Facebook has bluntly told the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to stop using phony accounts and posing as real people in its investigations.Recently, another branch of the U.S. Justice Department, the F.B.I., complained about encryption offered by Google and Apple to customers, that the companies would not attempt to unlock, and that would make it inconvenient for federal agents to monitor citizens.
The company’s rebuke, delivered Friday in a sharply critical letter to the law enforcement agency, comes after BuzzFeed News disclosed that a DEA agent had created a bogus Facebook account, impersonated an upstate New York woman, and posted racy photos of her and an image of her young son from her seized cell phone — all without her knowledge. The agent used the account to contact suspected criminals.
The F.B.I. wants Congress to stop Google and Apple from offering such encrypted privacy protection to customers, but only because the feds need to protect America from criminals — not because they would ever dream of using such power in an unethical way.
Here's part of Facebook's indignant letter to the DEA: