Mara¹ Profile picture
Apr 11, 2018 56 tweets 14 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Round 2 of #Zuckerberg congressional testimony with House Energy + Commerce (Facebook : transparency and use of consumer data)
Chairman’s intro to session mentions that later today this committee has to tackle an opioid crisis and the restoration of Puerto Rico’s electrical infrastructure.
And Chairman Walden subtly mocked Zuck’s compulsive mention of ‘dorm room.’ 💯

‘I think it’s time to ask if Facebook has moved too fast, and broken too many things.’ — @repgregwalden
The distinction between user content and the data FB collects on user activity and behaviour has already been clearly made — contrast to yesterday’s Senate hearing.
Worth mentioning that members of congress sometimes have to ask remedial or apparently dim questions in order to have witnesses articulate known points for the record themselves. Again, they aren’t dumb.
Only got to ranking member @FrankPallone before first mention of new legislation, in this case baseline data security requirements for everyone from ISPs to FB.
Wow. Zuck is repeating his opening statement from yesterday verbatim. He didn’t tailor his remarks for the committees he is testifying for. Cannot articulate what an epic insult and fail that is.
What that says to Congress is ’Pfff, you’re just faceless public servants. Couldn’t be bothered to find out what you actually do.’
Chairman @repgregwalden has already short-circuited the technical clarifications about selling data that Zuck was defaulting to yesterday.
Again, the Senate’s suffering yesterday was not in vain. Zuck is now already on record making these clarifications, and today members can forge ahead.
Straight into disappointment from @FrankPallone that Zuck is apparently unable to commit to minimising the amount and types of data FB collects about its users.
Zuck is also repeating his talking points (these ones) nearly-verbatim. Whomever prepared him for these hearings is a clown.
Legendary civil rights leader @RepBobbyRush just compared FB to COINTELPRO and Zuck to J Edgar Hoover.

‘Why is the onus on the user to opt-in to security and privacy settings?’
Clear from @RepBobbyRush today and @CoryBooker yesterday that they consider FB a vector for the violation of civil rights. Hard to disagree.
’We do not allow hate groups on Facebook overall.’ — Zuck, responding to Q about terrorist and extremist groups abusing FB.
Guess the North American Friends of Ramzan Kadyrov doesn’t count? Though I’m still unclear on how this isn’t a screaming sanctions violation.…
Here’s a white supremacist group, Europa Rising, FB are happy to host as a ‘political party.’…
You could spend an entire day clicking through publicly available white rights, white history, white supremacist, &c. FB pages. Anyway.
The fact that FB already comply (if they’re doing all they claim) with GDPR is definitely not lost on @MarshaBlackburn.
Members are clearly annoyed with Zuck’s stalling tactics. @RepDianaDeGette nailing him to Y/N answers, reaming him on ignorance as CEO of lawsuits against FB.
‘You’re the CEO of the company, you entered into a consent decree, and you don’t remember if you had a financial penalty?’ — @RepDianaDeGette
‘Do you routinely find out about these violations through the press?’ — @USRepMikeDoyle
‘Why should we trust you to follow through on these promises when you have demonstrated *repeatedly* that you’re willing to flout both your own internal policies and gov’t oversight when the need suits you?’ — 🔥@USRepMikeDoyle🔥
Zuck brazenly claims that FB’s acceptance of self-certification by 10s of thousands of developers and their subsequent abuse of data by those developers doesn’t, in his opinion, violate the 2011 @FTC consent decree.
While the tinfoil allegations of anti-conservative censorship are tiresome, Zuck’s representations about the inherent objectivity + neutrality of ML/AI are bullshit.
I enjoyed that detour into FB’s (and SV’s) miserable diversity in leadership + retention of diverse employees, courtesy of @GKButterfield.
This is painful. @DorisMatsui clearly asking about analytic products derived from user content + data, used in ad targeting, and Zuck is being a disingenuous little shit.
Shots fired. @RepLanceNJ7 said point-blank that transfer of friend data during app logins violated the @FTC consent decree.
Man, @USRepKCastor was not having any of Zuck’s dissemblance on FB’s cross-device tracking and acquisition of supplementary data from brokers.
Turns out @RepGuthrie really does like relevant ads, but Zuck’s response to what happens if advertisers lose access to data for targeting was bullshit.
The Internet will not break without ad money, and ‘small businesses’ are not the primary beneficiaries of FB’s business model.
PLOT TWIST @RepSarbanes just brought up the possibility that FB’s political campaign account services may violate @FEC regulations.
FYI, that ’20,000 security staff + content reviewers’ are (will be? have they been hired yet?) substantially contractors, not FB employees.
So I guess that means more Burmese-speaking staff in Dublin. Seems to work.…
‘Your platform is being used to circumvent the law and allow people to buy highly addictive drugs without a prescription. […] you are *hurting* people.’ — @RepMcKinley on FB’s role in the opioid epidemic.
Zuck whiffed another opportunity from @PeterWelch to acknowledge that FB are not the ultimate authority on the data privacy rights of its users.
Yassss @RepLujan pushing Zuck on the existence of shadow profiles. Zuck admits collection of data on people who have never signed up for FB ‘for security purposes.’
Wow, @RepLujan just walked through the FB #darkpattern of telling non-users seeking to download data FB have collected on them to sign up for a FB account and access from their page.
Zuck gleefully describing FB’s #NetNeutrality-violating Free Basics ‘Internet access’ to @RepMGriffith was stomach-churning.
When @RepGusBilirakis says to Zuck ‘you have knowledge’ of illegal opioids trafficking on FB, what he’s telling Zuck is ‘You have a legal obligation to act.’
Zuck seems to not understand that waiting for users or other 3rd parties to flag illegal drugs trafficking content piece-by-piece may not be adequate ‘action.’
Important point : Zuck being pressed to commit to doing right by *American* users keeps punting to ‘broader views’…
Americans are a tiny fraction of FB users. The regulatory protections looming here and in the EU are directly at odds with FB’s development trajectory for, e.g., China.
Coherently enforcing different content policies to conform with the laws of the jurisdictions in which they operate is clearly already a stretch for FB.
And that’s *user content* policies. If there’s significant divergence in national laws regarding what FB can collect about users, analytic products they may derive from user data, data handling + retention standards, &c., that’s where the wheels start to fall off.
Zuck is repeating himself from yesterday an awful lot. @CongressmanRuiz visibly annoyed at Zuck’s broken record non-answer to @FTC’s lack of enforcement ability and FB being left to self-regulate.
Damn. @RepScottPeters just brought up the possibility of eye-catchingly high financial penalties (à la export controls) for data privacy and stewardship violations in order to make this ‘a bottom line issue.’
(Export control violations can run to six figures *per transfer* and carry criminal penalties, which is why folks tend to take them seriously.)
‘Which control governs?’ App platform vs FB privacy? — @MimiWaltersCA
Zuck again ascribes (IMO) far greater understanding to users than they demonstrably have.
After two days of hearings, @DebDingell is not having any more of Zuck’s ignorance as CEO, incl. about Pixel, shadow profiles, FTC enforcement abilities, and generally how his company functions.
The fact that Zuck can’t give a straight answer to @RepRyanCostello’s question about facial recognition of non-FB-users is just … ugh.
A lot of ‘we believe that you believe’ comments to Zuck across these hearings. Totally oblivious to CITES violations, opioid trafficking, &c.
‘[t]here is so much ivory being sold on FB that it is contributing to the extinction of the elephant species’ — @RepBuddyCarter
And Zuck’s answer to literally everything
Ugh thank fuck that’s over.
I don’t think today went well for FB, but I also don’t think it went well for anyone else, for this reason.

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More from @marasawr

May 6, 2018
Given this morning’s Wassenaar flame-war (눈_눈 @daveaitel), let’s have a quick look at the “intrusion software” decontrol notes added at the December 2017 plenary.¹
¹ Follow along at pp. 77-79 here (pdf)…
Before getting into the local definitions in the Technical Notes, Note 1 is a decontrol, but Note 2 is a statement of understanding.
Remembering that Wassenaar is already a voluntary Arrangement, Note 2 is pretty h*ckin’ important, as it reaffirms the right of Participating States to decide what constitutes conformity with their national implementations
Read 21 tweets
Apr 4, 2018
The United States rode a wave of supremacy gifted it by dint of being the only industrial power not bombed to shit in WWII, made the mistake of believing that supremacy reflected a ‘natural’ world order, and has basically been engaged in self-harm for sport since the late 1970s.
But yeah, Russia are still dicks. Just because we’re feckless and slow doesn’t mean it’s OK to punch us repeatedly in the back of the head.
Like that’s just mean.
Read 5 tweets

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