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Facebook Monitors Your Chats for Criminal Activity [REPORT]
Mashable ^ | July 12, 2012 | Alex Fitzpatrick

Posted on 07/12/2012 8:56:02 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Facebook and other social platforms are watching users’ chats for criminal activity and notifying police if any suspicious behavior is detected, according to a report.

The screening process begins with scanning software that monitors chats for words or phrases that signal something might be amiss, such as an exchange of personal information or vulgar language.

The software pays more attention to chats between users who don’t already have a well-established connection on the site and whose profile data indicate something may be wrong, such as a wide age gap. The scanning program is also “smart” — it’s taught to keep an eye out for certain phrases found in the previously obtained chat records from criminals including sexual predators.

If the scanning software flags a suspicious chat exchange, it notifies Facebook security employees, who can then determine if police should be notified.

Keeping most of the scanned chats out of the eyes of Facebook employees may help Facebook deflect criticism from privacy advocates, but whether the scanned chats are deleted or stored permanently is yet unknown.

The new details about Facebook’s monitoring system came from an interview which the company’s Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan gave to Reuters. At least one alleged child predator has been brought to trial directly as a result of Facebook’s chat scanning, according to Reuters’ report.

When asked for a comment, Facebook only repeated the remarks given by Sullivan to Reuters : “We’ve never wanted to set up an environment where we have employees looking at private communications, so it’s really important that we use technology that has a very low false-positive rate.”

Facebook works with law enforcement “where appropriate and to the extent required by law to ensure the safety of the people who use Facebook,” according to a page on its site.

“We may disclose information pursuant to subpoenas, court orders, or other requests (including criminal and civil matters) if we have a good faith belief that the response is required by law. This may include respecting requests from jurisdictions outside of the United States where we have a good faith belief that the response is required by law under the local laws in that jurisdiction, apply to users from that jurisdiction, and are consistent with generally accepted international standards.

“We may also share information when we have a good faith belief it is necessary to prevent fraud or other illegal activity, to prevent imminent bodily harm, or to protect ourselves and you from people violating our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. This may include sharing information with other companies, lawyers, courts or other government entities.”

Indeed, Facebook has cooperated with police investigations in the past. In April, it complied with a police subpoena from the Boston Police Department by sending printouts of wall posts, photos and login/IP data of a murder suspect.

Is Facebook doing a public service by monitoring chats for criminal behavior? Share your thoughts in the comments.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Conspiracy; Government
KEYWORDS: bigbrother; facebook; internet

1 posted on 07/12/2012 8:56:14 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Vulgar language on Facebook ? Well, that covers about 99% of its users.


2 posted on 07/12/2012 9:06:20 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (If you like lying Socialist dirtbags, you'll love Slick Willard)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The software will be disabled if the user posts gay progressive Democrat to his/her bio.


3 posted on 07/12/2012 9:08:34 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: lightman

Bump.

Truly evil.


4 posted on 07/12/2012 9:12:38 PM PDT by upchuck ("Definition of 'racist:' someone that is winning an argument with a liberal." ~ Peter Brimelow)
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To: upchuck

I’ll put it out in public forum again:

Facebook is an Eighth Commandment-free cesspool dominated by codependent narcissists and voyeurs.


5 posted on 07/12/2012 9:15:51 PM PDT by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini--nevertheless, Vote Santorum!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I wonder if Facebook is chasing the pedophiles that are everywhere there.

http://www.wnd.com/2012/05/lets-end-child-rape-on-facebook/


6 posted on 07/12/2012 9:17:11 PM PDT by upchuck ("Definition of 'racist:' someone that is winning an argument with a liberal." ~ Peter Brimelow)
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To: upchuck

“I wonder if Facebook is chasing the pedophiles that are everywhere there.”

Wouldn’t that make FB homophobes and therefore haters?


7 posted on 07/12/2012 9:22:55 PM PDT by MichaelCorleone ('We the People' can and will take this country back...starting today.)
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To: Navy Patriot

Even though you made a great point and joke-it would not surprise me.


8 posted on 07/12/2012 9:25:39 PM PDT by Lumper20
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To: upchuck

Why wonder when you can just read the excerpt above?

“At least one alleged child predator has been brought to trial directly as a result of Facebook’s chat scanning, according to Reuters’ report.”

That’s right, the criminal activity the algorithm searches for is pedophilia.

Good for Facebook. Unlike AOL, Myspace and Penn State it seems they are actually doing something about child predators,


9 posted on 07/12/2012 9:31:39 PM PDT by free me (Roberts killed America)
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To: free me

And yet if you read the WND series on this, they make it appear Facebook could care less about this problem.


10 posted on 07/12/2012 9:36:27 PM PDT by upchuck ("Definition of 'racist:' someone that is winning an argument with a liberal." ~ Peter Brimelow)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

The vulgarities are words like conservative, freedom, liberty, America...


11 posted on 07/12/2012 9:37:04 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: upchuck

WND is not a reliable source of information.

Still it’s possible such complaints were the impetus for starting the program.

As long as they’re now helping to nail these sickos I’m good with it.


12 posted on 07/12/2012 9:40:19 PM PDT by free me (Roberts killed America)
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To: Lumper20

What makes you think I was joking?


13 posted on 07/12/2012 9:44:56 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: Kirkwood

Heh.


14 posted on 07/12/2012 10:03:18 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (If you like lying Socialist dirtbags, you'll love Slick Willard)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Scanned chats that merit a look by people are almost certainly kept as “training data” for the classifiers. The people time is valuable, and the feedback into the classifiers improves their statistical tables and accuracy. So much for privacy, as if you have any on the net.


15 posted on 07/12/2012 10:11:40 PM PDT by ThunderSleeps (Stop obama now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

You are thinking of You Tube. I see very little swearing on Facebook.


16 posted on 07/12/2012 10:24:53 PM PDT by beaversmom
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To: beaversmom

You must be the 1%.


17 posted on 07/12/2012 10:44:59 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (If you like lying Socialist dirtbags, you'll love Slick Willard)
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To: free me
Good for Facebook. Unlike AOL, Myspace and Penn State it seems they are actually doing something about child predators,

Your conclusion is as stupid as your tagline.

18 posted on 07/12/2012 11:39:32 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: upchuck
And yet if you read the WND series on this, they make it appear Facebook could couldn't care less about this problem.
19 posted on 07/13/2012 12:15:29 AM PDT by Isabel C.
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To: Talisker

It’s a fact not a conclusion. Same goes for the tagline.


20 posted on 07/13/2012 6:50:57 AM PDT by free me (Roberts killed America)
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To: Isabel C.

Thank you.


21 posted on 07/13/2012 9:45:24 AM PDT by upchuck ("Definition of 'racist:' someone that is winning an argument with a liberal." ~ Peter Brimelow)
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