Facebook Negotiating Multibillion-Dollar US Fine As UK Labels “Digital Gangsters”

Monday, February 18, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Mon, 02/18/2019

Facebook and its executives were labeled “digital gangsters” and should immediately be subject to statutory regulation, according to an 18-month investigation ordered by the UK parliament.

The UK assessment comes as word that the Silicon Valley tech giant is negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission, the largest handed out to a tech company in agency history.

The UK report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, found that Facebook purposefully obstructed its inquiry, according to The Guardian, while the social media giant failed to tackle Russian attempts to manipulate elections.

“Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised ‘dark adverts’ from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use every day,” warned Damian Collins, chairman of the committee.

Per The Guardian, the report:

Accuses Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive, of contempt for parliament in refusing three separate demands for him to give evidence, instead sending junior employees unable to answer the committee’s questions.

Warns British electoral law is unfit for purpose and vulnerable to interference by hostile foreign actors, including agents of the Russian government attempting to discredit democracy.

Calls on the British government to establish an independent investigation into “foreign influence, disinformation, funding, voter manipulation and the sharing of data” in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the 2016 EU referendum and the 2017 general election.

“We need new independent regulation with a tough powers and sanctions regime to curb the worst excesses of surveillance capitalism and the forces trying to use technology to subvert our democracy,” said Labour party deputy leader Tom Watson, adding that “Labour agrees with the committee’s ultimate conclusion – the era of self-regulation for tech companies must end immediately.”

The Rest…HERE

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