Published on October 26th, 2014 | by News Feed
Facebook Tells DEA: No More Fake Profiles for Narcs!
Facebook has officially put a stop to fake profiles used by narcotics officers and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Last week, they sent a letter to the DEA demanding that the agency cease from creating and using fake personas on the social media site in order to investigate drug cases.
Facebook’s Chief security officer Joe Sullivan called the fake profiles underhanded and said it was wrong to use these pages solely to track down and prosecute drug dealers and users. Sullivan said that the DEA’s habits online clearly violate the User Agreement created by Facebook. The social media website requires that all members be honest about their identities and they offer no immunity or special rules for drug enforcement officers.
“The DEA’s deceptive actions violate the terms and policies that govern the use of the Facebook service and undermine trust in the Facebook community,” Sullivan said. “We regard DEA’s conduct to be a knowing and serious breach of Facebook’s terms and policies.”
This issue was first noted earlier this year when a New York woman claimed a DEA agent used a fake Facebook profile with her photos and information in order to bust up an illegal drug trafficking ring. Sondra Arquiett was arrested in 2010 and DEA agent Timothy Sinnigen stole her Facebook data from her mobile phone then went on to use it to make a fake profile in order to contact and instigate communications with “dangerous individuals he was investigating.”
Initially, the Justice Department defended Sinnigen’s actions, saying that even though Arquiett did not authorize the use of her personal information, she “implicitly consented” by giving them access to the info in her phone to aid in further criminal investigations. However, now the feds are reneging on their previous statements and doing an investigations to determine in Sinnigen and other agents have crossed the line by setting up these fake accounts.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department said that creating false social media profiles is not standard procedure and this was likely an isolated incident. But it still makes you pause and think about the things you are posting on social media and the conversations you have through their messaging platform. After all, do you really know for certain who your “friends” are?