Sensitive Facebook documents could be published 'within the next week'

BRITAIN: Parliament Seizes Internal Facebook Docs

BRITAIN: Parliament Seizes Internal Facebook Docs

Damian Collins, chairman of the parliamentary inquiry into fake news, said a company engineer had warned that "entities with Russian IP addresses" had accessed "three billion data points a day" from the network in October 2014, quoting from internal Facebook emails seized from U.S. software company Six4Three.

Damian Collins, the chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, revealed that Facebook staff had found computers in Russian Federation accessing "3bn data points a day" from the social network in 2014. After Zuckerberg repeatedly refused to attend questioning by that panel, the inquiry joined together with lawmakers from other countries to add weight to their calls for him to appear.

"We recognise we are doing something new", Allan said in response on Tuesday. One regulator pointed out that new documents indicate that an engineer notified Facebook of a Russian IP address pulling data in 2014.

Tracing similar lines to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in the US, lawmakers on the United Kingdom inquiry are trying to determine the extent of foreign interference in democratic processes, and the extent to which social media companies may have been complicit in any such interference.

A view of the International Grand Committee with representation from nine countries' parliaments and Mark Zuckerberg's non-attendance at the U.K. Parliament in London on November 27, 2018.

The documents were not released at the hearing, but the member, Damion Collins, referenced them during questioning.

Facebook has cautioned Collins that these documents, from 2013 and 2014, were compiled as part of a "meritless" legal case that the small tech company was bringing against Facebook, and the documents were "sealed" by the American courts, meaning they weren't supposed to be seen by outsiders.

The lawmakers - from the U.K., Canada, Brazil, Latvia, Argentina, Ireland, Singapore, France and Belgium - have repeatedly asked for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear before their "grand global committee". "Was that his decision or did Facebook say - to protect Mr. Zuckerberg - to stay away from this meeting?" "The engineers who had flagged these initial concerns subsequently looked into this further and found no evidence of specific Russian activity", the company said in an email to Bloomberg Tuesday. He said his Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee would publish information it deemed to be in the public interest.

Allan, a member of the House of Lords, said he was responsible for the decision for Zuckerberg not to attend the hearing.

"I am not going to disagree with you that we have damaged public trust in some of the actions that we've taken", Allan said. The committee used its powers to force Theodore Kramer, chief executive of Six4Three, the company behind the photo app, who was on a business trip to London, to turn over the files.

Allan responded by saying that he wasn't in a position to respond to claims in the seized documents, but warned anything gleaned from them was "at best partial and at worst misleading". Canada is continuing to investigate data breaches of personal information of more than 600,000 Canadian users.

Lord Allan said he was "not aware" of such practices, to which MPs agreed that Zuckerberg might be able to answer their questions with more confidence.

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