Washington – The United States Department of Homeland Security will be violating the rules of use of Facebook If its agents create fake profiles to monitor foreigners looking to enter the country, the social network said on Tuesday.
"Police authorities, like any other person, need to use their real names on Facebook and we make this policy clear," Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement, Sarah Pollack, to The Associated Press. "Operating false accounts is not allowed and we will take action against accounts that violate."
Pollack said the company communicated its concern and its policies regarding the use of false accounts to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and that the company will eliminate those accounts, including those belonging to undercover agents, when they are reported.
The social network made the announcement after a report of The Associated Press published on Friday that DHS had authorized its agents to use fake social media accounts, a measure that until then was banned. The department did not respond to Tuesday’s request for comment.
DHS explained to AP in a statement Friday that false accounts would make it easier for agents to review visa applications, residence and naturalization cards to look for possible fraudulent acts or security threats.
The plan would also be a violation of Twitter rules. The social network said Friday that it continues to review the new DHS policy and did not provide additional comment.
The change in policy was preceded by other measures taken by the DHS that, since June, began to require US visa applicants to provide their names of social network users, which represents a strong expansion of the revisions made by the Trump's government to potential immigrants and visitors.
Such monitoring of social networks would be carried out by agents of the Directorate of Fraud Detection and National Security in cases determined to require further review. The privacy analysis indicates that agents can only review publicly available content to all users of the platform; They cannot send friend requests or follow an individual, and they will have to receive training every year.
Agents also cannot interact with social network users and can only review the information passively, according to the DHS document.
Although some social networks allow you to see a lot of activity without an account, other platforms limit access without one.
Facebook said it improved its ability to detect fake accounts through automation, and that it blocks and eliminates millions of fake accounts every day.
Twitter and Facebook recently deleted several accounts that are believed to be operated by the Chinese government using false identities for information operations.
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