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The Loophole Obscuring Facebook and Google's Transparency Reports 18

Posted by samzenpus
from the fuzzy-math dept.
Jason Koebler writes The number of law enforcement requests coming from Canada for information from companies like Facebook and Google are often inaccurate thanks to a little-known loophole that lumps them in with U.S. numbers. For example, law enforcement and government agencies in Canada made 366 requests for Facebook user data in 2013, according to the social network's transparency reports. But that's not the total number. An additional 16 requests are missing, counted instead with U.S. requests thanks to a law that lets Canadian agencies make requests with the U.S. Department of Justice.
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The Loophole Obscuring Facebook and Google's Transparency Reports

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  • Kind of arbitrarily deletes the middleman from the transaction, but hey, if you can sleep at night knowing that, no blood-no foul.
    • Kind of arbitrarily deletes the middleman from the transaction, but hey, if you can sleep at night knowing that, no blood-no foul.

      It's more like :
      "No blood discovered at this location,
      no foul that really need be mentioned".

  • Ummm... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2014 @05:45PM (#47504209)

    The horror?

    • by jythie (914043)
      I am a little confused too. So they have a mechanism to ask through US law enforcement rather then directly so the report lists the requests as being from the US.

      I am not really sure that is a "loophole" unless there is some other angle here I am not seeing.
      • by mysidia (191772)

        Yep. The Canadian enforcement bureau wants to see some information... so they make a request to the DOJ.

        The DOJ then makes an order for Google to deliver that information to them.

        The DOJ looks over the response, and saves a copy of all the juicy data for later reference, just to see if there's anything that might interest them in the future, then they bundle it up, attach it to an e-mail, and forward it unencrypted to their Canadian buddies..

      • by dryeo (100693)

        Canada has a right wing government, the libertarians teamed up with the moral police types so they have to pretend that they aren't spending massive amounts of money on surveillance to half their base and that the only spending they're doing is to put the godless in jail to the other half of their base. It's easier to please the libertarians if they can hide how much surveillance they're using to enlarge our prison system and keep tabs on political undesirables such as the opposition parties..

  • Seems Switzerland was first in 1977 (common law nation and a civil law nation). Seem about more than 60? countries have some form of judicial assistance treaties with the USA. ie direct communication between Justice Departments.
    It will be interesting to see what the Freedom of information requests turn up. The "the company's choice whether or not to respond" .. "And they often will" and the lack of interest to place the numbers on "transparency reports" is chilling.
    Seems the option is slow but "reques
  • by jargonburn (1950578) on Monday July 21, 2014 @06:15PM (#47504319)
    Yes; however, until the problem of the DoJ getting all this data is resolved, I'm not going to separately quibble over the opportunists riding the coattails.
    • by dryeo (100693)

      It matters to us Canadians that our government is working around our rights.

  • All your data are belong to us, eh?

  • This is the beginning of the invasion!

    I welcome our new Canadian Overlords, eh?!

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