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UK Officials Will Summon Mark Zuckerberg To Testify if He Won't Do So Voluntarily (cnbc.com) 145

UK officials said Tuesday they will summon Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Parliament the next time he's in British territory if he does not volunteer to do so. From a report: It would be the first governmental summons for Zuckerberg in the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica data leak and widespread concerns around user privacy. "It's worth noting that, while Mr. Zuckerberg does not normally come under the jurisdiction of the UK Parliament, he will do so the next time he enters the country," Damian Collins, a member of the UK Parliament, wrote in a letter published Tuesday. "There are over 40 million Facebook users in the UK and they deserve to hear accurate answers from the company he created and whether it is able to keep their users' data safe," Collins wrote.
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UK Officials Will Summon Mark Zuckerberg To Testify if He Won't Do So Voluntarily

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  • Summon? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2018 @11:28AM (#56536037)
    So... like they draw a pentagram, hold hands and say his name three times while looking in the mirror? Does that work?
    • Re:Summon? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Tuesday May 01, 2018 @11:34AM (#56536089) Homepage Journal

      It's true that he can easily evade this if he wants to, although it is kinda embarrassing to be effectively barred from visiting a country because you don't want to answer questions about the scandals you presided over.

      Considering how well he came off from the US hearings I think he might come. Our MPs are pretty tame really.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Our MPs are pretty tame really.

        I can just imagine his team briefing him.

        If one human shouts 'here here', ingest 1.1 ounces of liquid from provided receptacle.
        If the entire room starts to 'harrumph', ingest 3.6 ounces of liquid from provided receptacle.

      • Re:Summon? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2018 @01:07PM (#56536671) Journal

        Considering how well he came off from the US hearings I think he might come. Our MPs are pretty tame really.

        On the other hand, he hasn't already donated to the majority of them so they might be somewhat less tame.

        • On the other hand, he hasn't already donated to the majority of them so they might be somewhat less tame.

          If they're not any better-versed in technological issues, it won't matter. He'll spend the whole time explaining simple concepts to them and they won't get to ask any good questions.

      • It's true that he can easily evade this if he wants to, although it is kinda embarrassing to be effectively barred from visiting a country because you don't want to answer questions about the scandals you presided over.

        I think it's a little more than just embarrassing. The optics of him NOT going are pretty dismal - especially given Facebook's implicit reliance on the 'if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear' meme. If he has nothing to hide, why shouldn't he just go and face the British parliament?

        Besides, if things start to get rough, he can always call out the British government on its own extensive surveillance network and its own privacy-busting legislation.

      • Our MPs are pretty tame really.

        Yvette Cooper bloody well isn't.

        Just ask Amber Rudd.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        It's true that he can easily evade this if he wants to, although it is kinda embarrassing to be effectively barred from visiting a country because you don't want to answer questions about the scandals you presided over.

        Easily is not what I'd call it. He'd never be able to travel to the EU or Commonwealth nations, even accidentally setting foot in Malaysia will have the coppers up his backside (and the police walk around KLIA with submachine guns, I still think it's quite funny seeing a Muslim Malay woman in uniform with a headscarf and MP5). Plus the UK can begin extradition proceedings against him in the United States, even if Zuckerberg wins (with what excuse, he's not being charged, just asked to attend Parliament, wal

    • Re:Summon? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Muros ( 1167213 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2018 @12:03PM (#56536245)

      I thought they just wave their wand and say "Accio Zuckerberg"

    • Zuckerberg is a demon lord, so nothing that simple will work.

      It has to be a full summoning circle, with protection circles for the summoner, acolyte minor, and familiar.

      The full incant goes something like:

      Here have I scribed the true URLs of power,
      Forward and backward anagrammatized,
      The abbreviated names of holy CEOs,
      Figures of every adjunct to the internet,
      And characters of signs and evening stars,
      By which the spirits are enforced to rise.
      And do the utmost magic can perform.

      You also need something to appea

    • Re:Summon? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2018 @01:01PM (#56536633)

      So... like they draw a pentagram, hold hands and say his name three times while looking in the mirror? Does that work?

      Don't be ridiculous! You draw a magic circle (using salt) around your smartphone then poke Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook three times while chanting, "Friend me, Zuck." ;)

    • Or, the UK blocks FB and FB loses tens of millions of subscribers overnight. I mean, sure that's small in the scheme of FB, but it's still a lot of money.

    • If a warrant for questioning is put out in any EU country (and the UK is still in the EU), Zuckerberg can be arrested and extradited from any EU country back to the UK.
    • APK APK APK.

      Maybe doesn't work for Zuck, but you can summon other demons that way.

  • He should just claim he has Asperger's and can't travel to England

  • by Anonymous Coward
    They do it for pirate sites so just block the biggest pirate of personal information in history.
  • When does it end? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2018 @11:43AM (#56536155) Homepage Journal

    Does Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Sweden each get a turn summoning a CEO for questions?

    It's a big unrealistic to expect someone to visit every country in a timely manner. If they wish to speak with company representatives available in their respective region that's certainly reasonable and I'm sure can be arranged promptly.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The short answer is yes. Those are the breaks when you're the CEO of a multinational corporation that has been playing fast and loose with citizens data in multiple countries.

      I'm sure you can list all the other countries that have summoned him that he has to visit first that are preventing him from attending parliament in the UK, right? What's that? They haven't?

    • No, only those countries whose law was broken by Facebook. Concerning the EU, perhaps the European Parliament would be a reasonable venue.
    • Re:When does it end? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2018 @12:14PM (#56536317)

      It's a big [sic] unrealistic

      Zuckerberg et al. don't hesitate to play tax games among all these foreign countries. Zuckerberg et al. demand a borderless world from which to cherry pick employees. Zuckerberg et al. don't hesitate to cash the checks they earn from the UK and elsewhere. Zuckerberg et al. are unfailingly disappointed whenever the US fails to conform to the demands of international authorities (climate agreements, immigration policy, gun laws, etc.)

      Yet let any of these countries demand Zuckerberg appear before investigators and all the sudden everything is "unrealistic" or "unreasonable."

      You know what? Fuck Zuckerberg. He can spend the next tens years schlepping from one 18 star hotel to the next all over Europe and Asia dealing with these investigations as far as I'm concerned. If Zuckerberg doesn't like it he can stop accepting revenue from ad views outside the US or whatever he has to do to eliminate his obligations in foreign countries. If that means the Facebook business model isn't feasible then so be it; nothing of value will have been lost.

      • Zuckerberg et al. don't hesitate to play tax games among all these foreign countries.

        Sadly tax games are often quite legal. And in the less reputable countries, discreetly encouraged.

        Zuckerberg et al. don't hesitate to cash the checks they earn from the UK and elsewhere.

        Same can be said of GlaxoSmithKline, Lloyds Bank, Virgin Atlantic, Dyson, etc. Globalization is current reality and not illegal.

        Yet let any of these countries demand Zuckerberg appear before investigators and all the sudden everything is "unrealistic" or "unreasonable."

        That's a false equivalence. Something like the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce summoning CEO Tony Hayward to discuss the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster is not equivalent to Facebook doing something that people don't like were there does not yet exist proper l

      • Except what you're saying is quite consistent with the parent. The "et al." bit.

        Now I know you're talking about multiple CEOs there but the reality is the CEO does none of what you said. The people who do it are the large teams of people across multiple layers of management often dispersed across the globe to make this global border-less reality a ... well ... reality.

        It's those very people who support all of what you say, and it's those same people who the OP rightfully commented as being the correct peopl

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Does Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Sweden each get a turn summoning a CEO for questions?

      It's a big unrealistic to expect someone to visit every country in a timely manner.

      He could have arranged a question-and-answer session before an international representative group and done this all at once -- it's not like it's been a secret UK legislators have wanted to talk to him. He just chose to play the classic "I'm going to ignore you unless I'm legally obligated to because you can arrest me" card.

      Who'd have though being a major figure in an global business would require lots of meetings with people you don't really want to talk to? :rolleyes:

      • it's not like it's been a secret UK legislators have wanted to talk to him.

        If they are anything like the US Senate, they wanted to do so on their terms and not his. Much of their behavior is about scoring political points.

        Who'd have though being a major figure in an global business would require lots of meetings with people you don't really want to talk to? :rolleyes:

        There is a difference between a business obligation, political obligation, and a legal obligation. If I am legally obligated to present myself at the whim of any world government, and doing so means I've violated that government's laws and will be barred from future entry, then that's pretty unreasonable. Certainly within their sovereign power. But it is right? i

    • Chop him up and send a few bits to every country.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    *knock on the door*
    *Assange opens it*
    Assange: Mark?
    Zuckerberg: Hey man, slumber party?

  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2018 @12:01PM (#56536231) Homepage Journal

    I can see how this will play out.

    The big players (Google, Facebook, Twitter, et al.) should not determine what's acceptable speech, or attempt to enforce it.

    That's the job of the government, there's lots of existing precedent to rely on, and there are clear avenues of appeal and change.

    So here's what will happen: things will get really bad for awhile, then something will happen that breaks the dam. There will be a flood of calls to break up Google (in particular), and twitter and facebook and all the others.

    Facebook's problem wasn't that they gave information to an outside party, it's that the party was associated with Trump that got them in trouble. Largely the same thing happened with Obama, and Facebook didn't care.

    Recently published research [scribd.com] shows that google manipulated search results to make Clinton seem more favorable to Trump. The research uses comparisons of search keys between Google, Bing, and Yahoo to make it's point, and is based on results published in PNAS. An excerpt:

    overall, manipulating search suggestions can shift a 50/50 split among people who are undecided on an issue to a 90/10 split without people’s awareness and without leaving a paper trail for authorities to follow.

    Google engages in unfair media manipulation at its worst, they are literally trying to sway the results of an election to a candidate they prefer. Facebook and Twitter are doing the same. Facebook does the same thing indirectly, by selling personal information to companies who themselves do the manipulation.

    It was thought to be "the smart move" when the Obama campaign did it, and at the time no one realized that the same effect could be turned the other way.

    The big players are right now laying the grounds for the upcoming election by eliminating certain opinions. Gun proponents explaining how to clean and care for their guns get their accounts locked, videos get demonetized, commentary gets shadow-banned... despite claims of "it was a mistake" and "it's our AI", the results have been largely one-sided.

    I don't expect Facebook to be smart enough to notice what's happening (or Google or Twitter), so the most likely outcome is that this will come to a head with enormous public outcry over something in the future (possibly the upcoming US midterm elections), and the companies will be forceably broken down into smaller pieces or made to submit to regulation.

    A pity, really. Facebook could probably get a lot of consumer good will by being the champions of human rights.

    Instead, they seem hell-bent on forcing governments to step in with regulation.

    • There will be a flood of calls to break up Google

      There have been for the past decade. The reality is it won't happen.

      Google engages in unfair media manipulation at its worst, they are literally trying to sway the results of an election to a candidate they prefer.

      So they are a news company then? I'm not sure anymore if you're just stating the obvious, manufacturing outrage, or actually clueless as to how the media represents elections in general.

      Gun proponents explaining how to clean and care for their guns get their accounts locked, videos get demonetized, commentary gets shadow-banned... despite claims of "it was a mistake"

      Fake news. Google has never said it was a mistake.

      the companies will be forceably broken down into smaller pieces

      If you think this is likely you really haven't been paying attention to the past 30 years.

  • Why not summon the head of Facebook's UK operations first? I don't understand their obsession. Did they ask the UK based employees already and not get a satisfactory answer, or something that can only be answered by the CEO?

    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2018 @12:13PM (#56536309) Homepage Journal

      What exactly do you think the local operation does? Maintain a parallel Facebook with its own independent privacy policies and implementation of those policies?

      All of the questions MPs want answered pertain to decisions being made by Zuckerberg and his US-based subordinates. They don't give a fuck how much advertising "Facebook UK" was able to sell.

      • All of the questions MPs want answered pertain to decisions being made by Zuckerberg and his US-based subordinates.

        Ahhh so not Zuckerberg, but a bunch of people under him. So why not just ask their local UK office. I'm sure they can get that information for them.

        Except they don't. Summoning someone foreign to something like this is not at all about answering questions, it's about staging a public show.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Parliamentary select committees don't get much press, even in the UK, outside a few broadsheets and a bit of comment on Radio 4, and BBC Parliament which probably doesn't break a viewship of four figures at any given moment, and maybe five minutes on Newsnight. If you are going to do something for show, this isn't exactly the best forum.

    • Wasn't the whole thing about this CA thing that it was all public data anyway, someone just gathered it all in one place. How do they expect facebook to keep people's data safe that the people made public?
    • Why not summon the head of Facebook's UK operations first? I don't understand their obsession. Did they ask the UK based employees already and not get a satisfactory answer, or something that can only be answered by the CEO?

      Because they want a charade of an interrogation instead of actually doing anything.

      If they really wanted to do something, they would be doing it, and not setting up a show.

  • Do we really need another round of bored looking guy explaining technology to old people. What power do the government think they can use to summon a foreigner to them? Typical tory twats, I have way more concern about them keeping anything safe than what facebook does to sell ads.
  • Extradition FTW! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2018 @12:26PM (#56536409) Journal
    I think they should get with the State Department and get him extradited like any other criminal.
    • by sinij ( 911942 )

      I think they should get with the State Department and get him extradited like any other criminal.

      Sure, just right after Iran finished with him on blasphemy charges.

      I understand that Mark is least deserving person, but unless everyone is protected by our laws, no one is.

  • What's the point now? They didn't listen when people were running around in the beginning saying what a bad idea this was, giving so much information to one company. They wait until Facebook gets too big to control before they realize "Oh, this is a bad thing". Perhaps they realized it before and this is all just a smoke screen to look like they are trying to do something, while they quietly accept Facebook donations in their back pocket.
  • What's the UK going to do do enforce a "summons"?

    Scotland Yard is too busy punishing bloggers and cartoonists for "hate speech", and both of their soldiers are already busy in Afghanistan.

    They could always threaten to withhold all Tesco coupons, but Zuck's butler shops at Whole Foods.

    Or maybe have an MI6 bot campaign spam-post swimsuit pictures of Teresa May to his personal timeline until he complies.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Teresa May is a porn actress. That would be a better threat if they were swimsuit pictures of Theresa May.

      • Right, it is a huge difference. One achieved fame for being elected head of the Tories, and the other gained her fame honestly.

    • Or maybe have an MI6 bot campaign spam-post swimsuit pictures of Teresa May to his personal timeline until he complies.

      And it's British things like this that led to the Eighth Amendment...
  • It will be just like in the US: politicians want to look concerned, so - wow - they're going to summon him and make him answer questions. The questions, themselves, of course, will be softballs. It's all about being seen on camera.

  • but for the crime of possibly/appearing helping Trump win. (but probably not if you actually look at the evidence)
  • Easy... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ytene ( 4376651 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2018 @02:15PM (#56537054)
    Just point out that the UK's Customs and Revenues Service will be taking a very detailed look at Facebook's tax returns, with a view to implementing necessary corrections in legislation that will prevent Zuck from off-shoring his profits to some tax haven.

    Nothing will get a mega-corp CEO in the room like a threat to their profits.
    • Just point out that the UK's Customs and Revenues Service will be taking a very detailed look at Facebook's tax returns, with a view to implementing necessary corrections in legislation that will prevent Zuck from off-shoring his profits to some tax haven.

      Nothing will get a mega-corp CEO in the room like a threat to their profits.

      And they will call the bluff. Not a bluff a per se but rather tax offices audit mega corporations all the time. Funny thing, every time they are found to be perfectly compliant with their immoral but legally enabled practices.

      That's what you get when you pay your accountants more than the government does.

  • Does this mean that the UK might turn Zuckerberg into the USA equivalent of Julian Assange? I wonder which countries might offer Zuckerberg political assylum. Myanmar, Saudi Arabia or any of those oppressive regimes who use Facebook to track down political dissidents and incite violent hatred against minorities perhaps?
  • i mean m'lord. yes m'lord as i told the honorable gentleman from brixton. no m'lord we already provide all the controls with every single post.

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