Over the recent past German authorities have accused Facebook of lack of cooperation in dealing with terrorism-related cases. On Monday, Facebook dismissed these complaints by the German officials.
In late July, terrorist attacks in southern Germany have alarmed the German law enforcement authorities. Some state officials then called on websites such as Facebook to hand over relevant data and information to authorities.
But, according to German authorities, Facebbok has been reluctant in providing the required information. The authorities reported that Facebook only responded to 37 percent of all requests by authorities over the last three years. But Facebook, begs to differ.
On Monday, Facebook said this in a statement, “We do not condone nor tolerate terrorism on our site. We will, and always have cooperated with law enforcement agencies to combat terrorism in Germany.” Facebook continued to explain in that post that cooperating with law enforcement agents sometimes means proactively submitting information that helps terrorist investigations to law enforcements agents. Facebook also warns law enforcement agents when there are potential terrorist attacks.
But, Facebook also indicated that German officials did not submit information requests by the German law. However, Facebook assured that it would work with the German police to show them how to write official information requests.
As of late July, the German state of Bavaria had suffered two terrorist attacks. The attacks are largely speculated to be the work of Islamic State Group. The attacks include a suicide bombing in Ansbach and an axe rampage in Wuerzburg.
In the same state of Bavaria, at the capital Munich, a teenage boy with a mental illness shot nine people in cold blood before shooting himself. All three attackers were active on Facebook. One of them created a fake Facebook account which they used to lure people into McDonald’s fast food joint with promises of discounts.
Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence noted that it was imperative that the police boosted ties with social sites such as Facebook. “Social networks are used as a means of communication by terrorists,” he said.
In the past tech companies have found themselves at crossroads with law enforcement agencies over data submission. The main culprit has been Apple due to the end-to-end encryption on iMessage. Should there be a law requiring that these companies submit data to law enforcement agents on request?