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Facebook Has 25 People Dedicated To Handling Gov't Info Requests

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the government-creates-jobs dept.

Facebook 125

nonprofiteer writes "A profile of Facebook's CSO reveals that his 70-person security team includes 25 people dedicated solely to handling information requests from law enforcement. They get thousands of calls and e-mails from authorities each week, though Facebook requires police to get a warrant for anything beyond a subscriber's name, email and IP address. CSO Joe Sullivan says that some government agency tried to push Facebook to start collecting more information about their users for the benefit of authorities: 'Recently a government agency wanted us to start logging information we don't log. We told them we wouldn't start logging that piece of data because we don't need it to provide a good product. We talked to our general counsel. The law is not black-and-white. That agency thinks they can compel us to. We told them to go to court. They haven't done that yet.'"

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Facebook in... (0)

blane.bramble (133160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153151)

privacy shock.

Re:Facebook in... (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153323)

What do ya wanna bet that if it was an issue at Scroogle, they wouldn't be allowed to talk about it?

Re:Facebook in... (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153803)

I'm pretty sure general Facebook employees are not allowed to talk about it either. They just said what they decided will be good to say, nothing more.

Re:Facebook in... (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156219)

Just deactivated my account. It is becoming too intrusive.

Facebook is for pretend friends. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156849)

It's easy to solve all the problems with Facebook.

True friends are those with whom you exchange emails, talk on the telephone, and get together. With true friends there is commitment.

Facebook is for pretend friends. Never use your real name. Never give any real information, except your gender. Connect through some other computer. Associate with other fake friends.

Re:Facebook is for pretend friends. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157319)

True friends are those with whom you exchange emails, talk on the telephone, and get together. With true friends there is commitment.

...or friends who don't have your current phone number, work different hours from you, are never home, and live in another city...

Re:Facebook is for pretend friends. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157513)

Don't have your current phone number, IM or email address? They're probably not real friends then. Given how rarely these things change, and how you typically don't change them all at once, someone who you can't be bothered to let know that, since they last talked to you, all of your contact details have changed is probably someone who you don't have any real interest in talking to.

Re:Facebook in... (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153633)

In Capitalist America Government act for Freedom of Information on YOU!

Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153169)

anything beyond a subscriber's name, email and IP address

You've already saved them quite a bit of work there.

Re:Wait, what? (4, Insightful)

John3 (85454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153205)

Exactly right. If they were really interested in protecting the privacy of their users they would require a warrant before providing even that information.

Of course this is Facebook we're talking about, so privacy usually has a different meaning to them.

Re:Wait, what? (5, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153349)

If they were REALLY interested in protecting the privacy of their users, they'd publish any requests they recieved from law enforcement.

Re:Wait, what? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153397)

Really? So if someone falsely accused you of pedophilia, you'd want that information request published regardless of the fact you're innocent and there's nothing to find?

Re:Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153469)

No, but it would be nice if FB told ME that a request was being made for my information.

Hell, let's go crazy here and say FB ASKED me if they could release my information to the requester w/o a warrant.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153839)

At the same time, there *are* in fact real pedophiles, scammers, and other criminals that use Facebook, in which case it's probably not really productive (or even legal) to notify a suspect they are investigating.

Not that I think law enforcement should be able to violate someone's privacy at all without a warrant, just that in the end, as ignorant and misguided as they may sometimes be, it doesn't help being 100% cynical - their general goal is to catch people breaking the law.

Re:Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154195)

At the same time, there *are* in fact real pedophiles, scammers, and other criminals that use Facebook, in which case it's probably not really productive (or even legal) to notify a suspect they are investigating.

That's why the gods gave us warrants. But if it's just some guys with a badge, forget it.

Wish I had mod points!! (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155179)

Nicely said. Two of the wisest sentences I've read on /. in a long time.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155639)

Warrants are generally public records...

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156003)

Hardly, most are secret!

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155757)

Yeah, the trouble is that everyone breaks the law these days (how many new laws are created per month in your jurisdiction?).

So step 1 is to pick the man and step 2 is to find the crime.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155691)

They already sell your info to advertisers. Maybe if the police offered them a few bucks...

Re:Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155895)

They already sell your info to advertisers. Maybe if the police offered them a few bucks...

Actually, that's not just funny; it's also probably true. The problem is that the cops have a budget, and they want to get the information for free. But, as a couple of lawyer acquaintances have pointed out, the US Constitution has a very clear ban on "involuntary servitude", which they say they've helped clients use to explain to government agents why they won't work for the government for free.

OTOH, if the government agencies want to hire the company to collect and hand over the information, and is willing to pay what it costs the company to do this (+ 10% is the actual traditional price), they'll probably be happy to comply.

Part of the problem is that a lot of the US's government (at all levels) has developed the idea that they can just walk through a door and order people to work for them without paying for the labor. We should perhaps be disabusing them of this idea, by pointing out that the Supreme Court hasn't yet overturned the 13th Amendment.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156087)

What you guys ask is so ethical one could hardly expect a conglomeration of humans (corporation) to consistently exhibit such behavior. But, yeah, this is exactly how anyone would want to be treated. In another vein, if a governmental entity was trying to extract money from my bank account I would love for the bank to tell them to go fuck themselves, but instead they cheerily cough it up like a wide-eyed lap dog. There are no ethics in government, and any company that grows beyond the control of one person is effectively a governmental entity.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154463)

The police may be in violation of the law if facebook even knows what the information is for.

They should just stick to the basics like what agency, what information was requested and leave it at that.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155791)

The police may be in violation of the law if facebook even knows what the information is for.

Why do we have unconstitutional laws? (Oh, right, because of the breads and circuses...)

Re:Wait, what? (2)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155285)

this is Facebook we're talking about, so privacy usually has a different meaning to them

Sigh. The article says it better than I can:

It's the nature of the overexposed age that we make much more information about ourselves readily available and easily discoverable

Facebook can't share anything you don't put on there.

It's also worth noting the article talks a fair bit about how they push back and get into fights when they think someone's being too aggressive. (On the flip side, they have their own priorities - they get very uptight about acitivty that is fraudulent or endangering a child.)

Re:Wait, what? (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155359)

Facebook can't share anything you don't put on there.

Not exactly true. You show up at a function, someone takes a picture and posts it to Facebook. Now you have a presence there. If someone else posts another picture of you on FB and identifies you, then Facebook's recognition system might tag you in the first picture.

Depending on the function and the timing, it might cause some issues.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

John3 (85454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155495)

Facebook can't share anything you don't put on there.

Share with whom is the issue. Facebook has certainly had issues with exposing information beyond what users had configured to share. That does not excuse the people who freely post all sorts of personal details without considering the potential for exposing it to a wide audience, but there have been instances where faulty coding allowed too much information to be shared with the "public" even if privacy settings were set to prevent this.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156125)

Is not the safety of a child the responsibility of the parents? I know I don't trust the safety of my children to anyone else besides close family members. I'm getting real tired of the government nanny busy-body bullshit. In fact, I view it as my ultimate responsibility to keep government away from my children.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157357)

Aren't close family members the most common abusers?

Re:Wait, what? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157527)

Facebook can't share anything you don't put on there.

Which is fine for the likes of you and me, who understand that 'put on Facebook' means 'shared with anyone who is willing to pay'. A lot of other people, however, think of Facebook like the postal service. They think that if they put something on Facebook with a limit on who can view it then only those people can view it - that it's essentially private and is protected legally in the same way as something that you put in an envelope and post to your friends. This is the real problem with Facebook: that it gives the illusion of private communication, without the fact.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155729)

They're providing basic subscriber information in response to subpoenas [wikipedia.org] for that information. I've handled a ton of these, although not for Facebook. It has nothing to do with being "interested in protecting the privacy of their users" and everything to do with complying with the law.

Re:Wait, what? (4, Funny)

GeckoAddict (1154537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153319)

Re:Wait, what? (1)

trevelyon (892253) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155131)

Thanks for the link. Gotta love the onion.

CIA does have ties to FB (2)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156471)

FB got 12.7 mil in second round funding through accel partners, headed by the guy who had previously headed the CIA's venture fund. Now that doesn't mean it's an outright CIA operation but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a room 641A [wikipedia.org] style fiber beam splitter somewhere in the FB server farms.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153423)

I'd be willing to bet that they get paid for any information provided as well. The Govt generally has sweet deals for this type of action.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

lgarner (694957) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154709)

As I recall, other ISP's & such have price lists for the information. It costs Facebook money to pay those 25 people, so I'd expect them to charge a fee for the service.

Spin/damage control... (5, Interesting)

elgo (1751690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153183)

So Facebook provides all the necessary info for Law Enforcement, but doesn't engage in detailed logging, probably because it is too expensive and as the gentleman said, it doesn't yet fit in with FB's business model. Still, they provide peoples' names, emails, and IP addresses for Law Enforcement, so really they cooperate with the fuzz as much as is needed. Nice damage control, making themselves out to be standing up to Big Brother. Then again, IDNRTFA, and with the way sunmaries have been lately, this could be an article about My Little Pony, for all I know...

Re:Spin/damage control... (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155805)

this could be an article about My Little Pony, for all I know...

No, you're 37 days early...

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153211)

I am sorry but it is just a facebook ... our world is crazy and controlled by freaks :(

Yep. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153215)

Yet another perfect reason to not use Facebook.

Zuck has personally said that he wants everyone's entire lives made public, and Facebook as a company has been doing everything it can to make your private data public. This is just another in a long line of reasons they're evil.

Re:Yep. (4, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153395)

The open assumption is that the data put on Facebook is entirely valid. Since it cannot be held to be valid, it becomes NP-Hard to sort through all the data for the bits which are true and the bits which are false.

It's entirely possible to setup an identity for someone who doesn't exist (trolls + marketers do this all the time); that's one strike against the data. It's also possible to have a user simply lie, such as saying they were at a party or visiting a cousin when they weren't. Job applicants could maintain an entire account simply for the purposes of appearing social while maintaining a carefully controlled, carefully tailored public image. Finally, other people may post things, or even borrow someone's account, and change the user's profile to something unsavory, as a prank.

Anyone who puts stock in this data as some sort of glimpse into another's thinking should not be allowed to make any kind of lasting decision.

Of course, this is not to say that a portion of that data may not be true, only that it is impossible to know what quantity of it.

Re:Yep. (3, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153727)

It becomes NP-very-hard to prove that you were joking on Facebook, or that you don't really know JohnBlowingThingsUp83 but just befriended him to increase you e-friend-peen.

Re:Yep. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153729)

All true, but criminals are stupid (as are, for the most part, spies and activists and whoever else the government wants to keep an eye on).

If you want to poison your data on Facebook, you can. There's probably a fair amount of privacy crazy people on Slashdot that do that. (Not to be insulting; I'm one of them, although I don't go to the lengths you describe so much as just not using it much.) But that's irrelevant to 99.9% of investigations. The vast majority of the time, fakeable data happens to be true since almost no one bothers to fake it. In a serious investigation, either the police are going to get a confession once they have enough circumstantial evidence or they are going to get the warrants they need to collect more solid evidence.

Re:Yep. (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155135)

Yes, but joking about murdering someone, and that person suddenly showing up dead, makes for a very difficult lifestyle.

"The vast majority of the time, fakeable data happens to be true since almost no one bothers to fake it." -> An assumption that a quick glance of Facebook would easily disprove.

What more, it's interesting, sometimes, to choose who receives what information, and see where it reappears. A recently divorced friend of mine has that kind of issue (needing to weed out problems), as some of his friends are still reporting things back to his ex.

"In a serious investigation, either the police are going to get a confession once they have enough circumstantial evidence or they are going to get the warrants they need to collect more solid evidence."

My, my, where to begin here. The police can illicit a confession with or without evidence, circumstantial non-withstanding, guilt or innocence non-withstanding; it's amazing how many false confessions a good interrogator can acquire, if given the chance. What more, a warrant doesn't determine whether the police can consider you a suspect, nor whether they can treat you as a suspect (take that for what you will, but the life of a suspect is utter hell; until that cloud of mistrust (did he / she do it?) is cleared (and that's assuming it ever clears), your every action is watched / word recorded, and you yourself shunned by everyone you know).

Re:Yep. (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155851)

A recently divorced friend of mine has that kind of issue (needing to weed out problems), as some of his friends are still reporting things back to his ex.

I have to fault you for incorrect use of the word "friend."

The police can illicit a confession with or without evidence ... ; it's amazing how many false confessions a good interrogator can acquire, if given the chance.

... and for misuse of the word "good."

Re:Yep. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157421)

I have to fault you for being alive.

Re:Yep. (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155845)

Anyone who puts stock in this data as some sort of glimpse into another's thinking should not be allowed to make any kind of lasting decision.

I think the same about library checkouts, or book store purchases. (Perhaps I read the Koran to understand exactly why there's so much violence?)

Re:Zuck has said that he wants everyone public (3, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154339)

Except him and the Senior Execs of course. And all Corporate Execs. And all Cops. And all Politicians.

Re:Yep. (1)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155829)

Yet another perfect reason to not use Facebook.

But that doesn't stop others from putting you on Facebook without your knowledge, such as tagging you by name in pictures.

Window Dressing (4, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153255)

I have a feeling this entire article is nothing more than window dressing to make Facebook users (or the general public) somehow feel better that ANY logging requested by law enforcement isn't automatically done. Laws and rights pretty much went out the window with the advent of things like PATRIOT act.

Re:Window Dressing (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153611)

Interpret Facebook's statements literally and narrowly. They haven't gone to court. They said nothing about a National Security Letter, or similar.

Re:Window Dressing (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154485)

Learn to interpret what is said publicly and what is actually done privately, for the chasm of what the public is told and what actually takes place behind closed doors is growing daily, especially when the Government is involved. I certainly have seen little evidence of a more "open" Government, regardless of what was promised.

It is known as CLEARFIELD DOCTRINE. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154443)

Don't forget what I said, and spread it around.

Government becomes a private corporation when it exercises character outside of it's nature, thus can hold property in it's name and sue and be sued and such.

Or better yet, treat "government" as nothing more than a high-chair of immunity for a non-registered criminal to have presumption of good standing with clean hands, and if ever does anything outside of that chair then steps down to the level of the people.

When Abraham Lincoln said a "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people" he wasn't lying when he also said "Corporations have been enthroned" because "government" is nothing more than a word of art that can be used in anyone's legal name and doesn't mean it's a government at all. US GOVERNMENT is a legal name of a corporation that has countless employees whom are often ellected for governing activities, and the purpose of the Oath and Bonds to an office secured through the Constitution is to strip them from their private ties and former titles that would have made it a conflict of interest for them to hold.

In Colorado, Abraham Lincoln was discovered to have mistakenly put the 13th Amendment Titles of Nobility Act onto that Constitution where there was 2 other prior 13th Amendments already in place concerning slavery and such. The Union Colony of Colorado is the most concise record-bearing foundation in all of America that it is even said the Colorado Springs Courthouse has a US Navy tidemarker on it's front lawn put there by an executive order of Pres Eisenhower to load evdince of Admiralty Law to supplant seizures on land when he is quoted as saying "All land is covered by water and only temporarily receded" because this proves every action against property is a Salvage and Recovery of Maritime charter and nobody needes to have seizures on land since the presumption of maps pointing at Colorado and the Several States as being underwater.

You will never find a district court of the United States, so go to a corporation known as UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT to open a miscelaneous case file to hold abatements and judgements while you are a court of competent jurisdiction to move that Admiralty away from the common-law.

"that agency" (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153367)

That agency thinks they can compel us to. We told them to go to court. They haven't done that yet.'"

I'd be interested to know which one... CIA, FBI, DHS, [redacted]?

ALSO, really, does what they said have to be true? I thought nowadays they could just slap you with some secrecy order, and walk out with your HDDs or do whatever they felt like, and you would be required to deny it publicly? Wonderful police state we live in here...

Re:"that agency" (2)

getto man d (619850) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153463)

ALSO, really, does what they said have to be true? I thought nowadays they could just slap you with some secrecy order, and walk out with your HDDs or do whatever they felt like, and you would be required to deny it publicly? Wonderful police state we live in here...

It seems that you have to piss off the right people, as Megaupload has demonstrated.

Re:"that agency" (1, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153927)

I'd be interested to know which one...

That interest, is, in fact, a criminal offense.

CIA, FBI, DHS, [redacted]?

The NSA used to be called "No Such Agency". Maybe knowledge of the agency, itself, is secret.

"We are from the government. Give us your data!"
"Uh, which agency . . . ?"
"That's secret."
"Well, how do I find out about the agency . . . ?"
"You need a security clearance."
"And how do I get one . . . ?"
"That's secret."

. . . etc. . . .

Re:"that agency" (1)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155155)

"Uh, which agency . . . ?"
"That's secret."
"Well, how do I find out about the agency . . . ?"
"You need a security clearance."
"And how do I get one . . . ?"
"That's secret."

. . . etc. . . .

"Then i will just refer to you as the gestapo. What it is that you want?"

Which agency and what information? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153399)

"Recently a government agency wanted us to start logging information we don't log."

Really? Is that so? Which agency and what information...that would be interesting to know.

And how many does say a ISP like comcast have (3, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153431)

And how many does say a ISP like comcast have doing that same thing?

Re:And how many does say a ISP like comcast have (3)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153687)

And how many does say a ISP like comcast have doing that same thing?

For those who had an incredibly hard time parsing that sentence, what with it missing key pronouns and punctuation, here's a translated version:

And how many [staff members] does, say, a[n] ISP like [C]omcast have [responding to law enforcement requests]?

Re:And how many does say a ISP like comcast have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154291)

yeah, i wonder how well you write your 6th language asshole.

Re:And how many does say a ISP like comcast have (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154371)

your 6th language asshole.

That seems like a quite talented orifice.

Re:And how many does say a ISP like comcast have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155739)

Holey shit! How man language assholes do you have?

Facebook NOT logging something? (5, Interesting)

Wintermute__ (22920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153437)

What could possibly be so privacy-invading, not-worth-the-disk-space-to-log-it crazy that Facebook doesn't already log it? These people make tons of money selling every minute bit of data and metrics about their suckers^H^H^H^H^H^H^Husers that they can possibly hoover up. What could it be that even *they* wouldn't want to log?

Just goes to show, there is no boundary that some government agency won't want to cross to invade your privacy.

Re:Facebook NOT logging something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155145)

Private corporations are clearly not at all above invading your privacy, are they.

Re:Facebook NOT logging something? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155571)

What could possibly be so privacy-invading, not-worth-the-disk-space-to-log-it crazy that Facebook doesn't already log it?

onmousemove events, most likely.

Re:Facebook NOT logging something? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156535)

Game play style and interactions for psychological assessment. Think criminal psychologists and theory rooms. Not just which games played but how they play them, it could be very revealing, patterns of gaming behaviour will reflect psychopathy, hence trigger pre-emptive style investigation.

They are likely trying to spot and tie psychopaths to particular locations as probable investigatory targets for existing crimes. With psychopaths 1% general population and >15% prison population it would likely improve their catch quota, basically fishing expeditions.

FB's actual guidelines (4, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153505)

How about Facebook's Actual Law Enforcement Contact page [facebook.com] with guidelines. It seems facebook does waive these requirements sometimes, such as when "responding to a matter involving imminent harm to a child or risk of death or serious physical injury to any person and requiring disclosure of information without delay."

Re:FB's actual guidelines (3, Funny)

jiteo (964572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154191)

FBI: I'm going to harm this child unless you give me Bob's information.
Facebook: I don't think that's how you're supposed to interpret our guidelines...

Re:FB's actual guidelines (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154461)

Hi, this is Kloosaw from DHS. We would like some information on Matt Archibald, who risks death penalty if we get him convicted. Since there's a risk of death, you are obliged to give us this information.

Oh, and his commie friend Stymey Tiper too. He may accidentally run someone over with his car tomorrow, and that's a "risk of death to any person". Five minutes, you say?

Why punctuation matters (4, Funny)

dtmos (447842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153543)

What was written (p.2) was,

The sprawling campus is still under construction around us on this February morning, with workers carrying ladders and bulldozers preparing the intrabuilding walkways for food carts and play areas.

What was meant (I think) was,

The sprawling campus is still under construction around us on this February morning, with workers carrying ladders, and bulldozers preparing the intrabuilding walkways for food carts and play areas.

The first time through I had to do a re-parse, as I ended with an image of workers carrying a ladder under one arm and a bulldozer under the other.

They should honor the FBI's request (1)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153571)

They should make a second product, called Facebook-revealed, where all logged data is freely available to everyone.

Then they just tell the FBI that it is their job to move everyone over to the new system. Send them free vouchers for marketing workshops. I'm sure that the FBI has a sense of humor. :)

Re:They should honor the FBI's request (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154493)

They should make a second product, called Facebook-revealed, where all logged data is freely available to everyone.

They did. It's called Facebook Timeline.

Maybe they wouldn't need all 25 people (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153607)

If they instead said "not without a warrant" to every request.

I guess currently any law enforcement officer (or anyone willing to break the law and impersonate one) can get that information for any facebook account they feel like.

Re:Maybe they wouldn't need all 25 people (1)

Chuckstar (799005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153737)

You're not on the most secure legal footing if you say to law enforcement: "I know you don't need a warrant to demand this information from me, but I'm going to ask for one anyway."

And just to be clear, they don't need a warrant to demand that information from Facebook.

Re:Maybe they wouldn't need all 25 people (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153907)

Do you have a source for this?

Law enforcement can certainly require you to give them your name and a few other specific bits of information required to verify your identity, but I have seen nothing to suggest they have the power to compel a company to disclose information about you absent a court order.

Re:Maybe they wouldn't need all 25 people (5, Informative)

Chuckstar (799005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154017)

Paragraph (c)(2) at the following link:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2703 [cornell.edu]

"(2) A provider of electronic communication service or remote computing service shall disclose to a governmental entity the—

(A) name;
(B) address;
(C) local and long distance telephone connection records, or records of session times and durations;
(D) length of service (including start date) and types of service utilized;
(E) telephone or instrument number or other subscriber number or identity, including any temporarily assigned network address; and
(F) means and source of payment for such service (including any credit card or bank account number),

of a subscriber to or customer of such service when the governmental entity uses an administrative subpoena authorized by a Federal or State statute or a Federal or State grand jury or trial subpoena or any means available under paragraph (1)."

Paragraph (1) provides for broader disclosure under certain circumstances (but still requires a real warrant for disclosure of contents of communications). This is the same statute that lets the cops get access to your phone records without a warrant. An "administrative subpoena", does not require judicial review. Processes vary, but basically it amounts to getting a superior to sign off that you have a legitimate law enforcement reason to get the info (helps keep people from searching their spouses phone records, but does nothing to keep the cops from looking in anyone's records if they are in any way suspected of a crime).

Re:Maybe they wouldn't need all 25 people (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155477)

Now, is this actually applicable to a service like Facebook? It seems to be written in a fashion that implies it's meant for Telecoms and the like. I'd be interested in the legal definitions of "electronic communication service" and "remote computing service", in particular. The first definitely sounds like it's a physical infrastructure company, while the second may be broader.

Re:Maybe they wouldn't need all 25 people (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153981)

Ballparking the amount of calls/requests they get, I would say 25 people is more or less the bare minimum needed just to say "not without a warrent" to 99% of requests. Especially if you consider that some of the time, a few of them might actually be busy getting the information for the ones that do.

Now what could the gov agency want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153755)

that Facebook doesn't already log? I can't think of any user inputed data that doesn't sit on FB servers forever, (I've deleted messages, only to find a link to them years later - click! The info is still there.)

Can we assume that this government agency requested info that is not currently logged by Facebook is some obscure constructed profile data? I really can't think of anything that I would not log, if I were king of Facebook and had the cpu and space to do; FB has both in spades.

Government intrusion (2, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153777)

This government intrusion into our Facebook profiles is intolerable. Why can't the government stick to overruling our health care and dietary choices and determining how much of our income we should be allowed to keep?

Re:Government intrusion (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155319)

Agreed.

But your question is akin to asking why your dog will refrain from eating that steak sitting out on the counter.

Re:Government intrusion (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155831)

It's not really the government that's doing these things. It's the international bankers, who don't want the population to understand that it is them that keeps us in these wars. Thus, they subvert the democratic governments (I was heartened recently to hear that the police in Greece were writing warrants for the arrest of the international bankers) in order to sell more weapons, so that "we" kill "each other" and don't kill "them".

Oblig. link (3, Insightful)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153779)

Re:Oblig. link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155353)

That was already posted...

Facebook just admitted they broke the law! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39153871)

IF Privacy is dead (according to Zuckerberg)

THEN post the names and email addresses of the 25 dedicated people where Anonymous can see it.

So does the FBI get the bill? (3, Interesting)

Maltheus (248271) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153921)

Why should FB have to pay 25 people a year to do the government's dirty work? Companies should be able to submit a research bill to the government for these kinds of requests. There's no better check on power than a budget.

Re:So does the FBI get the bill? (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154937)

A budget has never stopped the government before. 25 is nothing--national banks probably employ hundreds of FBI informants.

Re:So does the FBI get the bill? (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155379)

Did you just claim making the USA pay for something under the guise of national security would LIMIT their spending?? budget? what budget?

Nearly every politician does not want to be blamed for a mess where they didn't spend 150% supporting whatever was found to have possibly prevented it after the fact. Hell, mayors get ousted for not having EXTRA snow blows for freak blizzards or in trouble for wasting money on unused expenses... Guess which one has the lower political cost? (spending)

Re:So does the FBI get the bill? (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155509)

Facebook does this for two very simple reasons:

1. They have to do it or they have nasty legal problems of their own.
2. They make a lot of money [wired.com] by doing so.

Your proposed check on power through the budget hit is in fact alive and well and has been for many years.

Why isn't my name, email, and IP address private? (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 2 years ago | (#39153945)

It seems like those are bits of information that would be of the utmost importance to protect from warrantless probes for information. I have just removed all FB cookies and will never again log into FB, and called my ISP to change my IP address. How many more privacy fails is it going to take before FB gets it?

Re:Why isn't my name, email, and IP address privat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155607)

Re:Why isn't my name, email, and IP address privat (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157241)

Perhaps you should find out what the law is before going all tinfoil hat at Facebook. Specifically, they are required to give up this information and the police are not required to have a court-issued warrant.

market limitations (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154155)

Want to slow the gov down from making ridiculous requests? They need to, at a minimum, be charged the cost associated with staffing, processing, and delivering on those requests.

The government, not industry, should also be required to be post the costs and the aggregate data regarding what they get from those requests. Not the individual data, but the aggregate. Annual reporting, at a minimum, should include the number of cases which had these requests, how many of those went to trial, the type of case (drug, domestic, violent), and how many of those types which resulted in a conviction.

We don't want them spending 1000s of hours and of millions of dollars surfing Facebook and listening in on phone calls, while we can't get them to deal with the real criminals.

I work for a 'Government Agency'... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154209)

It doesn't suprise me that this random government agency made this request. I recently had a senior member tell me that we needed a wiretap/full pcap on Facebook. All of it. Because we needed to be able to see who was creating accounts and doing postings on "certain profiles.". I politely told him that he was fucking nuts and that if there was a concern of criminal activity or a national security interest on a particular profile that we would usually go through the FBI for that information. He told me he didn't care what FBI or CIA were doing we had enough 'weight' to demand this ourselves. Whatever... After the meeting was over I told the meeting chair to just send his request to our lawyer so it could be quickly shot down. It will forever escape me why idiots like that get promoted.

Govt IT Guy

If You Wanted to be Useful Facebook... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154215)

If you wanted to be useful, Facebook, you'd tell us the agency, the person in the agency, and the additional information that they wanted you to log. But because it's a Democratic administration that is lavishly supported starting from the very top of FB, why am I not surprised that you've said as little as you can get away with to avoid embarrassing them?

How about data on foreigners? (1)

Frans Faase (648933) | more than 2 years ago | (#39154233)

I wonder how facebook handles requests for data about foreigners? I wonder if that data is also protected by the privacy laws of the USA or that they can just provide that without a court order.

Re:How about data on foreigners? (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155303)

If it is on a US server, game on.

three (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39154475)

of those 25 people monitor /. exclusivity... ...I mean, anyone that posts here...

Again. remind me why Facebook is beneficial (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155287)

Seriously?

The "old school" ways of keeping in touch seem far better privacywise.

Give Diaspora a try.

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