Police Makes Fake Accounts for Snooping. Facebook Sends Harsh Letter. - Kogonuso

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Sep 26, 2018

Police Makes Fake Accounts for Snooping. Facebook Sends Harsh Letter.

According to a report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Facebook has sent a letter to the Memphis Police Department (MPD) requesting it to stop creating and using fake accounts as intelligence gathering devices for their investigations.

As detailed in Andrea Kirkpatrick's letter, Facebook's director and associate general counsel for security, MPD were asked to stop creating anymore fake Facebook accounts as this is an express violation of the social network's terms of service and policies.

"Facebook has made clear that law enforcement authorities are subject to these policies," said Kirkpatrick. "We regard this activity as a breach Facebook’s terms and policies, and as such we have disabled the fake accounts that we identified in our investigation."

Fox13 got a response from MPD which said that the fake account by the name of Bob Smith was deleted before the police department received Facebook's letter regarding the incident.

According to EFF, the fact that Facebook legal department applies the rule even for law enforcement agencies which knowingly break the social network's standards is a good sign since it levels the playing field when it comes to their controversial "authentic names" policies.

"Law enforcement agencies use fake Facebook accounts to collect information although they know it's against Facebook's TOS"

EFF presented evidence which points to law enforcement agencies knowing that making fake Facebook accounts breaks the social network's terms and policies but they choose to do it anyway since the evidence gathered can still be used in court.

Facebook's future actions in incidents such as the one where MPD was brought to court because they purposely used fake accounts to illegally monitor and gather intelligence on social activists are hard to figure out.

Especially since banning law enforcement agency such as the MPD could restrict the public's right to access vital information.

What's certain is that one of the two sides has to give, but we're betting on Facebook dropping their real names policy altogether just like Google did in 2014.
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