MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Facebook’s Hire of Patriot Act Co-Author Raises Questions on Company’s Commitment to Privacy

Posted by M. C. on April 26, 2019

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/24/facebooks-hire-patriot-act-co-author-raises-questions-companys-commitment-privacy

Facebook’s Hire of Patriot Act Co-Author Raises Questions on Company’s Commitment to Privacy

“What could go wrong?”

Sometimes I feel like, somebody's watching me.

Sometimes I feel like, somebody’s watching me. (Image: Flickr)

Social media giant Facebook made a major hire Monday, bringing on lawyer Jennifer Newstead as the company’s general counsel—a move that generated criticism due to Newstead’s work two decades ago drafting the Patriot Act.

The company announced the hire by citing Newstead’s extensive work in government. Most recently, Newstead acted as the legal adviser for the State Department.

During her time in the Bush administration, Newstead was known for being the “day to day manager of the Patriot Act in Congress,” according to torture memo author John Yoo.

“Jennifer is a seasoned leader whose global perspective and experience will help us fulfill our mission,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement.

Newstead referred to Facebook’s role in the public discourse in a statement released by the company.

“Facebook’s products play an important role in societies around the world,” said Newstead. “I am looking forward to working with the team and outside experts and regulators on a range of legal issues as we seek to uphold our responsibilities and shared values.”

Newstead’s history in government, though, triggered criticism of Facebook for putting her in a position of power—especially in light of recent comments from the company’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg that emphasized a more secure and private experience for users.

The Observer, in a report on the hire, took a skeptical view of Newstead’s past as far as it related to tech.

Ironically, the newly minted Facebook chief lawyer has made a career out of helping the government gain access to private citizens’ data in the name of security. Perhaps the most notable of Newstead’s work is helping draft and present Congress with the Patriot Act, a post-9/11 bill that helped the Bush administration utilize Americans’ phone and internet records.

Thus, as technologist Ashkan Soltani pointed out to Politico, the hire of Newstead is incompatible with the company’s public pivot to privacy.

“It’s almost as if we’re living in some bizarro world where the company does exactly the opposite of what Zuckerberg states publicly,” said Soltani.

Fight For the Future deputy director Evan Greer mused about how Newstead’s hiring fits into an ostensibly different privacy culture at Facebook.

“I can’t help but wonder how all the ‘privacy advocates’ that Facebook has been hiring lately are going to feel about working with a LITERAL AUTHOR OF THE PATRIOT ACT as their general counsel,” Greer tweeted.

Writer Jonah Blank put the hire in perspective, implying that Newstead’s addition to the Facebook team was not the best move.

“How has #Facebook responded to charges that it violates its users’ privacy, fuels ethnic/racial/religious tension, and may have helped #Russia interfere with the 2016 US election?” asked Blank.

“By hiring Trump appointee as its general counsel.”

“What could go wrong?” producer Evan Shapiro asked sarcastically.

Be seeing you
Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Viable Opposition: Facebook and Its Close Links to Washington

Posted by M. C. on April 17, 2019

http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/04/facebook-and-its-close-links-to.html

With Facebook taking a very strong stance against so-called fake news and foreign interference in what passes for democracy in the United States and particularly given its recent association with the Atlantic Council and its Digital Forensic Research Lab.  I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Matt Agorist at the Free Thought Project, one of the entities that was purged by Facebook in October 2018, for inspiring this posting

In no particular order, let’s look at some of Facebook’s key personnel and their relationship to Washington:

1.) Katie Harbath: Ms. Harbath is currently Director of Global Politics and Government Outreach at Facebook as shown here:

…and has very close links to the Republican Party (a relative rarity among Facebook key personnel) including Deputy eCampaign Director for Rudy Giuliani’s run at the Oval Office both before and during her tenure at Facebook as shown here:

It was Ms. Harbath who announced Facebook’s “exciting new partnership” with the Atlantic Council on May 17, 2018:

Today, we’re excited to launch a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, which has a stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems. Experts from their Digital Forensic Research Lab will work closely with our security, policy and product teams to get Facebook real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world. This will help increase the number of “eyes and ears” we have working to spot potential abuse on our service — enabling us to more effectively identify gaps in our systems, preempt obstacles, and ensure that Facebook plays a positive role during elections all around the world.”

2.) Nathaniel Gleicher:  Mr. Gleicher is Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook as shown here:

…and was former Director for Cybersecurity Policy for the National Security Council at the White House, Senior Counsel for Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section at the United States Department of Justice and a Law Clerk for Senator Patrick Leahy as shown here:

Just so you can get a sense of Mr. Gleicher’s belief system, here is what he said in a blog posting on January 17, 2019 entitled “Removing Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour from Russia“:

Today we removed 364 Facebook Pages and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a network that originated in Russia and operated in the Baltics, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Central and Eastern European countries. The Page administrators and account owners primarily represented themselves as independent news Pages or general interest Pages on topics like weather, travel, sports, economics, or politicians in Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan. Despite their misrepresentations of their identities, we found that these Pages and accounts were linked to employees of Sputnik, a news agency based in Moscow, and that some of the Pages frequently posted about topics like anti-NATO sentiment, protest movements, and anti-corruption.(my bolds)

Yes, imagine being anti-NATO and anti-corruption!  That’s totally unAmerican not to mention totally without merit!

3.) David Recordon: Mr. Recordon lists himself as a “doer” on his Linkedin page as shown here:

…however, his “real position” is Engineering Director for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a company founded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan which has the goal of “advancing human potential and promoting equality in areas such as health, education, scientific research and energy”.

Between March 2015 and January 2017, Mr. Recordon was the Special Assistant to the President and Director of White House IT and a consultant for the U.S. Digital Service at the White House as you can see here:

Please note that prior to his tenure with the federal government, Mr. Recordon was Engineering Director at Facebook.

4.) Aneesh Raman:  Mr. Raman is currently the Head of Economic and Social Impact at Facebook as you can see here:

…and was the former speechwriter to President Obama and worked in Strategic Communications at the Pentagon as shown here:

5.) Meredith Carden: Ms. Carden is currently working on Facebook’s News Integrity Partnerships as shown here:…

Be seeing you

facial

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More Legal Troubles for Zuckerberg – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 10, 2019

For example, in a 2010 talk given at the Crunchie awards, he stated that “privacy is no longer a social norm,”18 implying that social networking online automatically meant you could no longer have an expectation of privacy, and that the company decided to change the privacy settings of its then 350 million users because “we decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it.”19

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/04/joseph-mercola/more-legal-troubles-for-zuckerberg-and-why-im-leaving-facebook/

By

Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg are facing legal problems on multiple fronts these days. There’s the class-action complaint alleging lax security measures increased users’ risk of identity theft, following the 2018 hack of 50 million user accounts.1,2

Then there’s the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) probe into Facebook’s compliance with a 2011 consent agreement to safeguard users’ personal information, which has been ongoing for the past year.

According to Fortune Magazine,3 if the company is found to have violated the agreement, fines amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars may be levied. According to a March 4, 2019, report by Wired,4 the U.S. House Judiciary Committee is also conducting an investigation looking for links between Cambridge Analytica, Russia, President Trump and WikiLeaks.

In addition to that, the FTC recently launched a second criminal investigation into the company’s controversial data sharing practices. Top executives are also leaving the company — a sign that the rats are fleeing from Facebook’s sinking ship.

Among them are Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Fox, who has been with the company for 13 years, and Chris Daniels, vice president of WhatsApp, a position he’s held only since May.5,6

FTC Probe No. 1

Be seeing you

mark of the beast

The Mark of the Beast

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

FACE TO FACEBOOK Mark Zuckerberg warned by Culture Secretary that Facebook will face legal crackdown over self-harm posts

Posted by M. C. on April 8, 2019

Their existing laws already have such a great affect on murder rate, knife crime and child grooming.

When in doubt, or rather don’t have a clue, add make more laws. At least you look like you are doing something.

CULTURE SECRETARY??? How Lenin-esque.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8812054/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-harmful-content-jeremy-wright/

Jeremy Wright told Mark Zuckerberg that Britain has ‘reached a turning point’ and that adding new laws is the only way to beat self-harm content.

Writing in today’s Sun, Jeremy Wright explains how he told Mr Zuckerberg at a meeting at Facebook’s officers in San Francisco in February that Britain had “reached a turning point” over its failure to act.

Be seeing you

prince-charles-feb-1-2017-balloon-getty-640x480

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

3 Reasons Why Facebook’s Zuckerberg Wants More Government Regulation | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 2, 2019

Car companies love regulation.

In NYC the law says you must buy a several hundred thousand dollar medallion to run a taxi service.

It keeps competition under control.

https://mises.org/wire/3-reasons-why-facebooks-zuckerberg-wants-more-government-regulation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants more government regulation of social media. In a March 30 op-ed for the Washington Post, Zuckerberg trots out the innocent-sounding pablum we’ve come to expect from him:

I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators. By updating the rules for the Internet, we can preserve what’s best about it — the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things — while also protecting society from broader harms.

But what sort of regulation will this be? Specifically, Zuckerberg concludes “we need new regulation in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.”

He wants more countries to adopt versions of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Needless to say, anyone hearing such words from Zuckerberg should immediately assume this newfound support for regulation is calculated to help Facebook financially…

One: Regulations Will Give Facebook More Monopoly Power

Many Facebook critics like to claim that Facebook is a natural monopoly. That is, they think Facebook is so dominant in the marketplace, that it can use its supposed market power to keep out competitors. We’re told that Facebook has so many users, no serious competition will ever be possible.

But remember MySpace? People used to say exactly the same thing that that social media platform. A recently as 2007, The Guardian was asking “Will Myspace ever lose its monopoly?” Xerox corporation was once a tech powerhouse, as well. It has now all but disappeared.

Obviously, the answer to the Guardian’s question is “yes.”…

Part of the reason Zuckerberg has made peace with the idea of government regulation is the knowledge that Facebook will be one of the most powerful groups at the negotiating table when it comes to write the new regulations. In other words, Facebook will be in a position to make sure the new rules favor Facebook over its competitors…

Three: It Will Limit Facebook’s Legal Exposure

Another big benefit of regulation for Facebook will be the potential for using government regulation to limit Facebook’s legal liability when things go wrong. Bell continues:

By offloading decisions about harmful content, privacy rules, and elections onto third-parties, Facebook may not have to take as much of the heat when mistakes are made.

Put another way, Facebook canb protect itself form both the legal and public-relations repercussions to itself when it uses its platform to delete the posts and visibility of users with whom Facebook employees disagree…

Be seeing you

mark of the beast

The Mark of the Beast

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Former Facebook Security Chief: Zuckerberg Has More People’s Personal Info ‘Than Anyone Else in the World’

Posted by M. C. on March 29, 2019

Do the sheeple care? Do you?

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/03/29/former-facebook-security-chief-zuckerberg-has-more-peoples-personal-info-than-anyone-else-in-the-world/#

by LUCAS NOLAN

At a recent conference, former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos stated that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has “more data about what people want to do online than anyone else in the world.”

CNBC reports that speaking at the Washington Post’s technology and policy conference on Wednesday, former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos explained how Mark Zuckerberg manages to make decisions and business moves that eventually prove profitable but seem like huge gambles initially. According to Stamos, Zuckerberg can do this as he can almost see into the future because the CEO is “sitting on more data about what people want to do online than anyone else in the world.”…

Be seeing you

zuckschumer-640x480

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Conservatives face a tough fight as Big Tech’s censorship expands. Facebook blocks Trump’s social media chief: ‘Why are you silencing me?’ Nunes sues Twitter, some users, seeks over $250M alleging anti-conservative ‘shadow bans,’ smears.

Posted by M. C. on March 19, 2019

Patterns

https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/434407-conservatives-face-a-tough-fight-as-big-techs-censorship-expands

Thanks to a brave Facebook whistleblower who approached James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, we now know that Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant developed algorithms to “deboost” certain content, limiting its distribution and appearance in news feeds. As you probably guessed, this stealth censorship was specifically aimed at conservatives.

Facebook appears to have deliberately tailored its algorithm to recognize the syntax and style popular among conservatives in order to “deboost” that content. “Mainstream media,” “SJW” (Social Justice Warrior) and “red pill” — all terms that conservatives often use to express themselves — were listed as red flags, according to the former Facebook insider.

Facebook engineers even cited BlazeTV host Lauren Chen’s video criticizing the social justice movement as an example of the kind of “red pills” that users just aren’t allowed to drop anymore…

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/facebook-blocks-trumps-social-media-chief-no-reason-given

Facebook abruptly censored the account of President Trump’s chief social media guru, blocking him for simply responding to a question from a reader.

Dan Scavino Jr. said on Facebook that his page was blocked without notice.

“AMAZING. WHY ARE YOU STOPPING ME from replying to comments followers have left me – on my own Facebook Page!!?? People have the right to know. Why are you silencing me??? Please LMK! Thanks,” he wrote today…

 

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/nunes-files-bombshell-defamation-suit-against-twitter-seeks-250m-for-anti-conservative-shadow-bans-smears

By Gregg Re, Catherine Herridge

California GOP Rep. Devin Nunes filed a major lawsuit seeking $250 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages against Twitter and a handful of its users on Monday, accusing the social media site of “shadow-banning conservatives” to secretly hide their posts, systematically censoring opposing viewpoints, and totally “ignoring” lawful complaints of repeated abusive behavior.

In a complaint filed in Virginia state court on Monday, obtained by Fox News, Nunes claimed Twitter wanted to derail his work on the House Intelligence Committee, which he chaired until 2019, as he looked into alleged and apparent surveillance abuses by the government. Nunes said Twitter was guilty of “knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory – providing both a voice and financial incentive to the defamers – thereby facilitating defamation on its platform.”…

Be seeing you

news_presstitutes

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Facebook’s Data Deals Are Under Criminal Investigation

Posted by M. C. on March 14, 2019

Zuck must be very familiar with Washington town by now.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/facebooks-data-deals-are-under-criminal-investigation/ar-BBUK1BA

MICHAEL LaFORGIA, MATTHEW ROSENBERG and GABRIEL J.X. DANCE

Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with some of the world’s largest technology companies, intensifying scrutiny of the social media giant’s business practices as it seeks to rebound from a year of scandal and setbacks.

A grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices, according to two people who were familiar with the requests and who insisted on anonymity to discuss confidential legal matters. Both companies had entered into partnerships with Facebook, gaining broad access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users.

The companies were among more than 150 firms, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Sony, that had cut sharing deals with the world’s dominant social media platform. The agreements, previously reported in The New York Times, let the companies see users’ friends, contact information and other data, sometimes without consent. Facebook has phased out most of the partnerships over the past two years…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Facebook Temporarily Bans Elizabeth Warren Ads Calling for Big Tech Breakup. Facebook Says ‘Mistake’ Caused Total Blacklist of Links from Zero Hedge.

Posted by M. C. on March 12, 2019

Thee protesteth too much.

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/03/12/facebook-temporarily-bans-elizabeth-warren-ads-calling-for-big-tech-breakup/

by Lucas Nolan

Facebook was recently forced to restore Senator Elizabeth Warren’s campaigns ads which called for the breakup of Big Tech.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently had three campaign advertisements removed from Facebook, The Hill reports. These ads called for the breakup of Big Tech companies such as Facebook; now just a day after the removal of the ads, Facebook has been forced to restore them to their platform.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the removal of the ads telling The Hill: “We removed the ads because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo. In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads.” The spokesperson further added that several other ads placed by Warren which discussed the breakup of companies such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were left unaffected…

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/03/12/facebook-temporarily-blocks-users-from-posting-zero-hedge-articles/

by Charlie Nash

Facebook temporarily blocked users from posting articles from finance and politics blog Zero Hedge this week, calling the blacklisting a “mistake.”

Zero Hedge, which often publishes critical articles about Big Tech companies including Facebook, reported on Monday that the social network had been blocking users from posting its articles.

“Over the weekend, we were surprised to learn that some readers were prevented by Facebook when attempting to share Zero Hedge articles,” the blog reported. “Subsequently it emerged that virtually every attempt to share or merely mention an article, including in private messages, would be actively blocked by the world’s largest social network, with the explanation that ‘the link you tried to visit goes against our community standards.’”…

Be seeing you

Facebook bans woman's weight loss photo | Fox News

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Zuckerberg Wants Facebook to Build a Mind-Reading Machine

Posted by M. C. on March 12, 2019

Zittrain made a law-professor joke about the constitutional right to remain silent in light of a technology that allows eavesdropping on thoughts. “Fifth amendment implications are staggering,” he said to laughter. Even this gentle pushback was met with the tried-and-true defense of big tech companies when criticized for trampling users’ privacy—users’ consent. “Presumably,” Zuckerberg said, “this would be something that someone would choose to use as a product.”

To be fair, Facebook doesn’t plan to actually enter our brains. Don’t be too sure.

When you opt out…are you really out?

What use could the government or your local Fife make of this?

https://www.wired.com/story/zuckerberg-wants-facebook-to-build-mind-reading-machine/

 

For those of us who worry that Facebook may have serious boundary issues when it comes to the personal information of its users, Mark Zuckerberg’s recent comments at Harvard should get the heart racing.

Zuckerberg dropped by the university last month ostensibly as part of a year of conversations with experts about the role of technology in society, “the opportunities, the challenges, the hopes, and the anxieties.” His nearly two-hour interview with Harvard law school professor Jonathan Zittrain in front of Facebook cameras and a classroom of students centered on the company’s unprecedented position as a town square for perhaps 2 billion people. To hear the young CEO tell it, Facebook was taking shots from all sides—either it was indifferent to the ethnic hatred festering on its platforms or it was a heavy-handed censor deciding whether an idea was allowed to be expressed.

Zuckerberg confessed that he hadn’t sought out such an awesome responsibility. No one should, he said. “If I was a different person, what would I want the CEO of the company to be able to do?” he asked himself. “I would not want so many decisions about content to be concentrated with any individual.”

Instead, Facebook will establish its own Supreme Court, he told Zittrain, an outside panel entrusted to settle thorny questions about what appears on the platform. “I will not be able to make a decision that overturns what they say,” he promised, “which I think is good.”

All was going to plan. Zuckerberg had displayed a welcome humility about himself and his company. And then he described what really excited him about the future—and the familiar Silicon Valley hubris had returned. There was this promising new technology, he explained, a brain-computer interface, which Facebook has been researching. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »