back to article California’s Attorney General joins the long list of people who have had it with Facebook

California’s attorney general has gone to court to force Facebook to hand over documents as part of an investigation into the company. Xavier Becerra filed a “petition to enforce investigative subpoena” with the Superior Court of California in San Francisco on Wednesday morning, arguing that Facebook’s response to his …

  1. noboard

    "CEO Zuckerberg also continues to avoid visiting London, or anywhere in the UK, out of fear he will be arrested for repeatedly failing to comply with a request by Parliament to answer questions about Facebook’s actions, as revealed in the tranche of documents."

    It's ok Zuck, if the law comes looking for you, you could always seek refuge in a friendly embassy. You'd even get a cat thrown in.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      I hear the Ecuadorians have a guest room with a sun lamp, made up and ready to go.

    2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      And yet the political parties are happy to pay facebook for advertising their own sleazy lies and worthless promises as they prepare for another election.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      "CEO Zuckerberg also continues to avoid visiting London, or anywhere in the UK, out of fear he will be arrested for repeatedly failing to comply with a request by Parliament to answer questions about Facebook’s actions, as revealed in the tranche of documents."

      heh - this alone is popcorn worthy

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook use case

    Nil.

    Facebook uses you.

    1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: Facebook use case

      No, it abuses you

  3. John Savard Silver badge

    Not All Bad

    Not allowing sketchy outfits to make apps that interface with Facebook APIs sounds like a good thing, not a bad one, espeically given that they sometimes get the security of their APIs wrong, as another recent story noted.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not All Bad

      .. lightly skipping over the fact that FB is in the habit of luring people into giving it data, so you start with the wrong foundations - and FB itself still has access (that's the bit they always casually omit when they talk about how they "protect" their victims users.

      Let's face it, FB is simply professional social engineering for profit.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Not All Bad

      It's not that it's a bad thing. The issue is that it's not the most urgent thing, and Facebook is using it as a distraction for what actually is the most urgent thing -- Facebook's own data collection.

    3. Rasslin ' in the mud
      Trollface

      Re: Not All Bad

      Yeah, right .[/sarcasm]

      So, tell me, are you an employee or only a paid shill?

  4. Public Citizen
    Devil

    The only way the EU will get the Suck within its legal sphere is through an Interpol Arrest Warrant and a very large crowbar.

    Or - just wait till California finally has had enough and arrests him and then deal direct, since California seems to think it can make its own foreign policy.

    Spawn of Satan icon used because an actual picture of Suckerberg isn't available.

    1. Terje
      Happy

      I think that picture should be close enough.

      Thinking of it, maybe the whole Facebook issue can just be sorted out with a priest and vigorous application of holy water?

      1. Wokstation

        Application of holy water

        Directly onto the servers..? That'd do it.

      2. bpfh Silver badge
        Joke

        Waterboarding

        Someone from the CIA and few buckets of water would do just as well...

    2. John Savard Silver badge

      Cap and trade arrangements aren't "foreign policy", they're business dealings. Just because Trump lives in a fantasy world is no reason to join him.

      1. Bite my finger

        So if it looks just like "foreign policy" but it's not called that, everything's cool? Looks to me like you want Trump to join you in YOUR fantasy world.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fartbook sucks!

    El Zuck Sucks.

    Why give money to people and organisations who clearly SUCK big time.

    Just say no to Fartbook (and all other so called social media platforms). They have morphed into nothing more than places where vileness and hate and bullying thrive. I've never understood why people seem to love them (and spend hours literally drooling over the garbage that gets posted).

    They are also responsible for a large number of suicides. They are aiding an abbetting crimes. Yet they are acting as if they are above the law.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Fartbook sucks!

      Unfortunately millions of chavs keep Faecebook alive because of their insecure fear of missing something that really doesn’t matter.

    2. Electronics'R'Us Bronze badge
      Devil

      Re: Fartbook sucks!

      Even though I have never had a fartbook account, any site with their like button could drop cookies, get my IP address and do a machine fingerprint for advertising purposes but no more.

      I recently came across a really useful Mozilla extension that prevents the anti-social network from tracking me around the web via 3rd party cookies.

      Quite useful.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fartbook sucks!

      Good terminology. I wouldn't touch ANY form of so-called social network with the proverbial ten-foot barge pole. The very idea makes me shiver! Trouble is, there are now too many folk (usually of the younger generation) who take it as read that this is the "normal" thing to do. If "normal" means disrupting diners who are out for a quiet meal by noisily taking selfies and pictures of their food for posting, whilst leaving it to go cold (and then complaining to management that it's not hot enough - true story!), then I'm all for a complete ban on these inventions of the devil, although it would never happen, of course. Probably too many folk in other peoples' pockets.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    antisocial network

    This joke literally cracked me up :)

  7. LDS Silver badge

    "lack of cooperation"

    Did they try to pay them? It's the only thing Facebook understand, it looks. Maybe Zuck could even sell himself, if the money are enough.

    Anyway, he and his crooks have decided they're above the law - only looking at the Sun through some bars will change their minds.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm kinda glad Zuck doesn't travel

    For my money he can stay where he is and enjoy the company of Trump. They deserve each other.

  9. SVV Silver badge

    Facebook reluctant to hand over information?

    A bit ironic, considering that their business is all about other people handing over their information to Facebook.

    How do they get away with not complying with legal orders promptly? For a company as powerful as Facebook, it really should be a case of cooperate fully or executives go to jail immediately, and investigators get to look at everything that's been going on there.

    1. NATTtrash
      Trollface

      Re: Facebook reluctant to hand over information?

      You got a point there. What kept popping up in my mind reading this was:

      FB T&Cs

      What is our legal basis for processing data?

      We collect, use and share the data that we have in the ways described above:

      [[]] as necessary to fulfill <sic> our Facebook Terms of Service or Instagram Terms of Use;

      [[]] consistent with your consent, which you may revoke at any time through the Facebook Settings and Instagram Settings;

      [[]] as necessary to comply with our legal obligations;

      [[]] to protect your vital interests, or those of others;

      [[]] as necessary in the public interest; and

      [[]] as necessary for our (or others') legitimate interests, including our interests in providing an innovative, personalized, safe, and profitable service to our users and partners, unless those interests are overridden by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms that require protection of personal data. <!-- Really? Mwhaaaaa, haaaaaa, ha, ha, ha -->

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: How do they get away with not complying with legal orders

      Because Facebook is an enormous corporation that gives a lot of lobbying money and campaign fund support, so it will not be treated like you or me, simple citizens.

      Then there's the fact that Facebook has it's own army of lawyers who would fight an incarceration tooth and nail, and probably without much trouble.

      Finally, there's the fact that jailing company executives for doing the company's bidding is simply not in the law. You fine the company after a lengthy lawsuit, but the people in it are all but immune unless they commit a real crime (ie killing someone, insider trading or such, that cannot be excused by the company).

      So what is needed is a change in the law, making executives personally responsible for the behavior of the company - and that is whole other ball game.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: How do they get away with not complying with legal orders

        I don't know about the US but UK directors do have personal responsibility for ensuring the company conducts its business in compliance with the law.

      2. John Savard Silver badge

        Re: How do they get away with not complying with legal orders

        Well, yes. How are we to get to the point where no company, ever, takes a single action that violates the law, unless every single one of their employees is absolutely terrified of what happens to people who participate in breaking the law - and so they won't hesitate a second to refuse any attempt to have them do anything legally prohibited, because going to jail for the rest of your life (presumably under unpleasant conditions too) is worse than being fired?

        I mean, it's unfortunate that this means employees will be caught in the middle, and sometimes they'll be fired and it won't be possible to prove why, but how else is crime going to be eradicated from the face of the Earth?

        1. Bite my finger

          Re: How do they get away with not complying with legal orders

          Yes, it is "unfortunate" that innocent people will necessarily suffer as a result of your suggested remedy for the presence of the less-ethical among us. Sure hope YOU aren't among them. ;-/

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: How do they get away with not complying with legal orders

            How would what he's saying result in innocent people going to jail? He's specifically talking about people who break the law, not the people who happen to sit next to them.

            1. Bite my finger

              Re: How do they get away with not complying with legal orders

              Um, John?

              "I mean, it's unfortunate that this means employees will be caught in the middle, and sometimes they'll be fired and it won't be possible to prove why, but how else is crime going to be eradicated from the face of the Earth?"

              BTW, I did not say they would go to jail. You put that word in my mouth.

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: How do they get away with not complying with legal orders

        " but the people in it are all but immune unless they commit a real crime"

        This is overstating things a bit. The "corporate veil" is a real thing, but it's not exactly impenetrable. Here's a reasonable, although brief and simplified, discussion of this: https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2014/03/27/the-three-justifications-for-piercing-the-corporate-veil/

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          That is an interesting article, but I didn't read anything in there that contradicts what I said. Facebook is not going to be investigated under the first reason of statutory alignment with social security or state unemployment schemes. Neither is Facebook being investigated for fraud, and Facebook is really, really far from being bankrupt.

          As I said, Facebook management is practically immune from legal reprisals.

      4. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: How do they get away with not complying with legal orders

        "Because Facebook is an enormous corporation that gives a lot of lobbying money and campaign fund support, so it will not be treated like you or me, simple citizens."

        We've been seeing evidence of this kind of corruption a LOT lately. I'm sure it's always been happening, but right now the light's on in the room and the roaches and rodents are scurrying to find cover.

        Easily summed up in this elitist/arrogant phrase: "One law for ME, another for THEE"

        [I think this kind of elitist favoritism has been discouraged by angry citizens since the Magna Carta, and it's time to make another angry stand against it with Zuck and certain bureaucrats and politicians in the USA...]

  10. ForthIsNotDead
    Stop

    Why doesn't the UK...

    ... issue an extradition request to the USA for the Zuck, and use it as a quid pro quo against Assange? At least then it could be argued that Zuck has done something positive and in the interests of the world at large.

    1. onemark03

      Re: Why doesn't the UK...

      @: ForThisIsNotDead:

      What makes you think that Uncle Sam would voluntarily hand Zuck over?

  11. Roger Kynaston
    Stop

    how to kill off antisocial networks

    All the data they collect is perceived to be very valuable and allows for effective advertising which is why said advertisers are prepared to pay for it. All we have to do is get some decent evidence that such squillions of gigabytes of data is actually not worth the disk space it is saved on and advertisers will abandon them. The Zuck and other sociopaths then find themselves on the dole queue and the problem goes away.

    I read an chapter in Ben Goldacre's book about the use and abuse of big data. He was writing about governments using it to spot terrorists and such like but the same weaknesses will be just as present when mining the data for commercially or politically nefarious purposes.

    1. EBG

      you think ?

      Nope. There is a continuum running from informing, nudging, making the "wrong" choices difficult, outright control and compulsion. FB etc. are now powerful enough that they will steadily move to the right in that list.

  12. FozzyBear Silver badge
    Pirate

    Interesting

    Australian law differs greatly. A subpoena issued either to attend court, provide evidence or produce documentation has a date fixed. in cases of production of doucmentation or other material items this is typically this is 5 court days before the next nominated court date. If you fail to attend, produce, etc without reason a first instance warrant is issued for your arrest. You are now fucked, Royally.

    I said 'without reason' as you can challenge the scope of the subpoena , particuarly relating to document production. You can issue a notice to challenge prior to the court date, but you still must attend to argue the unreasonableness of the subpoena. There is one exception in all this. You can legally ignore a subpoena if it is served within 24 hours of the date of the next court date on the subpoena. (Sherrif comes around today hands subpoena to attend court tomorrow, relish the moment when you legally tell them "piss off" and close the door in their face)

    In cases of non human entities ( companies ) the CEO and nominated legal counsel are responsible for complying with all court orders, subpoena, etc. Failing to do so means the first instance warrant is issued for the CEO.

    American Subpoenas appear to the the equivalent of

    Please, Pretty Please, Oh come Please, stop being a dick, I'm telling Mummy on you.

  13. veti Silver badge

    And by "had it with", you mean...

    ... "been fucked by"?

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