Science and Tech


Facebook Says The DEA's Fake Accounts Go Too Far

Facebook says the DEA violated its Terms of Service and that such impersonations damage the integrity of the site.
Posted at 9:14 AM, Oct 19, 2014

Facebook is taking the Drug Enforcement Agency to task after it impersonated an upstate New York woman on Facebook.

Its letter criticizes the DEA for impersonating Sondra Arquiett, creating a profile without her knowledge and posting seized images to it in an attempt to contact criminals.

Facebook repeatedly expresses “deep concern” with the impersonation and worries “the DEA’s actions threaten the integrity of our community.” More to the point, Facebook says the fake account violated its terms of service, which prohibits such impersonation.

When BuzzFeed published the report of impersonation earlier this month, the DEA argued Arquiett gave implicit consent to the sting when she agreed to the search of her mobile phone and the use of its contents in an investigation into criminal activity.

Bloggers found that leap in reasoning — from use in an investigation all the way to pretending to be someone on Facebook — anywhere from “creepy” to “extra-questionable.”

Arquiett sued for $250,000 in damages last year —

“claiming that she suffered fear and great emotional distress, and that she was endangered because the fake Facebook page gave the impression that she was cooperating with the feds.” (Video via KGNS)

Facebook has since taken down the fake account, and demanded the DEA close down any other impersonation accounts.