How Facebook Tracks Messages and Photos For Evidence of Crime, Reports to Police

Facebook Spying

By Kristan T. Harris

Facebook has a new little-known software that monitors your profile chat and pictures for criminal activity. The software will proceed to alert an employee at the company who will then decide whether to call authorities or not.

The software will monitor individuals who have a ‘loose’ relationship on social media networks, according to an interview with Facebook Chief Security Officer, Joe Sullivan.

Reuters interview with the security officer explains that Facebook’s software focuses on conversations between members who have a loose relationship on the social network. For example, if two users aren’t friends, only recently became friends, have no mutual friends, interact with each other very little, have a significant age difference, and/or are located far from each other, the tool pays particular attention.


The scanning program looks for certain phrases found in previously obtained chat records from criminals, including sexual predators (because of the Reuters story, we know of at least one alleged child predator who is being brought before the courts as a direct result of Facebook’s chat scanning). The relationship analysis and phrase material have to add up before a Facebook employee actually looks at communications to make the final decision of whether or not to ping the authorities.

“We’ve never wanted to set up an environment where we have employees looking at private communications, so it’s really important that we use technology that has a very low false-positive rate,” Sullivan told Reuters.

The software has been used to help gather information on potential murder suspects as well. In just one case, 62 pages of information, pictures, chat and posts where gathered and handed over to local authorities by Facebook in a recent subpoena request.

Facebook most likely wants to keep this software secret since most people do not think fondly of someone rummaging around their private messages and photos looking for criminal activities. Also how far is this system willing to go and will they soon pursue minor crimes or even thought crime?

Image Credit: Anthony Freda Art

Kristan T. Harris writes for TheRundownLive.com. Tune-in to the THERUNDOWNLIVE Monday-Friday @ 9pm


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13 Comments on "How Facebook Tracks Messages and Photos For Evidence of Crime, Reports to Police"

  1. Well if anyone involved in this type of criminal activity is stupid enough to post about it on Facebook they deserve what they get.

    • Just keep hoping and believing that you won’t break some “hate” law with an innocent comment.

    • Thought Police here you have had too much to think. You described the person who broke into your house as black

    • Posting an opinion the authorities don’t want said, or asking a question they don’t want asked, marks you as a pre-criminal, having violated a potential law you should have been aware that they were considering putting into effect. They might not be ready to spring it just yet, but you could have already broken it, merely waiting on their list for later prosecution.

      Fortunately, that couldn’t happen here, could it?

      • Robert Colescott | August 11, 2015 at 8:50 am | Reply

        I certainly agree with you Alan. I’m not trying to justify the degree of warrantless eavesdropping we’re being subjected to, or the fact this domestic spying is not really limited to “terrorism”. But anyone with a pulse needs to realize everything on the internet is being monitored or stored.

  2. William Burke | August 9, 2015 at 10:56 pm | Reply

    What are the odds the employee will decide NOT to report something to the police?

  3. dont worry they chomping at the bit to use this on eveybody…tougher newer laws to make honest men criminals…..go freedom….

  4. AdministratorMMM | August 10, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Reply

    Sent to us A.P. via e-mail, posted here with permission:

    When I red the article about Facebook I thought that they left out a big
    portion of what the authorities are using it for. One day I log on to
    see a friend request from a girl that is also friends with about 17 of
    my other friends in fb. So as many of us do I added her because A. I
    probably knew her and B. She was not bad looking. So we start talking
    and she is saying that she had met me at several parties and to be
    honest I used to smoke pot and drink at parties so it didn’t surprise me
    that I did not remember her. Now over the next few months we talked
    from time to time her always trying to get me to come down there and
    party with her. Now at the time I was very busy and didn’t have time to
    go drive 45 min to see some girl. Finally one day she texts me that she
    is sick and has a good amount of money if I could get her some heroin.
    Now at the time I was dabbling in that business and was sympathetic to
    this girl being sick so I agreed to drive the 40 min to get to her town
    and when I got there there were undercover cops as well as regular
    police to arrest me. I later found that they had set up a fake profile
    and did so specifically to trick me into getting busted. Now I was not
    some guy selling to kids at some school or Park I helped people who were
    30-60 and just enough to support my habit. They waisted about 6 weeks
    of investigation and tax payer money to get a guy that was just helping
    people who were going to get it anyway no matter what. So just watch out
    when it comes to fb they will do whatever they can play any dirty trick
    to lock u up for anything. I lost a year of my life due to that mistake
    and although it got me clean and I needed that I feel that those
    tactics are very wrong and very unconstitutional. “To Protect and Serve”
    more like “Get em’ When They’re Not Lookin'”! I live in Orange County
    CA

    – Collin Ross

  5. Alleged Comment | August 10, 2015 at 9:42 pm | Reply

    THAT’S why I call it F* ck Book.

    Once you’re in your’re ucked! I heard you almost can’t get out cause they use THAT as data!

  6. Meanwhile bigtime criminals and pedophiles continue to serve in politics and media in Britain while they work feverishly to cover up the scandal.

  7. It really doesn’t matter whether you say it on FB or any other media, write it in an email, say it over a phone . . . someone is picking up your words somewhere! If it leaves your head, it’s out there!

  8. Check out forbes dot com – “Virginia’s Casual Disregard for the Constitution” and is “U. S. Marine Brandon Raub a victim of a Government Cover-up in Virginia?” This is going on all over Virginia. State police are using “No-Touch Torture” in these “crisis stabilization” wards. They rape and sodomize you and break into your home and steal whatever they want. The FBI refuses to help.

  9. The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and the brain initiative are the worst scams ever perpetrated on the American people. Former U. S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin Warns: Biochips Hazardous to Your Health: Warning, biochips may cause behavioral changes and high suicide rates. State Attorney Generals are to revoke the licenses of doctors and dentists that implant chips in patients. Chip used illegally for GPS, tracking, organized crime, communication and torture. Virginia state police have been implanting citizens without their knowledge and consent for years and they are dying! Check out William and Mary’s site to see the torture enabled by the biochip and the Active Denial
    System. See Terrorism and Mental Health by Amin Gadit or A Note on Uberveillance by MG & Katina Michael or Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence by Springer or Mind Control, Microchip Implants and Cybernetics. Check out the audio spotlight by Holosonics.
    The truth is the biochip works like a sim card. It received pulsed modulated laser beams and millimeter wave which it converts into electromagnetic waves that your brain interprets into digital images and sound. It then takes what your brain sees and hears and converts electromagnetic waves into digital and acoustic waves that a computer translates into audio and video. In other words, it allows law enforcement to see what you see, hear what you hear and communicate directly with your brain.
    “Former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) director and now Google Executive, Regina E. Dugan, has unveiled a super small, ingestible microchip that we can all be expected to swallow by 2017. “A means of authentication,” she calls it, also called an electronic tattoo, which takes NSA spying to whole new levels. She talks of the ‘mechanical mismatch problem between machines and humans,’ and specifically targets 10 – 20 year olds in her rant about the wonderful qualities of this new technology that can stretch in
    the human body and still be functional. Hailed as a ‘critical shift for research and medicine,’ these biochips would not only allow full access to insurance companies and government agencies to our pharmaceutical med-taking compliancy (or lack thereof), but also a host of other aspects of our lives which are truly none of their business, and certainly an extension of the removal of our freedoms and rights.” Google News
    The ARRA authorizes payments to the states in an effort to encourage Medicaid Providers to adopt and use “certified EHR technology” aka biochips. ARRA will match Medicaid $5 for every $1 a state provides. Hospitals are paid $2 million to create “crisis stabilization wards” (Gitmo’s) where state police torture people – even unto death. They stopped my heart 90 times in 6 hours. Virginia Beach EMT’s were called to the scene. Mary E. Schloendorff, v. The Society of New York Hospital 105 N. E. 92, 93 (N. Y. 1914) Justice Cardozo states, “every human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to
    determine what shall be done with his own body; and a surgeon who performs an operation
    without his patient’s consent, commits an assault, for which he is liable in damages. (Pratt v Davis, 224 Ill. 300; Mohr v Williams, 95 Minn. 261.) This case precedent requires police to falsely arrest you or kidnap you and call you a mental health patient in order to force the implant on you. You can also be forced to have a biochip if you have an infectious
    disease – like Eboli or Aids. Coalition of Justice vs the City of Hampton, VA settled a case out of court for $500,000 and removal of the biochip. Torture is punishable by $1,000 per day up to $2 million; Medical battery is worth $2.05 million. They told my family it was the
    brain initiative. I checked with the oversight board, and it is not! Mark Warner told me it was research with the Active Denial System by the College of William and Mary, the USAF, and state and local law enforcement. It is called IBEX and it is excruciating.

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