Philippines says wants to probe Facebook over data breach

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg testifies during a congressional hearing in Capitol Hill on Wednesday, April 11 regarding privacy breaches on the social media network. (AFP)
Updated 13 April 2018
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Philippines says wants to probe Facebook over data breach

MANILA: The Philippine government said Friday it was investigating the breach of data of its citizens who use Facebook, after a massive leak of user information to British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
Manila’s National Privacy Commission has written to Mark Zuckerberg requiring the Facebook chief to submit to the government body documents that would shed light on the scope and impact of the leak on Filipino users.
“We are launching an investigation into Facebook to determine whether there is unauthorized processing of personal data of Filipinos,” said a copy of the letter, released to the press Friday.
The letter, dated Wednesday, said 1.18 million Filipino Facebook users “may have been affected by the Cambridge Analytica incident.”
“The Philippines has exceeded user growth projections and now has more than 67 million active Facebook users. It is our duty to protect the data privacy interests of these users, and to provide those affected with avenues for redress,” the letter added.
The Facebook founder apologized in US congressional hearings this week over how his company has handled the growing furor over online privacy.
Zuckerberg said Facebook had “failed” to protect people’s information following the use by Cambridge Analytica of data scraped from 87 million Facebook users to target political ads ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.
Separately, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Friday rejected suggestions in the local press that his election campaign team worked with Cambridge Analytica in his successful 2016 presidential run.
“I don’t know them. Honestly, I don’t believe in surveys,” he told a news conference in his southern home city of Davao.
“And why would I pay these fools from Cambridge to work for my campaign? I might have lost with them,” he added.
The local press this week published a photograph supposedly showing Duterte election campaign officials sharing a meal with the Cambridge Analytica chief executive in 2015, a year before the presidential election.


Myanmar evicts family of officer who testified on entrapment

Updated 21 April 2018
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Myanmar evicts family of officer who testified on entrapment

  • Two reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, have been detained since December 12 on charges of violating the Official Secrets Act.
  • Police Capt. Moe Yan Naing told a court that his superior had arranged for two policemen to meet the reporters and hand over documents described as “important secret papers” in order to entrap them.

Yangon: Myanmar police on Saturday evicted the family of a police officer who testified that he and others had been ordered to entrap two reporters working for the Reuters news agency who are facing charges that could get them up to 14 years in prison, the officer’s wife said.
The reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, have been detained since Dec. 12 on charges of violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act. The two helped cover the crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where a brutal counterinsurgency operation last year drove about 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to neighboring Bangladesh.
Police Capt. Moe Yan Naing told a court Friday that his superior had arranged for two policemen to meet the reporters at a restaurant and hand over documents described as “important secret papers” in order to entrap them.
On Saturday, Moe Yan Naing’s wife, Daw Tuu, said she and her daughter were ordered to move out of their police housing in the capital, Naypyitaw.
“A police officer called us this morning and said we have to move out of the housing immediately and that’s the order from the superior,” Daw Tuu said, sobbing.
Moe Yan Naing said he and other colleagues who had been interviewed earlier by Wa Lone about their activities in Rakhine had been interrogated under the direction of Brig. Gen. Tin Ko Ko of the 8th Security Police Battalion.
The police department’s action against Moe Yan Naing’s family caused an outcry in Myanmar.
“This is an outrageous move,” said Robert Sann Aung, a human rights lawyer. “This is to give an example to other police in the country to keep silent from telling the truth.”
The court in Yangon has been holding hearings since January. The defendants’ lawyers have asked the court to drop the case against the pair, saying prosecutors failed to present enough evidence to support the case, but the judge denied the motion.