UK Parliament Seizes Facebook’s Internal Documents

Fake news:UK seizes confidential Facebook documents

Fake news:UK seizes confidential Facebook documents

A cache of internal Facebook documents has been dramatically seized using Parliament's legal powers as MPs probe the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

A cohort of global lawmakers is trying to turn up the pressure on Facebook, grilling one of its executives and making a show of founder Mark Zuckerberg's refusal to explain to them why his company failed to protect users' data privacy. The site claims the documents include confidential emails between executives, including Zuckerberg himself.

Damian Collins, a U.K. Conservative Party politician, used a "rare Parliamentary mechanism" to get an American software company Six4Three to share the documents with him, the Guardian reported.

Experts believe the documents - which a United States court has ordered must remain secret - could reveal the truth about Facebook's handling of user data.

This situation is the latest and toughest move in a bitter battle between the British parliament and the social media giant.

"The recent New York Times investigation raises further questions about how recent data breaches were allegedly dealt with within Facebook, and when the senior leadership team became aware of the breaches and the spread of Russian disinformation", the committee said in a written statement ahead of the hearing. They also reveal what Zuckerberg and other top Facebook leaders knew about user information on the platform.

Mr Collins told the paper: "We are in uncharted territory".

Facebook had yet to respond to a BBC request for comment, but told the Observer: "The materials obtained by the DCMS committee are subject to a protective order of the San Mateo Superior Court restricting their disclosure". The committee wanted the files, which have been sealed by a California judge, in the hope they would shed light on Facebook's privacy policies.

A BRITISH MP today claimed Facebook knew about potentially malicious Russian activity in 2014, long before such activity becomes public, during a parliamentary hearing where worldwide lawmakers grilled the company.

Richard Allan, Facebook's vice-president for policy who is set to testify before Parliament after Zuckerberg declined to attend, stated that Facebook takes its responsibility around: "a number of important issues around privacy, safety and democracy ... very seriously".

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