facebook electing to not share data with law enforcement as the nature of the platform means any entity can create a honeypot.

            In other words: We're on the same side, pay more attention to what you're reading, and watch the half-baked friendly-fire.

            --
            🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @09:33PM (4 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @09:33PM (#1351414)

              As I stated, Facebook is irrelevant, aside from being the FBI's lapdog. We have only one way of ending the abuse by the FBI.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @09:39PM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @09:39PM (#1351415)
                so are you trying to end abuse of the citizens at the hand of the gov't or are you trying to get a particular person in the white house?
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @12:40AM (2 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @12:40AM (#1351431)

                  Don't ask me... You already know how to end the abuse, should you decide to do so, it's in your hands

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @01:03AM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @01:03AM (#1351433)
                    if you stop at him getting elected you're not actually stopping abuse, just transacting.
                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @09:12PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @09:12PM (#1351531)

                      if you stop at him getting elected...

                      No, You start with him getting elected, and if he fails, you unelect him and try somebody else, rinse-repeat...

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday April 02, @05:37PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday April 02, @05:37PM (#1351378)

      Well, if the screen shot bit is true, then it's likely that someone who knows her "anonymously tipped" the FBI or other agency which referred their tip to the FBI based on their screen shot of the "concerning speech."

      Concerned citizen seems much more likely than keyword dragnet [akdart.com].

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by Mojibake Tengu on Wednesday April 03, @03:00AM

      by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Wednesday April 03, @03:00AM (#1351443) Journal

      Youtube does the same. The best adequate descriptive model of that from the past is like fortifying a morphic field, Rupert Sheldrake (now scientifically hatred).

      Long time ago, morphogenetics was a science.

      --
      Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @04:38PM (13 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @04:38PM (#1351367)

    It's election season, republicans could have a field day with this one.

    Too bad that voters don't care about civil rights anymore.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @08:24PM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @08:24PM (#1351403)

      Oh, we do. It's the government, whoever it is at the time, who are pandering to "optics" and voting public, who are the problem.

      Both sides do it- whoever's in power.

      Wouldn't it be nice if a 3rd party could win?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @09:20PM (7 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @09:20PM (#1351412)

        It's the government

        It's our government.. who's the problem again?

        The voters are the only ones stopping a 3rd party (second really) from winning, they get less than 2%. Can't blame anyone else for that

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @10:16PM (6 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @10:16PM (#1351419)
          you should direct that to the trump supporters. they're the ones holding you up right now.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @10:29PM (5 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @10:29PM (#1351420)

            No, the dems are much worse [reuters.com]. They still blame Nader for Bush, republicans weren't too happy about Perot either. DNC/GOP works as one. We have no opposition party that gets more than 2% of the vote

            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @10:44PM (4 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @10:44PM (#1351424)
              nobody actually likes biden. seriously, even around here on sn you won't find actual biden supporters. he's only up because he soundly beat trump last time around, and that's a fair shade better than going for the guy whose big defense is "not illegal cos i president".

              until trump's out of the running you ain't getting the third-party vote you claim you want. you can either keep wasting your breath or talk to the people who are actually obstructing you.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @12:47AM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @12:47AM (#1351432)

                talk to the people who are actually obstructing you.

                I am!

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @01:07AM (2 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @01:07AM (#1351434)
                  lol @ posing as a third-party voter because you're worried your not-third-party candidate is going to lose again!
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @03:32AM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @03:32AM (#1351446)

                    typical democrat shtick. If you don't support them, you support republicans. You win more converts with better candidates, not partisan bullshit

                    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @06:19AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @06:19AM (#1351461)
                      projection.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @09:40PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @09:40PM (#1351416)

      Too bad that voters don't care about civil rights anymore.

      the gop recently learned the hard way that isn't true.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @10:33PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @10:33PM (#1351421)

        GOP losses were not due to civil rights.. the 1st Amendment is a civil right also, and the dems are no better on the matter, as we can see here with the FBI

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @11:19PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, @11:19PM (#1351426)
          > GOP losses were not due to civil rights..

          lol. you're right, i phrased that badly. i'll clarify: they experienced it the hard way, but they did not learn from it.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @03:37AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @03:37AM (#1351448)

            The party is perfectly happy to share half the vote with its other half. Blame passing works better with the voters in an evenly balanced congress

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Tuesday April 02, @05:33PM (4 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Tuesday April 02, @05:33PM (#1351376)

    with an IQ longer than 1 digit, you don't commit your crimes and post about it on Facebook - or any social media - because everybody know the fuzz love to find evidence on social media, and social media company love to please the fuzz.

    And if you're a police officer with an IQ longer than 1 digit, you know you're going to find either really, really dumb criminals or innocent people on Facebook.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by RamiK on Tuesday April 02, @08:52PM (3 children)

      by RamiK (1813) on Tuesday April 02, @08:52PM (#1351407)

      Research shows people that fantasize about killing (others, themselves or both) in the name of this or that cause tend to leave a long history of comments in support of similar acts and associated causes. Whether that means they're stupid or not is irrelevant to the need for 3 letters agencies to knock on their front door every once in a while and see what kind of whack job they're dealing with.

      --
      compiling...
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @10:19AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @10:19AM (#1351472)

        The FBI have a track record of recruiting the mentally ill/disturbed for the FBI's "terrorist schemes":
        https://theintercept.com/2023/07/31/fbi-isis-sting-mentally-ill-teen/ [theintercept.com]
        https://theintercept.com/2015/03/16/howthefbicreatedaterrorist/ [theintercept.com]

        See also: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/nov/16/fbi-entrapment-fake-terror-plots [theguardian.com]

        Helps keep the budgets up I guess. But I doubt the USA is really safer as a result of such stuff.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by RamiK on Wednesday April 03, @10:55AM (1 child)

          by RamiK (1813) on Wednesday April 03, @10:55AM (#1351478)

          If the UFO hearings and probes are any indication, it's very difficult to tell the mentally ill from the average bible thumper in a multicultural organization since neither of the two's claims pass any empirical test. So, in both government and the private sector as well as academia, you end up with policies that recruit all sorts of certified loonies to all sorts of roles with upper management willing to humor their nonsense to keep the system running.

          --
          compiling...
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday April 04, @04:07AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 04, @04:07AM (#1351599) Journal

            If the UFO hearings and probes are any indication, it's very difficult to tell the mentally ill from the average bible thumper in a multicultural organization since neither of the two's claims pass any empirical test.

            By "recruited", Mr. AC didn't mean hired. He meant entrapped. They never become part of the FBI, but lured into crimes that the FBI can arrest them on. I think that's part of early stages of a police state: we have two related factors, the need to create criminals to justify some organization's existence and to be able to use their own substantial failures to justify further budget increases. Later on the organization will obtain the ability to create criminals out of anyone on the spot as well as the mission to frequently do so.

  • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Tuesday April 02, @05:45PM (3 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday April 02, @05:45PM (#1351381)

    It certainly is good for the crime statistics, but you should also know that you're only catching the dumb fucks who are stupid enough to brag about their crimes that way.

    If that's enough... well, please continue.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by krishnoid on Tuesday April 02, @06:28PM

      by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday April 02, @06:28PM (#1351388)

      You can probably get a lot of leverage out of that for marketing purposes -- convictions/plea bargains on the books, press conferences, better statistics since they're low-hanging fruit. It's not deep enough to make for interesting entertainment ... but then again [youtu.be], maybe it is [youtu.be] good enough for a few cheap laughs.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by RS3 on Tuesday April 02, @08:31PM

      by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday April 02, @08:31PM (#1351404)

      Yeah but it also opens another door for "swatting".

    • (Score: 2) by loonycyborg on Wednesday April 03, @12:33AM

      by loonycyborg (6905) on Wednesday April 03, @12:33AM (#1351430)

      They're not looking for criminals there but rather for Palestine sympathizers.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by EJ on Tuesday April 02, @06:16PM (1 child)

    by EJ (2452) on Tuesday April 02, @06:16PM (#1351387)

    answering the door.

    The only way the FBI/police will get me out of my chair/bed is if I've ordered a pizza and they show up with it.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by sgleysti on Tuesday April 02, @09:08PM

      by sgleysti (56) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 02, @09:08PM (#1351409)

      Police officer: *knock* *knock* *knock* Open up! Police!
      EJ: Can I see a pizza?
      Police officer: Pizza? What? Don't you mean search warrant?
      EJ: Nope; I mean pizza. I don't have many principles, but I stand by the principles that I do have.

  • (Score: 4, Touché) by epitaxial on Tuesday April 02, @06:53PM (2 children)

    by epitaxial (3165) on Tuesday April 02, @06:53PM (#1351394)

    Running your mouth had consequences.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday April 02, @07:53PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday April 02, @07:53PM (#1351400)

      I'm fairly sure she knows EXACTLY what she said that got them knocking, and now she's probably all warm and fuzzy inside for being made to feel so important.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday April 04, @04:11AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 04, @04:11AM (#1351600) Journal

      Running your mouth had consequences.

      But should these consequences exist? Someone running around investigating Facebook posts doesn't seem a good use of the FBI's resources.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by turgid on Tuesday April 02, @08:52PM (1 child)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 02, @08:52PM (#1351406) Journal

    It's not the USA but it is the intertubes...

    If you are daft enough to believe they are not watching, then you really are daft. And they have scripts for doing the watching. If you don't know about that then you are even more daft. Do you even know which end of a computer to hold?

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by pTamok on Wednesday April 03, @08:23AM

      by pTamok (3042) on Wednesday April 03, @08:23AM (#1351465)

      Do you even know which end of a computer to hold?

      If it's an Apple one, you're probably holding it wrong, no matter which end.

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