back to article France joins India in telling Facebook to just Zuck off

Monday June 8th will go down as a bad day in Facebook history, after France joined India by telling the social network to Zuck off. France's complaint relates to Europe's safe harbour laws, under which Facebook has sent data about members back to the United states for light, non-invasive data mining and secure storage ruthless …

  1. Martijn Otto

    Mostly agree, except on the password rules. It is never a good idea to create complex rules to which a password must adhere. Requiring funny characters only makes it difficult for a human to remember but not actually more difficult to crack.

    Using a long sentence of words in some weird order (still much easier to remember) is much, much harder to crack.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "Using a long sentence of words in some weird order (still much easier to remember)"

      Until you have to remember so many of them you start wondering, "Now was it 'correcthorsebatterystaple' or 'rositachiquitajuanitachihuahua'?" At least with messy passwords you more quickly realize you're in over your or any human's head.

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Including a related word can make them easier to remember. They don't become less secure with extra words, and you won't be using that method if you're a slow typist.

        1. Roq D. Kasba

          Which is why we as IT professionals should abolish or at least pass over the term 'password' in favour of 'passphrase'.

          Users take things very literally - ever helped one find the 'any' key?

          1. Roq D. Kasba

            PS - 'Shibboleth' would be even more appropriate in an ideal world ;-)

          2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

            There was this one user - in the end I made an 'any' key for him. Labelmakers are a wonderful tool, and I was pretty sure he never used the '^ / °' key anyway.

          3. Mark Simon

            For this reason, I always specified which key to press : “press the space bar” or something like that. Not only is it easier to find, it removes the burden of decision making from the poor hapless user.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              "For this reason, I always specified which key to press : “press the space bar” or something like that. Not only is it easier to find, it removes the burden of decision making from the poor hapless user."

              Not only that, but Alt, Shift and Control are part of that set of "any" key and unless the programmer has taken special care over them, pressing them when "any" key is requested usually doesn't do anything.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          "Including a related word can make them easier to remember. They don't become less secure with extra words, and you won't be using that method if you're a slow typist."

          But then you create a mnemonic pattern, and it's been noted that just about ANY mnemonic can be figured out if you get enough info. Plus even this can be too much for some people with really BAD memories.

          1. kiwimuso
            Joke

            @Charles 9

            "even this can be too much for some people with really BAD memories."

            I do NOT have a bad memory - but I do have an occasional bad recall problem.

            Well, actually, a bit more than occasional if I'm honest!

    2. auburnman

      To quote the Oatmeal (again): "If I want to use 'boobs' as my password that's my own shitty decision and you should just let me roll with it.".

    3. Mark Simon

      I use passwords with complex characters, but find increasingly that it’s a pain in the neck when typing on my phone, since I have to keep switching between keyboards. Longer alphabetic passwords would be less of pain, and just as secure …

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another thing about facebook's security - or lack there of - is try and login with the wrong password. Instead of saying the login details (username and password) were wrong - it tells you if you have a valid username.

    1. Stuart Moore

      Only if that account has connected to that PC before. Try a new private browsing window.

      1. John Lilburne Silver badge

        Generate a random list of email address. Plug it into facebook and it will tell you which are valid, and with a little bit of researching you'll get to know quite a bit about the person, before you social engineer a phishing attack.

  3. Frank Zuiderduin

    Monday June 8th

    Wut?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can we ban Facebook etc altogether?

    I'm sure that the nations productivity will rise by at least 10%

    Proud to have never said Yes to any social media drug.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can we ban Facebook etc altogether?

      I'm sure that the nations productivity will rise by to at least 10%

      FTFY

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can we ban Facebook etc altogether?

      Check out this comedy gold from a USian forum:

      "US tech companies need to pull out of the UK. The loss of tax revenue might get their attention."

      See, they want to pull out to "teach us Brits a lesson", and we want them gone because they don't do European standards of privacy. Win-win, let's DO this.

      Oh wait, we'd be hurting for tax revenue if we kicked Facebook/Apple/Google out.

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        Re: Can we ban Facebook etc altogether?

        Tax revenue ... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

        1. John G Imrie Silver badge

          Re: Can we ban Facebook etc altogether?

          I have finally stopped laughing long enough to ... no sorry have to go again :-)

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Can we ban Facebook etc altogether?

        "Oh wait, we'd be hurting for tax revenue if we kicked Facebook/Apple/Google out."

        I recently heard the 12 mile stretch of A1 2x2 lane dual carriageway being upgraded to 2x3 lane motorway is costing £400m. I think that's about 3 times more than Googles tax paid into the Exchequer.

        Googles new and improved annual tax payment is worth about 4 miles of motorway per year. Now that's perspective :-)

    3. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Can we ban Facebook etc altogether?

      Why not simply make it illegal to do silly or stupid things? I see no reason to dictate that others not do things that are not inrinsically harmful (even if sometimes subject to exploitation by others) if they enjoy doing them.

      Alcohol prohibition certainly worked out poorly where tried, and had the worst side effects where enforcement was most vigorous. The execrable US War on Drugs, over several decades, has been accompanied by astonishing violence and corruption in the US and other countries, and as well by consistent increase in variety and availability of illegal drugs at consistently decreasing retail prices, not to mention the enormous increase in potency of cannabis. Gambling restriction and regulation, with attendant public corruption, has not been all that much better. Prostitution is worthy of mention in the same context.

      All these proscribed or restricted activities were harmful, sometimes disastrously so, to some of those who engaged in them, as well as to their families and, to an extent, their communities. Making them illegal did little to stop them and It is likely that much or most of the harm associated with them resulted from the fact of illegality and the associated enforcement activities. There is no earthly reason to suppose laws enforcing privacy, whether on Facebook, Google, or other present or future undertakings, will be any more successful or beneficial.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Proud to have never said Yes to any social media drug"

      Good job!

      Now how about your partner, friends, siblings, parents, colleagues, kids etc etc.

      Did they also: say never?

      Because if not, then a fair amount of info has already leaked about you onto social-media peddler's databases, whether you realize it or not...

      Whether its Phonebook / Contact-List scraping by FB, Google or Whatsapp...

      Or message snooping / profiling by Gmail / Hotmail / Yahoo mail, FB-mail etc.

      Your privacy is only ever as good as the weakest link in your family, work or social group!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so what has Facebook done for us

    other than the "like" button!

    1. big_D Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: so what has Facebook done for us

      Well, they did give us aqueducts. Oh, no, wait, that was the Romans.

      Nah, can't think of anything.

    2. MrDamage

      Re: so what has Facebook done for us

      Well, they have done to our privacy what goatse has done to himself. That's not a good thing though.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: so what has Facebook done for us

      They gave us the Dislike button too. Then they took it back :-(

  6. Simon Jones [MSDL]

    Monday June 8th

    Some time travel involved?

  7. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Vive la France!

    Très bon

  8. Roq D. Kasba

    France had hissy fit, nobody shocked?

    I love France. I love that they don't just roll over. They may be a bit bonkers sometimes, but I'm so glad they're as they are, and glad for the Common Market to keep us all in check, too...

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @Roq Re: France had hissy fit, nobody shocked?

      Sorry this isn't just a hissy fit.

      Even if you don't have a facebook account, many sites have embedded javascript that goes back to facebook. Just like Google's analytics. (Which is why Google will always have an edge over its rivals and why they are a monopoly).

      Facebook is capturing data from websites and is tracking both members and non-members. Of course this is governed by the ToS of the website you're visiting.

      Sending back the data to the US? That's a new one. What' will eventually happen is that each nation will force global companies to set up data silos by each country. This could make things interesting. Both from a DS perspective and how things play out.

      I wonder what Gibson would have to say about this...

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: @Roq France had hissy fit, nobody shocked?

        " (Which is why Google will always have an edge over its rivals and why they are a monopoly)."

        I call oxymoron on you!

  9. x 7

    face it

    Facebook is simply an overt part of the US intelligence services monitoring system

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think it's all a bit more integrated than that.

      The military-industrial-media-entertainment-celebrity-surveillance-Facebook complex.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ x 7

      Actually that would be Google.

  10. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    How would it work?

    Say Facebook just moved out of France, what would actually happen?

    French people would still register on foreign servers, details would still go to advertisers and companies would still buy advertising space that would appear to French users.

    Does the French government actually have any power over Facebook?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: How would it work?

      Yes. Besides being able to block FB IPs in France, Zuck (and other FB executives) may not be able to go on holiday in Paris or Côte d'Azur .- and even some French territories like some nice tropical islands without the risk of being arrested.

      It's bad when you're rich and you can't go to places where rich people like to hang around...

      1. theModge

        Re: How would it work?

        They'd probably also like to make money in France. I realise it's not the biggest market in the world, but if they let France go it sends the wrong signal when the next country wants to go as well...

        1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

          Re: How would it work?

          > They'd probably also like to make money in France.

          Doubt it, they probably want to make money in Bermuda, which is where the web site could be hosted that the French person puts their card details into when they buy advertising.

      2. ZanzibarRastapopulous

        Re: How would it work?

        > Besides being able to block FB IPs in France...

        I'm not sure France actually has a national firewall for blocking FB but sure they could implement one.

        > (...) the risk of being arrested.

        [Noting France can issue EU wide warrants a la Assange]

        I still find it odd that people think it might be acceptable that a US citizen could be arrested because he set up a legal web site in the US and that he becomes an international criminal because a French person decided to use it and he didn't stop them. If France wants to control its own citizens then shouldn't the Frenchman be arrested?

        Not sure about you guys, but I don't think it's right that someone creating a web site should expect to be subject to the law of every nation on the planet.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: How would it work?

          The fact your business also operates in France and takes data owned by French citizens, and sell "services" there, means you can't simply say "hey, I'm in the US". You're bound to French law too.

          Or do you mean US has no right to pursue drug gangs in Mexico and other countries like those because they just sell drugs to people reselling them in the US?

          Maybe what you do is legal in the US, but if it is not legal here you can't do it - just alike the "canadian pharmacies" - is selling something is legal in Canada, can you still sell it in the US from Canada?

          I find funny the idea the US jurisdiction is worldwide, while US citizen and companies would like to happily ignore other jurisdictions because they're in the US...

          In the long run, acting like a mad elephant will just hurt US interests badly. Nobody would trust them anymore.

          1. tom dial Silver badge

            Re: How would it work?

            It is illegal for US persons to reimport drugs purchased at Canadian pharmacies - a matter of US law and regulations A cursory web search suggests strongly that it is quite legal for a Canadian pharmacy to fill a US prescription - a matter of Canadian law. There may be commercial treaties between the two countries that bear on the matter, but only because of their effect on the respective laws.

            There is no indication in this case that the US government is acting as if it thinks it has world wide jurisdiction. It claims jurisdiction over US residents in a matter that involves both foreign trade and the general welfare, as defined in legislation and implementing regulations. It claims no authority at all over Canadians or over Canadian businesses that are not operating in the US.

          2. ZanzibarRastapopulous

            Re: How would it work?

            >The fact your business also operates in France...

            That's what I'm suggesting though, if facebook decided not to operate in France, their site would still be used by French people.

            >Or do you mean US has no right to pursue drug gangs in Mexico and other countries like those because they just sell drugs to people reselling them in the US?

            No, they don't have that right. They do get invited in by the Mexican government because Mexico wants to be on good terms with the US, and of course the drug gangs aren't operating legally in Mexico either.

            >Maybe what you do is legal in the US, but if it is not legal here you can't do it - just alike the "canadian pharmacies" - is selling something is legal in Canada, can you still sell it in the US from Canada?

            The equivalent here, is a US citizen going to Canada, buying and taking some drugs in Canada and the US deciding to prosecute the pharmacy.

            > I find funny the idea the US jurisdiction is worldwide, while US citizen and companies would like to happily ignore other jurisdictions because they're in the US...

            I don't think US jurisdiction should be worldwide either, and actually the Assange thing shows that it isn't. They've had to play some pretty unpleasant games to try get him exported how they would like.

            > In the long run, acting like a mad elephant will just hurt US interests badly. Nobody would trust them anymore.

            How is the US acting like a mad elephant?

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: How would it work?

      The problem is, that they are not "in France", they are just shoving all the user data over to the USA. That is the problem.

      Either they need to be IN France, or they need to stop accepting French users / the French government will fine them or block them.

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        Re: How would it work?

        If they get kicked out of France the the EU Data Commissioner might get involved and decide to kick them out of Europe

    3. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: How would it work?

      The French government has ( or at least used to) have a surprisingly long reach. A mate in the '80s for various reasons joined the French Foreign Legion, the minimum time was I think 3 years in, he came home on leave after 18 months and never went back so he was a deserter and wanted by the French military/government, you wouldn't believe the places he couldn't travel to because of extradition treaties with France.

      I hope they stick it to fartbook!

  11. Patrick R

    France joins India

    India? You meant Belgium.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: France joins India

      They meant India as in the recent decision to reject Facebook's landgrab. Yes, the Belgian case resembles the French one, but in the great scheme of things India is a lot more significant than Belgium.

      If we leave the EU, I guess Cameron somehow hopes we will benefit financially as Facebook turns its attention to mining us for data every which way without interference.

  12. zaax

    What would be even better is to see the password in the box instead of * or dots

  13. Bota

    All you need to know about that Zuck c**t

    Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

    Zuck: Just ask

    Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

    [Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?

    Zuck: People just submitted it.

    Zuck: I don't know why.

    Zuck: They "trust me"

    Zuck: Dumb fucks

    See above for his respect level of others privacy.

  14. Lars Silver badge

    What the Zuck

    This seems to be the third article about Facebook and India and what I find so disturbing is this shit about helping the "poor". Each and every company in this world wants to have a presence In India, for business, as they should. And then there is Facebook also trying to extending it presence and business in India, as they should. But no, it's about helping the poor, how the hell, dear Zuck, can you become this poor. Do you still live in the Walt Disney world when you exchange glass marbles for gold among the smiling nice but stupid natives.

    So there you go, Zuck, to India, thinking they are too stupid, too worried, to unaware of their problems that they will kiss your feet. Why are you, Zuck that poor.

    If you want, Zuck, to help the poor, the start helping them in the USA. Try to kill the "education or profit" which is killing you. And try to understand that being poor in the USA is a lot harder and more devastating than being poor i India.

    And seriously. considering the time, as I think, some of you, spend on FB i sometimes think FB has not added anything to prosperity anywhere in the world. FB is not the internet, just a warp in it,

    Zuck, you could do better.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    B Ark

    Send vacuous Facebook into the vacuum of space, where nobody can hear you Like.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proud to have never said Yes to any social media drug'

    Good job!

    Now what about your partner, friends, siblings, parents, colleagues, kids etc etc.

    Did they also say never?

    Because if not, then a fair amount of info has already leaked about you onto social-media peddler's databases, whether you realize it or not...

    Whether its Phonebook / Contact-List scraping by FB, Google or Whatsapp...

    Or message snooping / profiling by Gmail / Hotmail / Yahoo mail, FB-mail etc.

    Your privacy is only ever as good as the weakest link in your family, work or social group!

  17. Steve 129

    "there's no way to opt out"

    "there's no way to opt out"

    Ermm... Of course there is!!!! DON"T GO TO FACEBOOK !!!

    Gotta love how every country is pissed at companies NOT within their borders who have managed to do something really well, then want a piece of the pie 'just because'

    The web is global, if you don't like something which originates outside your borders then block it. Plenty of other countries have tried it then realized what a farce it is.

    1. x 7

      Re: "there's no way to opt out"

      " Of course there is!!!! DON"T GO TO FACEBOOK !!!"

      bollox

      you're missing the whole point

      Farcebook tracks you through its affiliate program irrespective of whether you go to their webpage or not, or whether you are a member or not

      Farcebook carries out unauthorised tracking of individuals across wide swathes of the internet, with no control, limitation - or knowledge by the victims

      Next time you got to a website, check the cookies it loads, and check who's tracking you.

      You really won't like it

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