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First on Fox: In response to a federal investigation request to Facebook for possible use of the platform by human traffickers and sex traffickers, the Justice Department declined to comment, citing a long-standing department policy to confirm or deny the existence of investigations.
LBL exclusively reviewed the DOJ’s Nov. 17 letter in response to Arizona Attorney General Mark Branovich’s request to the department to review the social media giant’s practices.
ARIZONA AG says users can share information about how to illegally access us after calling DOJ to investigate FACEBOOK
After tech giants said the tech giant would allow users to share information about human trafficking and illegal entry into the country, Bronovich wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland on October 14, urging the department to investigate Facebook’s “facilitation” of illegal immigration to the United States.
“Facebook’s policy to regularly reach its billion users in posts that promote human trafficking and illegal access to the United States seriously undermines the rule of law,” Brunovich said. Letter To Attorney General Merrick Garland. “The company is a direct beneficiary, thus exacerbating the catastrophe that occurs on the southern border of Arizona.”
However, the DOJ, in response to the Attorney General months later, declined to provide information on whether it is currently investigating Facebook or whether it plans to do so in the future.
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The letter states, “The Department takes serious allegations of criminal wrongdoing in relation to your specific concerns on Facebook.” “We appreciate the benefit of your comments. As you know, the department’s long-standing policy and practice prevents it from further discussing the allegations or confirming the existence or opening of any investigation,” wrote Theo Stamos, the department’s intergovernmental affairs officer. ,
Stamos later described examples of how the department “adheres to the rule of law” and how the organization uses tools to fight human trafficking and trafficking.
“For example, earlier this year, the Attorney General announced the establishment of a joint task force, Alpha, a law enforcement task force that marshals departmental investigative and prosecutorial resources to increase US enforcement efforts against the most prolific and dangerous human trafficking and trafficking agencies.”
Stamos also mentioned the DOJ’s partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2009 to launch a US-Mexico bilateral human trafficking enforcement initiative.
A Meta company spokeswoman told LBL on Saturday, “We prohibit content that contributes to or helps human trafficking, invests in technology and helps people identify it proactively and remove it from our platform whenever we find it.”
In a letter Sent to Branovich’s office in August, Facebook says it will not allow criminal organizations to operate on its platform and prohibit content that facilitates or facilitates human trafficking, including advertising on the human trafficking service. However, it added: “Allow people to share information about how we should illegally enter the country or how to smuggle.”
He said the tech giant’s policies were developed “to ensure that we do not prohibit content related to the human trafficking business but to interfere with people’s ability to exercise the right to asylum recognized in international law.”
The DOJ did not immediately respond to LBL’ requests for comment.
Adam Shaw of LBL contributed to this report.