While certainly not the first time someone online has misrepresented their identity, the Drug Enforcement Agency may have violated Facebook's terms of service by creating at least one known fake account.
The DEA is being sued by Sondra Arquiett, who alleges that after an arrest in 2010 on drug related charges, her cell phone was seized and from there personal information, including revealing photographs of a personal nature, were used to create a fake Facebook profile. The fake profile was used to contact and friend other Facebook users in an operation straight out of a CBS crime drama.
In a letter to the DEA from Facebook's chief security officer Joe Sullivan, the company asked the DEA to "cease all activities on Facebook that involve the impersonation of others." Doing so expressly violates the company's terms of service. Among the terms violated include the prohibition of "claiming to be another person, creating a false presence for an organization," and providing "false personal information on Facebook," or creating an account "for anyone other than yourself without permission."
The DEA claims that Arquiett "implicitly consented" to the creation of the fake profile. Arquiett is seeking $250,000 in damages.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said that the creation of misleading or fake profiles is "not a widespread practice among our federal law enforcement agencies," but that a review is ongoing.
BY: SETH G. MACY
OCTOBER 20, 2014
The letter to Facebook link from buzzfeed