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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Facebook's 25 staffers to Handle Requests for User Information from Law Enforcement.



Facebook's 25 staffers to Handle Requests for User Information from Law Enforcement.(Forbes).If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world and Joe Sullivan would be head of Homeland Security.
The dirt Facebook holds on its users makes it as attractive to cops as to criminals. Among Sullivan’s responsibilities are daily decisions about how much user information to give to law enforcement when it comes calling. And, as a digital nation’s DHS, Sullivan and his team actively police the site for user data worth volunteering to the authorities. Still, he says, “we err on the side of not sharing and have picked quite a few fights over the years.”
Users may have constitutional rights against unreasonable searches by the state, but the only Facebook Constitution is the company’s dense terms of service agreement.
It focuses on prohibitions for users, such as bullying, creating fake accounts or uploading images of violence or nudity, as well as Facebook’s rights to intellectual property uploaded to the site. It doesn’t spell out when Facebook may dive into data for ­policing purposes or hand it over to the authorities.
Should Facebook give users a Miranda warning before they sign up—that anything they post and do on the site can and will be used against them?
Most of his security team is based at headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. and sits at clusters of desks close enough to take dead aim at one another with Nerf darts. Broken roughly into five parts, the team has 10 people review new features being launched, 8 monitor the site for bugs and privacy flaws, 25 handle requests for user information from law enforcement, and a few build criminal and civil cases against those who misbehave on the network; the rest are handling security situations as they arise and acting as digital bodyguards protecting Facebook staffers (“We have someone trying to hack an employee’s account every day,” says Sullivan). If you include the physical security guards who patrol Facebook headquarters, Sullivan’s team numbers 70 people.Read the full story here.

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