Facebook in dispute with Germany over data requests as part of criminal inquiries

facebook news hire
bloomua / 123rf
Facebook has found itself embroiled in a dispute with German state authorities following allegations that it did not cooperate with criminal investigations.

The social network has released a statement denying claims made by the country’s spy chief, and echoed by regional ministers, who are calling for a law to be passed regarding the handover of social media data.

Facebook insists that it provided “round-the-clock assistance” to authorities in the wake of a series of violent attacks in Munich, Wuerzburg, and Ansbach last month.

The social network’s transparency report calculates that it received a total of 16,000 information requests from Germany over the last three years. In 2015, Facebook produced data for 42 percent of requests from the country, in comparison to 54 percent in France and 82 percent in Britain, reports Reuters. German officials say this lack of compliance has to change, especially when inquires relate to terror suspects.

Speaking in regards to the proposed law, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the following to Deutsche Welle: “It has to ensure that these companies have foreign and domestic contact agents that can quickly process information requests.”

In its defense, Facebook claims that despite its efforts to work with German law enforcement agencies, it was still receiving incorrectly formulated requests from officials. “Along with our points of contact in law enforcement we work tirelessly to raise awareness of the correct procedures,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has come under fire for its alleged reluctance in handing over data to state authorities. In July, Israel’s security minister Gilad Erdan accused the company of “sabotaging” the work of the country’s police force due to its obstructive reporting policies. That same month, Facebook was sued by a group of Israeli and American citizens in a U.S. court for allegedly facilitating Palestinian militant attacks on their loved ones.

Music

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Mobile

Samsung's advanced folding phone needed 'total reconfiguration' to make it real

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Cars

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.
Mobile

AT&T defends 5G E logo that tells people they're using 5G when they're not

Network giant AT&T plans to rebrand potentially millions of 4G smartphones to make it appear as though they are on 5G networks, the company confirmed -- since the 4G network has already "evolved."
Emerging Tech

Indiegogo claims 2018 was its best year yet with 1,300 success stories

Just how many successful products launched on Indiegogo last year? For the first time, the crowdfunding platform shared the number of projects shipping to backers. The year-end statistics also list the most successful campaigns.
Photography

Lume Cube wants to help you look your best while livestreaming

You're ready to start a video conference or go live, thenn you realize the lighting is all wrong. The Lume Cube Air VC is a lighting kit designed specifically for video conferencing and livestreaming.
Social Media

Japanese monks hit Twitter to protest driving ticket in the most brilliant way

Cops in Japan told a monk recently that he shouldn't drive a car wearing his traditional robe as its long length and long sleeves might affect his ability to drive safely. His fellow monks came up with a brilliant response.
Social Media

Looking to share some content? Here's how to repost on Instagram

Ever seen a cool picture on Instagram that you wanted to share? There's no official means of reposting content on Instagram, but there are a few workarounds. We break down the two most logical choices for getting the job done.
News

Japanese billionaire splashes the cash to break retweet record

Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa has proved again he has a knack for self-publicity after launching a cash-prize contest to break the retweet record. Maezawa is the same man who is hoping to go to the moon with SpaceX.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Photography

Photoshop fail gives Aussie leader two left feet in official portrait

The Aussie prime minister doesn't have two left feet, despite an official photograph of the leader and his family suggesting otherwise. It was, of course, a Photoshop fail, and the embarrassing snafu was soon trending on Twitter.
Social Media

Instagram now lets you post to multiple accounts in one tap

Instagram for iPhone now lets you post to multiple accounts at the same time. It's not the regram feature that many users have been asking for, but it could prove useful for some users who manage more than one profile.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.