Who Needs a KGB When We Have Facebook?

 

Quick virtue signal: I quit Facebook over their brutal lack of integrity long before the Trumpian Age, but wow. I am amazed at the churches and whatnot that still maintain a presence there, luring their flocks into the Big Tech abattoir. But I digress even prior to making any progress.

From the New York Post:

Facebook has been spying on the private messages and data of American users and reporting them to the FBI if they express anti-government or anti-authority sentiments — or question the 2020 election — according to sources within the Department of Justice.

Under the FBI collaboration operation, somebody at Facebook red-flagged these supposedly subversive private messages over the past 19 months and transmitted them in redacted form to the domestic terrorism operational unit at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, without a subpoena.

“It was done outside the legal process and without probable cause,” alleged one of the sources, who spoke on condition of ­anonymity.

“Facebook provides the FBI with private conversations which are protected by the First Amendment without any subpoena.”

These private messages then have been farmed out as “leads” to FBI field offices around the country, which subsequently requested subpoenas from the partner US Attorney’s Office in their district to officially obtain the private conversations that Facebook already had shown them.

Is anyone surprised? Do any of the lawyers in the room think that Facebook’s victims have a basis for action? Is the FBI’s role in accepting these leads even legal considering the source and the method of collection? Is anyone here still on Facebook and, if so, why? And since the ultimate Ricochet Meetup will come soon at a gulag nowhere near Martha’s Vineyard, we will have plenty of time to discuss as we break rocks in the hot sun.

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  1. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    I’m still on Facebook only to plug audiobooks and because some far-flung family is there. My church livestreams services on it but I’m working on setting up a website to do it. The general feeling is that it’s getting worse and we want to leave before it’s completely rotted out.

    • #1
  2. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Quit last year, to my increased happiness.

    Not surprised to hear this, but not pleased.

    • #2
  3. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Another reason I am not on Facebook and never has been. Janet never liked it, and talked me into avoiding it. A wise woman. I still miss her.

    • #3
  4. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Quit last year, to my increased happiness.

    Not surprised to hear this, but not pleased.

    Not planning to quit facebook.     I logged on 2 or 3 years ago,    I may need to sell something there in the future.

    • #4
  5. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I only use FB to keep track of “food trucks” in my area.

    • #5
  6. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Sisyphus: Do any of the lawyers in the room think that Facebook’s victims have a basis for action?

    My first reaction is that no one has any reasonable expectation of privacy for anything posted on a site like Facebook. 

    I still have a Facebook account, but it has been years since I looked at it, and that suits me just fine.

    • #6
  7. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Sisyphus: Do any of the lawyers in the room think that Facebook’s victims have a basis for action?

    My first reaction is that no one has any reasonable expectation of privacy for anything posted on a site like Facebook.

    I still have a Facebook account, but it has been years since I looked at it, and that suits me just fine.

    Except the OP doesn’t say just the public messages posted that (almost) anyone can see; it also specifies the private messages that people can exchange with each other, that the larger audience can’t see.  They might have some expectation of privacy for those, although whether such expectation is “reasonable” or not might depend on whether you think email shouldn’t be viewable by anyone else too, etc.

    • #7
  8. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    I use it quite extensively, and mostly for political posts. I figure if they are spying on me, I can return the favor by posting links to articles exposing the left. I have a choice, alert people to the dangers of the left or stay silent and let the left do its thing to people oblivious to the danger. I don’t advocate for violence. If they show up at my door because I linked to Powerline, Judicial Watch, American Greatness, National Review, or lefty twitter rants, then I will know the country is in for dark days. It isn’t just Twitter but its Messenger app, too, that you can’t trust. Every National Review cruise I post a cruise log in a members only group. See pics below for samples. I advertise books we are exposed to and podcasts recorded on the cruise. As you can see from the pictures below, I have warned people about Facebook, on Facebook. My avatar is my Looney Tunes Tervis tumbler which has Tweety Bird (canary) on it, No coincidence. I have already started the next one. I have a book review on it and a link to Hassett’s recent TV appearance. I am working on a book review for The Drift. (My cruise comments are just generic tidbits, not direct quotes from any specific speaker.)

    I also use Facebook to follow cruise groups just for the from of it. I see cool pictures and get news about how things are going.

    Yes, I can post my stuff elsewhere, but the main reason I stay on FB is to watch church every Sunday. I watch the service from my hometown church where I grew up, 120 miles away. That l is where I was married, too. I get comfort bearing my organ, seeing the stained glass windows, and seeing old friends that I get a glimpse of. That is one reason I changed my avatar, just to have something comforting.

    So, yes, I am still on Facebook and I know it’s evil side. Facebook takes advantage of me, and I return the favor by taking advantage of it. I check behind Google street view, also. I have two screenshots of my car on the road and one of my husband walking. If I see the mapping car pass me, I check that location sometime later to see what they posted. I also check to see what shows up in front of my house.


    • #8
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Added this story to my rule of law? thread

    • #9
  10. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Sisyphus:

    I am amazed at the churches and whatnot that still maintain a presence there, luring their flocks into the Big Tech abattoir.

    Quite. 

    • #10
  11. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    I use it quite extensively, and mostly for political posts. I figure if they are spying on me, I can return the favor by posting links to articles exposing the left. I have a choice, alert people to the dangers of the left or stay silent and let the left do its thing to people oblivious to the danger.

    I have some news for you.  Nobody who doesn’t already agree with you is reading those posts.  They’re just rolling their eyes as they scroll by.

     

     

    • #11
  12. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    I got off facebook years ago

    I stopped using twitter as well 

    I have no regrets stop using either 

    • #12
  13. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    I use it quite extensively, and mostly for political posts. I figure if they are spying on me, I can return the favor by posting links to articles exposing the left. I have a choice, alert people to the dangers of the left or stay silent and let the left do its thing to people oblivious to the danger.

    I have some news for you. Nobody who doesn’t already agree with you is reading those posts. They’re just rolling their eyes as they scroll by.

     

     

    Maybe so, but those of us who agree welcome the additional fuel for our arguments.

    • #13
  14. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    But doesn’t EH’s own post show that only 6 or 7 people looked at each of her posts/comments on those cruises?

    • #14
  15. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    I use it quite extensively, and mostly for political posts. I figure if they are spying on me, I can return the favor by posting links to articles exposing the left. I have a choice, alert people to the dangers of the left or stay silent and let the left do its thing to people oblivious to the danger.

    I have some news for you. Nobody who doesn’t already agree with you is reading those posts. They’re just rolling their eyes as they scroll by.

     

     

    I hope you are right. I announce the creation of the group and it is closed unless they want in and I allow it.

    • #15
  16. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer
    @RetailLawyer

    I took the measure of the man – Mark Weasleburg – and never once had anything to do with it.  Nothing about Meta has surprised me over the many years.  The problem is that it has become something like a utility, making general life less convenient, if nothing else, for those not a member of “the community”.  I also feel like I must be regarded with suspicion because I have no social media profiles that reveal anything other than profession.  What kind of guy does that in this modern age?

    • #16
  17. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I only use FB to keep track of “food trucks” in my area.

    We’re having a very good food truck year here in Woodland Park. A new chicken truck just parked down by the beer garden. I had the amazing carnitas tacos from my usual source yesterday, but I’ll hit the new one for lunch.

    What is this Fatbook thing? Is that the one owned by lizard boy from V?

    • #17
  18. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Retail Lawyer (View Comment):

    I took the measure of the man – Mark Weasleburg – and never once had anything to do with it. Nothing about Meta has surprised me over the many years. The problem is that it has become something like a utility, making general life less convenient, if nothing else, for those not a member of “the community”. I also feel like I must be regarded with suspicion because I have no social media profiles that reveal anything other than profession. What kind of guy does that in this modern age?

    Someone pretty smart, as it turns out.

    Hey, like me, too!

    • #18
  19. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    If you dig into the rich bowels of the article, you will find where FBI personnel are actually annoyed by this because Facebook “informers” redact and abridge the material to make it appear more threatening than it really is. So our federal dollars end up developing and issuing and managing subpoenas to discover that, in the full context, these “tips” are frequently massive nothing burgers. They are working hard to earn that Fakebook nickname. 

    • #19
  20. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Have not been on Facebook in years but I do encounter it for church services.  This story is appalling.  Something better be done about it!

    • #20
  21. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    No I have not been on Facebook for years. And even years ago I was barely there. I could never understand why anyone would divulge their private information to the Internet. My wife still uses Facebook, but she does not divulge any political information. I have no idea why people do that.

    • #21
  22. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    cdor (View Comment):

    No I have not been on Facebook for years. And even years ago I was barely there. I could never understand why anyone would divulge their private information to the Internet. My wife still uses Facebook, but she does not divulge any political information. I have no idea why people do that.

    Affirmation.  Fitting in with the crowd.

    • #22
  23. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    kedavis (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    No I have not been on Facebook for years. And even years ago I was barely there. I could never understand why anyone would divulge their private information to the Internet. My wife still uses Facebook, but she does not divulge any political information. I have no idea why people do that.

    Affirmation. Fitting in with the crowd.

    I was on a little bit to give some progressive relatives a hard time.  (With reason and evidence:  progressives hate that!)  Until they tacitly admitted intellectual bankruptcy, as progressives so often do, by blocking me.

    One of our last arguments, I recall, was: if Trump is a Russian stooge, why is he sending Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, where Obama sent only blankets and MREs?  Response:  the missiles were unusable, for reasons they refused to divulge but I was tasked with working out.

    When the invasion came, of course, “Saint Javelin” decimated the Russian tanks.  But I’m sure my relatives will find some other way to blame Trump for everything!

    • #23
  24. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Taras (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    No I have not been on Facebook for years. And even years ago I was barely there. I could never understand why anyone would divulge their private information to the Internet. My wife still uses Facebook, but she does not divulge any political information. I have no idea why people do that.

    Affirmation. Fitting in with the crowd.

    I was on a little bit to give some progressive relatives a hard time. (With reason and evidence: progressives hate that!) Until they tacitly admitted intellectual bankruptcy, as progressives so often do, by blocking me.

    One of our last arguments, I recall, was: if Trump is a Russian stooge, why is he sending Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, where Obama sent only blankets and MREs? Response: the missiles were unusable, for reasons they refused to divulge but I was tasked with working out.

    When the invasion came, of course, “Saint Javelin” decimated the Russian tanks. But I’m sure my relatives will find some other way to blame Trump for everything!

    They always do.  Some of my relatives, and ex neighbors in Phoenix, claimed that the great employment numbers etc during Trump were actually “leftover Obama,” and all the bad stuff now is really “leftover Trump.”  As if Biden didn’t shut down Keystone Pipeline etc, literally on Day One.

    • #24
  25. randallg Member
    randallg
    @randallg

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Sisyphus: Do any of the lawyers in the room think that Facebook’s victims have a basis for action?

    My first reaction is that no one has any reasonable expectation of privacy for anything posted on a site like Facebook.

    They can copy or distribute anything you post to anyone they wish without limit.
    From Facebook’s Terms of Use:

    Specifically, when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights on or in connection with our Products, you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, and worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings). This means, for example, that if you share a photo on Facebook, you give us permission to store, copy, and share it with others (again, consistent with your settings) such as Meta Products or service providers that support those products and services.

    • #25
  26. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    OK, I don’t Facebook anymore, haven’t for a long time, and I don’t really much want to defend them. 

    But I am asking this in good faith; why would anyone think their conversations on FB are in any way ‘private conversations’ and what is wrong with – for lack of a better word – overhearing a conversation that sounds iffy and then telling the cops about it? 

    • #26
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    TBA (View Comment):

    OK, I don’t Facebook anymore, haven’t for a long time, and I don’t really much want to defend them.

    But I am asking this in good faith; why would anyone think their conversations on FB are in any way ‘private conversations’ and what is wrong with – for lack of a better word – overhearing a conversation that sounds iffy and then telling the cops about it?

    You can send “private” messages on FB.

    ‘Cept you can’t.

    • #27
  28. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    TBA (View Comment):

    OK, I don’t Facebook anymore, haven’t for a long time, and I don’t really much want to defend them.

    But I am asking this in good faith; why would anyone think their conversations on FB are in any way ‘private conversations’ and what is wrong with – for lack of a better word – overhearing a conversation that sounds iffy and then telling the cops about it?

    After 20 years in the Air Force one 22 years retired, I still assume every conversation is being listened to. I don’t even assume privacy on ricochet.

    • #28
  29. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    TBA (View Comment):

    OK, I don’t Facebook anymore, haven’t for a long time, and I don’t really much want to defend them.

    But I am asking this in good faith; why would anyone think their conversations on FB are in any way ‘private conversations’ and what is wrong with – for lack of a better word – overhearing a conversation that sounds iffy and then telling the cops about it?

    This is a fair question. The first answer is that they tout a feature as private messages. The second is, as I commented above, the snitch impulse is so strong in these guys that they redact the conversations, ostensibly for “privacy”, but actually to make them appear more sinister than in their full context. These guys are gunning for their own users. I’m betting they did not spell that out in their business plan.

    I would take your question further, why would anyone expect Google Mail to be private? And yet, I know of businesses that compete with Google but use their mail services. Big Tech is notorious for their broken promises, but the price tag is so inviting. In what world has there ever been a surveillance capability that was not abused?

    • #29
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