UK Parliament seizes internal Facebook documents

The U.K. Parliament entered “uncharted territory” to seize internal Facebook documents that hold information about the firm’s decisions that led to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, The Guardian reported Sunday.

The documents could help reveal how Cambridge Analytica managed to misuse Facebook data belonging to millions of people to influence democratic processes, like the U.S. elections and the Brexit referendum.

Damian Collins, the chair of the Parliament’s committee on culture, media and sport, obtained the information by sending a senior Parliament official to the hotel room of the founder of U.S. software firm Six4Three to seize the documents, who was visiting London for business. When Six4Three failed to hand over the documents the Parliament’s serjeant at arms escorted the executive to Parliament where he was warned that he faced prison time if he refused the order.

Six4Three owner Ted Kramer CNN said this summer that “Facebook itself is the biggest violator of data misuse in the history of the software industry.”

The seized documents are reported to include confidential emails between senior executives within Facebook, and correspondence with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

“This is an unprecedented move but it’s an unprecedented situation,” said Collins. “We’ve failed to get answers from Facebook and we believe the documents contain information of very high public interest.”

Zuckerberg has repeatedly refused to face Parliament’s questions about the Cambridge Analytica scandal despite several attempts to summon the Facebook CEO. That refusal forced MPs to explore other options to get their hand on more information about Facebook’s operations, Collins said.




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