EFF Sues Government for Information on Facebook Cybersnooping

Paul Lilly

Is big brother watching your every move on Facebook? That's something the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) tried to find out by asking several federal agencies for their policy on the use of social media during investigations. But after being given the cold shoulder, the EFF, along with UC Berkeley's Samuelson Center, have taken the matter to court where they hope the half-dozen federal agencies pinged will be forced to hand over documents relating to social networking as it pertains to investigative procedures.

The short suit gets right to the point and cites the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which normally requires that a response be given within 20 days. But the plaintiffs allege that only the IRS responded within that time frame, and that was a request for a 10-day extension.

So why the sudden interest in the first place? The suit points out various news reports from credible sources (The New York Times, for example) indicating that federal authorities have used social networking sites to pursue investigations. And this includes an incident where investigators staked out Facebook and nabbed a fugitive as soon as he set up an account.

Read the suit in PDF form here .

Image Credit: lawanddisorder.org

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