Law enforcement agency’s fake profile disabled by Facebook

Facebook sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) asking the agency to take all necessary steps to prevent unauthorized use of Facebook’s accounts by the latter.

Facebook’s policy expressly prohibits the creation and use of fake accounts. The company clarified that law enforcement authorities are subject to the same policies applying to individuals.

As explained in the letter, the DEA was sued by a woman that was arrested on drug charges. A DEA agent seized several digital images stored on her telephone and used them to create a fake Facebook profile in the woman’s name. The agent pretended to be the woman and communicated with other individuals through the fake account. According to the DEA, the woman implicitly consented to the agency conduct “by granting access to the information stored in her cell phone”.

For Facebook the DEA’s conduct is a “knowing and serious breach of Facebook’s terms and policies and the account created by the agent in the Arquiett matter has been disabled”.

Facebook’s letter dated Oct. 17, 2014 is available at https://www.documentcloud…

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