Latest News

latest

Reddit Transparency Report Raises Concerns About FBI Spying

Engadget
Typically, people tend to worry most about their data being pulled from platforms like Facebook, largely because it is. It's mainly advertisers, but it's fairly common knowledge that the FBI have requested data from Facebook numerous times in the past, and Facebook haven't necessarily always been able to say no.

Comparatively, Reddit might seem like a safer haven, given that it's essentially a forum and doesn't require a great deal of personal information, but evidently not. On Friday, the site's transparency report was tweaked so that a paragraph entitled 'warrant canary' was removed. Said paragraph had stated that Reddit hadn't received any national security letters, which are what the FBI use if they want to gather sensitive online data without the need for a court order.

It's murky territory and it's brought controversy to the FBI's doorstep in the past, so as you can imagine, the Reddit community quickly descended into a widespread meltdown. Not long after the news broke, a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union posited that the feds were after the IP of a particular user, and might have even been sifting through private messages. Adding to the discomfort was the fact that Edward Snowden tweeted about it, expressing his concern, and when a national security matter has him worried, you know that you probably ought to be as well.



Typically, if a company is hit with one of these warrant canary letters, it comes packaged with a gag order which prevents them from publicly disclosing anything about it. That in mind, the removal of that paragraph might have been Reddit's only means of warning their user base that this has happened. Understandably, they have yet to directly confirm or deny anything.

This is yet another example of social media coming to loggerheads with the Patriot Act. Warrant canaries have been a thing for over 40 years, but since 9/11, tens of thousands of them have been issued every year as a means of tightening national security. Social media has been growing so rapidly that it's almost completely shirked off any kind of national identity beyond where the HQ might actually be based, and as such, platforms have had to craft terms and conditions which are universally applicable across borders and continent lines.

Orders like warrant canaries often directly counter their privacy agreements, and while they can't really do much to directly block it, they often make sure to register their dissatisfaction. In 2014, Twitter actually filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice after a similar order, and the case is actually still ongoing. In February a group consisting of representatives from Reddit, Wikipedia, WordPress and Medium all threw their weight behind Twitter, and contested that stopping them from divulging more information about national security orders is a violation of freedom of speech.




Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum


Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info: TheSMFGroup.com
Reddit Transparency Report Raises Concerns About FBI Spying Reviewed by Callum Davies on Thursday, April 07, 2016 Rating: 5

No comments:

All Rights Reserved by Social Songbird © 2010 - 2016
Powered By Blogger

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.