Archive for category Facebook
Facebook asked to close undercover cop page
Victoria Police has complained to Facebook, saying a page dedicated to exposing the state’s undercover police cars is putting officers and operations at risk.
The page has more than 12,500 followers and has dozens of photos and comments revealing the number-plates of unmarked police cars.
A News Limited report says Facebook has refused a police request to remove the page, saying it cannot stop people taking photos in public places.
Victoria Police says it takes the safety of its members seriously and is monitoring activity on the page.
But Police Association Secretary Greg Davies says the state’s criminal element is bound to be keeping tabs on it too.
“Not every criminal in Victoria is a moron,” he said.
“This is available for anybody to have a look at.
“It is effectively a database of as many, what people believe to be unmarked police vehicles and operations as they can gather, so it’s a pretty good resource for them.”
Mr Davies says it is irresponsible for Facebook to retain a page which publishes photos of unmarked police cars.
“Facebook is a creature of the 21st century, it’s time it stepped into the responsibilities of the 21st century,” he said.
“This could jeopardise not only ongoing police operations, but it could jeopardise police officers as well.
“Facebook has to show some responsibility and take this thing down.”
When the Most Personal Secrets Get Outed on Facebook
BY GEOFFREY A. FOWLER
AUSTIN, Texas—Bobbi Duncan desperately wanted her father not to know she is lesbian. Facebook told him anyway.
One evening last fall, the president of the Queer Chorus, a choir group she had recently joined, inadvertently exposed Ms. Duncan’s sexuality to her nearly 200 Facebook friends, including her father, by adding her to a Facebook Inc. discussion group. That night, Ms. Duncan’s father left vitriolic messages on her phone, demanding she renounce same-sex relationships, she says, and threatening to sever family ties.
The 22-year-old cried all night on a friend’s couch. “I felt like someone had hit me in the stomach …
- When the Most Personal Secrets Get Outed on Facebook (allthingsd.com)
- Internet Privacy Does Not Exist (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Gay Students’ Outing Highlights Privacy Flaws in Facebook Groups (webpronews.com)
- Facebook’s Wonky Privacy Controls Now Outing LGBT Youth Without Their Consent (betabeat.com)
- The Best Reporting on Facebook and Your Privacy – ProPublica (propublica.org)
- When You Post, the Wall Street Journal Might Listen (danceswithchaos.wordpress.com)
- The Ins and Outs of Facebook Advertising (clurradonald.com)
- Media Digest (9/14/2012) Reuters, WSJ, NYT, FT, Bloomberg (dailyfinance.com)
- Facebook Inc. (FB) Privacy Settings ‘Outing’ LGBT? (insidermonkey.com)
Facebook’s Lower Stock Price Means Saverin Doubled Tax Bill By Leaving The Country
from the oops dept
Back when Facebook first rolled out its IPO in the same smooth and easy fashion as an Olympic hurdler racing with his testicles twisted like a Navy Pier pretzel, Eduardo Saverin, Facebook co-founder, entered the crosshairs of some United States congressmen looking to make some noise. See, Eduardo decided that taxes suck and he wanted to incur as little of said suckiness as possible, so he renounced his American citizenship and declared his love for Singapore. This, according to Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey, made him evil personified.
Exhibit 1: Artist’s rendering based upon Chuck Schumer’s description
The argument was that Saverin had allowed this country to help make him rich and now, in an evil move that was completely legal, he was going to evade paying the full taxes of an American citizen by no longer being one. To combat this unholy act, Schumer and Casey unveiled the oh-so-cleverly named EX-PATRIOT Act, which would levy heavy taxes on Saverin and anyone else who thought they could escape the virtous clutches of the American tax system.
“This is a great American success story gone horribly wrong,” Schumer told reporters Thursday. “Eduardo Saverin wants to defriend the United States of America just to avoid paying taxes. We aren’t going to let him get away with it.”
But, as fate would have it, Facebook’s stock prices dropped faster than a Righthaven lawsuit. And the result, according to Forbes, may be that Saverin paid more in taxation than he would have had he stayed in The States.
A couple of things got missed in the furore. The first was that he had to pay tax on his Facebook stock as if he sold it on the day of his citizenship renunciation. The value then was some $2.4 billion, leading to a $365 million tax bill. That tax bill is fixed of course: now that he’s no longer a citizen he doesn’t get any tax breaks or credits on losses he might make. Which of course he has done. Since he crystallised that tax bill his stock (assuming he’s still holding it and he would have been until just now because of the lock in around the IPO) has halved in value to about $1.2 billion. But he still owes that $365 million.
So, at least so far, the net effect of his renunciation has been to double his tax bill, not reduce it. Oh, and if he hasn’t paid the tax as yet then he has to pay interest to the IRS on it.
And there we have it. Schumer and Casey drafted legislation, which didn’t pass, to combat a guy who did something legal because they insisted it was unfair that he escape full taxation by renouncing his citizenship. It turns out that Saverin’s renunciation caused him to be overtaxed by a rather substantial rate. Any takers on whether Schumer and Casey would be open to Saverin claiming relief from this over taxation?
- How Eduardo Saverin Sold Facebook Ads in 2004 (digiday.com)
- Should You Renounce Your U.S. Citizenship Like Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin? (taxprof.typepad.com)
- Facebook co-founder Saverin under fire: Some Senators plans for an ‘Ex-PATRIOT’ Act (nextlevelofnews.com)
- Chasing Away the Rich (takimag.com)
- Renouncing Your Citizenship to Stick It to the Tax Man? Not as Easy as it Looks (business.time.com)
- Schumer Proposes 30% Tax on Facebook Co-Founder, Other Who Renounce U.S. Citizenship for Tax Purposes (taxprof.typepad.com)
- Here’s The First Slide Deck ‘The Facebook’ Used To Pitch Ads In 2004 (FB) (businessinsider.com)
- Facebook Co-Founder Renounces U.S. Citizenship in Advance of IPO, Saving Millions in U.S. Taxes (taxprof.typepad.com)
- Facebook Founder Eduardo Saverin Causes Lawmakers Try to Pass Legislation to Prevent Renouncing Us Citizenship (binsidetv.net)
- Leaked media kit points to 2004 ad sales pitch for ‘TheFacebook’ (news.cnet.com)
Area Man Regrets Investing In Facebook
MENLO PARK, CA—Saying that he thought it was a “safe bet” at first, local man Mark Zuckerberg, 28, told reporters Tuesday that—after going what he called “all in” on the business—he now regrets staking so much of his financial future on the Internet company Facebook. “It seemed like a slam dunk—popular company, kids love it, and my financial advisors were telling me this stock was going to be a monster,” said Zuckerberg, who works in computers, and has lost nearly $600 million since Facebook went public in May. “But you know what, I’ll admit there was always a small part of me that knew I was going to lose a boatload on this thing, because, when you think about Facebook, there’s not a whole lot of room for long-term growth there, or any real solid plan for the future. I guess it’s just another one of those overhyped tech stocks, and I bought into the hype.” At press time, Zuckerberg sold his shares in Facebook and invested in GE, which the computer programmer and husband called “a fine, safe American company that never gets too high, never gets too low.”
- Pregnant Woman Relieved To Learn Her Rape Was Illegitimate | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Supreme Court Upholds Bill Of Rights In 5-4 Decision | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Area Man Lives Vicariously Through Son’s Bully | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Area Man Regrets Investing In Facebook (theonion.com)
- New Internet Destinations Created | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- World Leader Wondering Why He Just Met With The Former Governor Of Massachusetts | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- Area Man’s Quirky Hobby Kills 27 | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
- U.S. Facing Helium Shortage | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source | American Voices (mbcalyn.com)
- Year Of Law School Now Mandatory For Nation’s 25-Year-Olds | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source (mbcalyn.com)
Should Making A Threat On Facebook Be A Crime?
from the determining-real-vs.-fake dept
There have been a few instances lately of various mass killings around the world (though certainly not all of them) where those responsible have either left strong hints via their online presence, or have even been pretty direct about their intentions. Of course, at the same time, you have stories like Paul Chambers’, where a joke was over-inflated by some law enforcement officials to pretend that it was a threat. Ditto the story of Joe Lipari, who quoted a line from Fight Club on Facebook, and got arrested for his trouble.
So, I find it somewhat troubling that police in Canada seem to think that any threat online or off is a criminal offense. There’s been an increase in people charged in Canada for merely making a threat, and some are reasonably concerned that many of those threats are idle chatter on social networks. The article seems to think that there’s no good way of dealing with this other than to change the law so that online threats are treated differently than offline threats:
Section 264.1 of the Criminal Code says a person who knowingly utters, conveys or causes another person to receive a threat of death or bodily harm can receive a prison term of up to five years. A person who threatens to damage property, or kill or injure an animal, can receive a prison sentence of up to two years.
Cpl. De Jong said under the Criminal Code “a threat is a threat is a threat,” regardless of how it’s made.
But Bentley Doyle, of the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C., said some sort of distinction should be drawn between online threats and those made in person.
“The more specific you get, the easier it is to actually follow through and charge somebody specifically,” he said.
Of course, rather than separating out online and in-person speech, what’s wrong with just looking at the details of the situation, and making a reasonable assessment as to whether the threat is legitimate or just someone saying something stupid? In the cases of Chambers and Lipari above, law enforcement should have quickly realized that neither individual was likely to do anything violent. But if someone is legitimately planning to shoot at a group of people and talking about it online, it seems that, at the very least, that could be worth investigating. The problem is criminalizing the statement, rather than using it as evidence to see if there’s actually any real intent to follow through.
- Outspoken Blog TechDirt Will Let Anyone Shut It Down For A Day — For A Price (businessinsider.com)
- Techdirt and the value of the velvet rope approach to media (gigaom.com)
- Police grapple with how to handle threats online (theglobeandmail.com)
- Government Is Now Issuing Takedown Requests Of YouTube Videos (webpronews.com)
- Gym Allegedly Threatens To Call Police On Blogger For Blogging That Its Prices Were A Bit High | Techdirt (mbcalyn.com)
- Police Send SWAT Team, Break Into Wrong House (With TV Film Crew) In Response To Internet Troll | Techdirt (mbcalyn.com)
- Day of the Facebook assassin (infocult.typepad.com)
- 1st Amendment Violated As Facebook Assists Police In Pre-Crime Investigations (alexanderhiggins.com)
- Victoria police probe online threats against mosque (ctvnews.ca)
Va. Veteran Detained After Strident Facebook Posts
By LARRY O’DELL Associated Press
RICHMOND, Va. August 21, 2012 (AP)
A former Marine involuntarily detained for psychiatric evaluation for posting strident anti-government messages on Facebook has received an outpouring of support from people who say authorities are trampling on his First Amendment rights.
Brandon J. Raub, 26, has been in custody since FBI, Secret Service agents and police in Virginia’s Chesterfield County questioned him Thursday evening about what they said were ominous posts talking about a coming revolution. In one message earlier this month according to authorities, Raub wrote: “Sharpen my axe; I’m here to sever heads.”
Police — acting under a state law that allows emergency, temporary psychiatric commitments upon the recommendation of a mental health professional — took Raub to the John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell. He was not charged with any crime.
A Virginia-based civil liberties group, The Rutherford Institute, dispatched one of its attorneys to the hospital to represent Raub at a hearing Monday. A judge ordered Raub detained for another month, Rutherford executive director John Whitehead said.
“For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon,” Whitehead said.
Raub’s mother, Cathleen Thomas, said by telephone that the government had overstepped its bounds.
“The bottom line is his freedom of speech has been violated,” she said.
Thomas said her son, who served tours as a combat engineer in Iraq and Afghanistan, is “concerned about all the wars we’ve experienced” and believes the U.S. government was complicit in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. One of his Facebook posts, she said, pictured the gaping hole in the Pentagon and asked “where’s the plane?”
Whitehead said he found nothing alarming in Raub’s social media commentaries. “The posts I read that supposedly were of concern were libertarian-type posts I see all the time,” he said.
The big concern, Whitehead said, is whether government officials are monitoring citizens’ private Facebook pages and detaining people with whom they disagree.
Dee Rybiski, an FBI spokeswoman in Richmond, said there was no Facebook snooping by her agency.
“We received quite a few complaints about what were perceived as threatening posts,” she said. “Given the circumstances with the things that have gone on in the country with some of these mass shootings, it would be horrible for law enforcement not to pay attention to complaints.”
Whitehead said some of the posts in question were made on a closed Facebook page that Raub had recently created so he questioned whether anyone from the public would have complained about them.
A “Support Brandon Raub” Facebook page had 244 “likes” by Monday afternoon and other Internet sites had numerous comments from people outraged by the veteran’s detention.
Raub’s supporters characterized the detention as an arrest, complaining he was handcuffed and whisked away in a police cruiser without being served a warrant or read his rights. But authorities say it wasn’t an arrest because Raub doesn’t face criminal charges.
Col. Theirry Depuis, the county police chief, said Raub was taken into custody upon the recommendation of mental health crisis intervention workers. He said the action was taken under the state’s emergency custody statute, which allows a magistrate to order the civil detention and psychiatric evaluation of a person who is considered potentially dangerous.
He said Raub was handcuffed because he resisted officers’ attempts to take him into custody.
- Va. veteran detained after strident Facebook posts (wtvm.com)
- Va. Veteran Detained After Facebook Posts (blacklistednews.com)
- Former Marine Brandon Raub Is Locked In A Psych Ward Over His 9/11 Facebook Posts (conservativeread.com)
- Former Marine Brandon Raub Is Locked In A Psych Ward Over His 9/11 Facebook Posts (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- HOT: Ron Paul Supporter Grabbed by Police (economicpolicyjournal.com)
- Statement from attorneys on Brandon Raub detention (wtvr.com)
- Attorney Statement on Brandon Raub; Raub to Be Detained Indefinitely (dailypaul.com)
- Former Marine Detained By FBI For Facebook Posts About 9/11 And ‘The Revolution’ (informationliberation.com)
- RUTHERFORD INSTITUTE DEFENDS MARINE ARRESTED: Statement on Hearing (virginiacopblock.org)
- Former U.S. Marine arrested for Facebook posts exposing the 9/11 inside job and chemtrails (hangthebankers.com)
Judge Raises New Questions About Facebook Advertising Tactic
Paul Sakuma/Associated PressA judge rejected Facebook’s settlement offer in response to a lawsuit that said the company violated California law by publicizing users’ “likes” of certain advertisers without paying them or giving them a way to opt out.
A judge rejected Facebook’s settlement offer in response to a lawsuit that said the company violated California law by publicizing users’ “likes” of certain advertisers without paying them or giving them a way to opt out. Facebook’s advertising efforts face a new legal hurdle at a time when the social networking giant needs to increase revenue and convince investors of its long-term prospects.
Late Friday, a federal judge in California rejected the pending settlement of a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, calling on both sides to prove that the terms of the settlement were not “merely plucked from thin air.”
The case focuses on an advertising tactic known as sponsored stories, in which Facebook users endorse brands, in some cases without their knowledge. For example, if users “like” Wal-Mart, the retailer uses their names and pictures in advertisements to their friends on the social network. Wal-Mart pays Facebook for the service.
Facebook has extolled such advertising. Executives view it as an especially valuable source of revenue on mobile phones, an area where the company has been struggling to bolster its profits.
In the class-action lawsuit filed last year, the plaintiffs argued that Facebook users were not sufficiently informed of how their “likes” translated into profits for the company. The two sides reached a tentative settlement earlier this year.
As part of the proposed deal, Facebook agreed to better inform users about sponsored stories, to limit their use and to allow people under 18 to opt out of the function. The company also agreed to pay $10 million to a dozen research and advocacy groups that work on digital privacy rights, and $10 million to cover legal fees for the plaintiffs. But the settlement did not inhibit Facebook from continuing to serve up sponsored stories.
On Friday, Judge Richard G. Seeborg of United States District Court in San Francisco rejected the draft order and asked both sides to justify how they had negotiated the dollar amounts. “There are sufficient questions regarding the proposed settlement,” he wrote.
The judge’s questions are likely to draw Facebook’s lawyers to court for the next several months.
Judge Seeborg said he wanted clarification on whether there could be relief for the millions of Facebook users whose names and photographs had already been used. He also asked about the “adequacy and fairness” of how the two sides agreed on the amount to be given to charity. And he raised concerns about the size of the legal fee payment, worrying that the plaintiffs’ lawyers “may have bargained away something of value.”
“We continue to believe the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate,” a Facebook spokesman said in an e-mail late Saturday. “We appreciate the court’s guidance and look forward to addressing the questions raised in the order. We are confident we can address the issues raised by the court without substantially revising the settlement.”
- Judge Raises New Questions About Facebook Advertising Tactic (bits.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Judge rejects Facebook settlement over ad feature (reuters.com)
- Facebook ‘sponsored stories’ settlement rejected by judge (electronista.com)
- Judge rejects Facebook’s ‘Sponsored Stories’ settlement (avesom.com)
- Facebook Loses Bid to Approve Sponsored Stories Suit Accord – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Judge rejects Facebook settlement over ad feature (todayonline.com)
- Judge rejects Facebook settlement over users appearing in ads (technolog.msnbc.msn.com)
- Facebook’s Proposal Over Sponsored Stories Case Rejected By Judge (thedroidguy.com)
- Judge rejects Facebook settlement over ad feature (mercurynews.com)
- Facebook ‘sponsored stories’ settlement in jeopardy (electronista.com)
What Facebook Hands Over To Police When A User Is Suspected Of Murder
Phil Markoff’s Facebook file, via the Boston Phoenix
The Boston Phoenix has a pretty fascinating and detailed story about the digital detective work involved in tracking down Phil Markoff, a.k.a. the Craigslist Killer. After looking for evidence in the Marriott hotel room where the first erotic masseuse victim was found and going through the victim’s cell phone to contact friends and relatives, the Boston Police Department turned to the somewhat controversial technique, recently brought into the spotlight by the ACLU, of location-tracking cell phones for help with the investigation.
After a second attack at a Westin Hotel, some FBI agents who happened to be passing through helped the Boston police to “pull cell-tower records for the time period 15 minutes before and after each incident, for those near the scene of each crime.” They tried to pinpoint a phone that was used in both areas around the times of the attack, but they wound up with hundreds of phone numbers. So, it was basically a dead end.
What wound up being much more useful was the email address that Markoff used to contact his first victim. It was a throw-away hotmail account, but Microsoft was able to give the police the IP address of the person who opened it (after getting a subpoena), while Comcast was able to supply the name and physical address of the person associated with the IP (also after receiving a subpoena).
That’s when the police turned to Facebook. They sent a subpoena to the social networking giant and got a 60+ page dossier on Markoff, including all of his wall posts, the photos he’d been tagged in, a list of his friends, and a history of his log-ins (with associated IP information). It doesn’t seem to have actually been that helpful in the investigation, but it makes for an interesting perusal. (The police also asked Facebook for its records on Markoff’s oblivious but seemingly innocent fiance.)
In posting the Facebook file, the Phoenix headlined it, “When the cops subpoena your Facebook information, here’s what Facebook sends the cops.” That’s incorrect given what Facebook says are its practices these days. This investigation was conducted back in 2008. The police department wouldn’t be able to get that much information today with just a subpoena (an official request from a law enforcement or government agency that hasn’t been reviewed by a judge). When I interviewed Facebook’s director of security, Joe Sullivan, earlier this year, he told me the company provides only “basic subscriber information” in response to a subpoena, meaning a user’s name, e-mail address and IP address. Sullivan said that, to get a peek at a user’s photos, status updates, private messages, friend lists, or pokes, law enforcement has to get a search warrant, making things a little harder for investigators but protecting users from fishing expeditions that haven’t gotten a judicial stamp of approval.
None of this meticulously-collected evidence wound up being used to try Markoff, though, because he committed suicide after being charged.
Hunting the Craigslist Killer [The Phoenix]
- Here’s what a Facebook response to a user data subpoena looks like (nextlevelofnews.com)
- Not on Facebook? You’re probably a psychopath (theweek.co.uk)
- NYPD To Subpoena Twitter To Find User Who Threatens Aurora-Type Theater Shooting In Manhattan (ibtimes.com)
- Are People Who Don’t Use Facebook Psychopaths? (fox4kc.com)
- Missing murder suspect now on ‘Most Wanted’ list (bostonherald.com)
- Be Careful what you say here ! (pintwister.wordpress.com)
- Are You a Psychopath if You’re Not on Facebook? Some Employers, Psychiatrists Think So (mashable.com)
- Police allege vampire murder as revenge (bigpondnews.com)
- Sex Tech: Porn filesharing suits go too far, Anonymous vs. pedos (zdnet.com)
- Man extradited over Vic ‘vampire’ murder (bigpondnews.com)