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PJW: Facebook is Violating General Data Protection Laws by Withholding Reasons for Ban

What is Facebook trying to hide?

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Journalist Paul Joseph Watson is accusing Facebook of violating European law by refusing to hand over information about why he was thrown off the monolithic social media platform earlier this year.

Watson believes that Facebook is violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), implemented by the European Union in May 2018, with their unwillingness to comply with his request.

Despite Watson’s accusation, Facebook claims on its website that they are in full compliance with the GDPR.

“Data protection is central to the Facebook Companies (Facebook and Messenger, Instagram, Oculus and WhatsApp). We comply with current EU data protection law, which includes the GDPR. Our GDPR preparations were led by our Dublin-based data protection team and supported by the largest cross-functional team in Facebook’s history,” they wrote.

Despite their lip service, Facebook has already been implicated for possible violations of the GDPR throughout Europe. They are facing a potential fine of over $1 billion over their alleged abusive practices in violation of the law.

ZDNet reports:

Facebook could face potentially billions in fines under GDPR for the latest data breach which impacted roughly 50 million accounts.

The security incident, revealed last week, was caused by a vulnerability in Facebook’s code which permitted attackers to steal access tokens.

Access tokens are used to keep Facebook users logged in when they switch over to a public profile view via the “View As” feature.

The breach was detected on September 25. The vulnerability, comprising of three separate bugs, has been resolved and the access tokens of affected users have been reset, alongside an additional 40 million users that were subject to a “View As” lookup over the past 12 months.

It took mere hours before class-action lawsuits were filed against Facebook for failing to protect user data. It seems that it took only a little longer for regulators to become involved.

According to the Data Protection Commission (DPC) for Ireland, the number of affected accounts involved in the latest security incident relating to EU citizens is less than 10 percent of the total 50 million users impacted.

This works out to roughly five million users, which is still a huge number of people who may have had their data accessed or stolen.

If Watson’s interpretation of the GDPR is correct, Facebook may be in more trouble as the social media platform loses prestige and market share for its myriad of privacy violations and censorship policies.

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Banished Journalist Laura Loomer’s $1.5 Billion Lawsuit Against Tech Giants Will Be Heard in Court

Loomer will have her day in court.

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Banished journalist and Florida U.S. House candidate Laura Loomer’s lawsuit against Big Tech will be heard in the court of law following an order in the D.C. Circuit on Thursday.

Loomer is accusing tech giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter of conspiring to suppress conservative voices on their platforms. The lawsuit is challenging these monolithic corporations for allegedly violating antitrust law as well as the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

Her lawsuit had been previously tossed out by U.S. District Judge Trever N. McFadden, a Trump appointee to the bench, who stated that “while selective censorship of the kind alleged by the plaintiffs may be antithetical to the American tradition of freedom of speech, it is not actionable under the First Amendment unless perpetrated by a state actor.” However, Loomer was able to use a recent court ruling to resurrect her lawsuit despite the initial setback.

Loomer’s legal team, led by the right-wing political interest group Freedom Watch, used the precedent of Packingham v. North Carolina, a ruling which determined that it was unconstitutional to ban sex offenders from social media. The case essentially set the precedent that social media is a 1st Amendment right.

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“Many of the principles set forth by the Supreme Court in Packingham lead to what appellants believe is the natural progression of the law to hold that social media companies are liable for First Amendment violations, given the progression of technology and its infiltration into the daily lives of nearly every single person,” Loomer’s team said in their final brief presented to the court.

Loomer points to Twitter banning her from the platform at the end of 2018 after she said that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) adheres to a religion in which “women are abused” and “forced to wear the hijab.” She was similarly banned from Instagram for her assertion that Islam is “a cancer on humanity,” and Facebook, which owns Instagram, quickly followed suit and banned her even though the offending post was not made on that platform.

Loomer still cannot get her accounts restored despite the fact that she is running for the U.S. House in Florida’s 21st Congressional District, which could be considered a form of electoral interference.

Through her legal fight against the tech giants, Loomer is forcing them to reveal that they are no longer neutral platforms:

The tech behemoth Facebook has admitted that it is a publisher while defending its arbitrary censorship of banished journalist Laura Loomer, according to court documents.

Facebook banned Loomer’s account from their platform during a purge of popular conservative voices that happened in May. Others targeted by the purge included Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson. Loomer is striking back with a lawsuit that is unearthing some interesting revelations about the social media monolith.

“Under well-established law, neither Facebook nor any other publisher can be liable for failing to publish someone else’s message,” Facebook’s attorneys wrote.

Facebook actually has the audacity to claim that their 1st Amendment rights are being violated by Loomer’s lawsuit, in a total contorting of reality. They have filed a motion to dismiss the case.

“She claims Facebook labeled her as a ‘dangerous’ person who promotes hate – yet, the First Amendment has long protected such statements because they are opinions that are not capable of being proven true or false,” Facebook’s attorneys claim in their dismissal motion.

Right now, Facebook is protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act from being held liable for the content published on their platform. This special exemption worked fine when the social network engaged in relative neutrality, but those days are no more as Big Tech is at war with conservative and pro-Trump voices.

Loomer hopes to have her ability to communicate fully restored and to make Big Tech pay for infringing on her basic rights.

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