Facebook hampering Oz police probes, putting lives at risk

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Sydney, may 26 (ANI): Social networking site Facebook's woeful relationship with law enforcement bodies is hampering police investigations and putting lives at risk, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has claimed.

State and federal police have told The Age that Facebook is unwilling to provide police with the intelligence they need for investigations. They want Facebook to appoint a dedicated law enforcement liaison in Australia who can, for example, match user accounts to physical Internet addresses.

"This [current] situation could lead to loss of life, there's no doubt about that at all," the Sydney Morning quoted the AFP's Assistant Commissioner and Head (hi-tech crime operations), Neil Gaughan, as saying.

Gaughan is flying to Washington today for a meeting convened by the US Department of Justice in which senior law enforcement officials from around the world would discuss their concerns with the social networking website.

Meanwhile, Facebook has doused expectations of hiring a law enforcement liaison.

"Facebook does not put [law enforcement] people in every country where Facebook has users; it's just not the way companies scale," it said in a statement.

A senior investigator with a state police service said Facebook was prepared to assist officers when someone's life was in danger, but otherwise "they give you the bird".

"They only comply to subpoenas issued by a US court," said the investigator, who did not wish to be identified.

Police services have also demanded Facebook's law enforcement guidelines be brought into line with Australian law and legal terminology. (ANI)

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