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Mon Apr 22, 2019, 09:39 PM

Facebook urged to tackle spread of fake profiles used by US police

Source: The Guardian

Facebook urged to tackle spread of fake profiles used by US police

A Guardian report recently revealed a secret network of accounts operated by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Amanda Holpuch in New York
Mon 22 Apr 2019 07.00 BST Last modified on Mon 22 Apr 2019 07.01 BST

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has called on Facebook to address the proliferation of undercover law enforcement accounts on the social networking site following a Guardian report that revealed a secret network of accounts operated by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice).

EFF, a digital civil liberties not-for-profit, said law enforcement agencies are able to create fake accounts to spy on users, despite Facebook’s policy which prohibits all users, including government agencies, from making them.

“Facebook’s practice of taking down these individual accounts when they learn about them from the press (or from EFF) is insufficient to deter what we believe is a much larger iceberg beneath the surface,” wrote EFF’s senior investigative researcher, Dave Maass, in a blogpost. “We often only discover the existence of law enforcement fake profiles months, if not years, after an investigation has concluded.”

Police departments in Ohio, New York, Georgia and Nebraska have said they have policies allowing investigators to use aliases and undercover profiles on social media. Federal agencies including the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have also been caught impersonating users or operating fake accounts.

Though these rules violate Facebook policies, law enforcement have not expressed publicly any significant concern about acting against the social media giant’s rules.

-snip-


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/apr/22/facebook-law-enforcement-fake-profiles-ice

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