Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What should be done to Facebook and others for violating your country's citizens' rights


Facebook CAN track you offline: Site wins Belgian privacy case over following logged out users

...The social media site has won a legal battle against the Belgian data protection authority over tracking its users while they are not logged into Facebook.
Originally, the regulator had won its case and ordered the social network to stop tracking non-members when they visited publicly available Facebook pages.
But the Brussels Appeals Court dismissed the case, on the grounds that the regulator has no jurisdiction over Facebook Inc, which has its European headquarters in Ireland.

>> An example of how legal speak defies common sense.

The people that FB is tracking are in Belgium, and Belgium's data protection authority is trying to protect its own people from the violative actions of an outside company operating over the internet. If the outside company, basically a foreigner, is caught committing wrongdoing to citizens of Belgium, then it's a simple case of attack on national sovereignty and should be treated as such.

What the court has decided, means that if a NATIVE service had been caught doing it then the authorities could be free to prosecute them, but since it's a FOREIGN service doing it, it's suddenly totally OK.

Tomorrow, if a foreign based entity is caught committing crimes and doing harm to Belgian people, tomorrow if a foreigner is caught having raped a Belgian citizen, then that will be completely valid and legitimate according to the basic logic that the Bussels Appeals Court has followed in this case.

Which of course is absolute bullshit.

What is SUPPOSED to happen here is that Belgium has to issue an extradition warrant to Ireland to extradite and prosecute Facebook's executives for committing crimes on the citizens of Belgium. (It might be something that only earns a fine as per rules, but the due process is supposed to be the same.)

If Ireland is then unable to proceed as the people in question aren't really in Ireland and it's just a business address registered there to evade higher corporate taxes or obligations elsewhere, then the obvious next step is to SHUT DOWN the business by locking down that office, and confiscate whatever property, equipment and accounts are in Ireland and connected with the business till the executives responsible come down and face due process. If they want to contest the extradition warrant, let them take it up in a court in Ireland as per law. The only other alternative for the company is to forgo everything they had in Ireland and remain out as absconders. It is then up to tax authories at all other places where this business is based, to decide that if this business is no longer based in Ireland, then where is it, and which country should claim taxation and other obligations from it?

This situation brings forward the need for localizing transactions : Irrespective of where the hell the business is based, if they are violating Belgian laws (and being foreigners are hence seen as atacking the sovereignty of Belgium) then the Belgian authorities must have complete right to prosecute them in whichever way they can. And this can happen in quite some ways:

1. Put out summons for executives of Facebook to summon them to a Belgian court and failing which they are to be declared as absconders; if they ever enter Belgian territory (like, say, changing flights at Brussels) then they are to be taken into custody. (hey, this is exactly what was being done when the US set out for capturing Edward Snowden, including being willing to force any plane carrying him passing their or allies' airspace to land)

2. Summon any Belgian citizenship holding employees of Facebook or who are in a working contract with it as representatives of the company; let them off if they resign or forfeit the job contract immediately.

3. Enter the company in a national boycott list according to which all Belgian companies and citizens are forbidden from performing business transactions with it, hence economic boycott.
(Note: people using facebook don't get covered here, as they are consumers of freely provided service and not doing financial transactions with FB)

4. Use extradition treaties to summon FB representatives to Belgian court.

5. Confiscate any property owned by the company or its subsidiaries that is there or enters into Belgian territory.

6. Apply similar measures for other entities that are found to be benefiting from transacting with FB and aren't doing anything to make FB comply.

Given the present indoctrination that big internet companies like Facebook are above and beyond any country's laws, this all might seem too far-fetched to you. But try imagining what should be done if it was some other foreign based small company or individual found to be violating the legally enshrined rights of citizens of your country. If you WANT to have a law and order system, then let's treat everyone the same before the law, shall we?

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