Six4Three is a tech company which produced a way to search for bikini pictures from your contacts on Facebook. After Facebook closed off access to data in 2014, the company sued Facebook for destroying that line of business, hoping to recover the money invested in the app. During discovery Six4Three obtained email and/or internal documents allegedly showing how much Facebook-founder Mark Zuckerberg knew about the privacy gaps in the Facebook partner API. This same API was abused by Cambridge Analytica to data mine information on tens of millions of US voters from a few hundred thousand users. Damian Collins, a UK MP investigating Cambridge Analytica, took interest in the documents and compelled their release in November 2018 by threatening the founder of Six4Three with imprisonment while he was in the UK on other business.
To mitigate any bad PR, Facebook planned to make it as hard of [sic] possible for users to know that this was one of the underlying features of the upgrade of their app.
Internally, the conflict seems to have divided Facebook into three camps: those loyal to Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg; those who see the current scandals as proof of a larger corporate meltdown; and a group who see the entire narrative — including the portrayal of the company’s hiring of communications consulting firm Definers Public Affairs — as examples of biased media attacks.
For now, as Facebook's employees debate her future publicly and privately, Sandberg has set her sights on damage control. Still reeling from the revelation that Facebook’s communications and policy team hired a public affairs team to investigate George Soros, Sandberg has been trying to make amends.
According to two sources, she attempted to call Soros last month, within days of the reports about Definers, and left a message after he didn’t pick up. Soros has yet to call her back because he’s been traveling, a source told BuzzFeed News.
“It appears he’ll be traveling for a while,” the source said.
San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Raymond Swope, who had issued a court order that the documents be sealed, called together the legal counsels for Facebook and Six4Three the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 30, to find an answer to that very question: Why and how had his court order been violated?
"When I issue a valid court order governing the conduct of parties in this case -- or any other such court order -- I expect these to be followed," he said during the court proceedings. "I do not expect a compromise of the integrity of this judicial system."
In April 2015, Six4Three filed a lawsuit against Facebook; the suit has been working through the county court system ever since. As part of the discovery process, the attorneys representing Six4Three had been granted access to confidential Facebook documents.
However, Kramer, as a plaintiff, was not supposed to have access to them. But he somehow gained access, and so was able to deliver Facebook's confidential documents to Parliament, which he handed over on a thumb drive. Just what was on that thumb drive was a key concern of both Swope and Facebook's legal team, and was not known by those parties at the time of Friday's hearing.
So how did Kramer get access to the confidential documents? The only people who could have granted him access were his attorneys, Swope said.
During the hearing, Swope vigorously questioned two of Kramer's attorneys, Stuart Gross of Gross & Klein, and David Godkin of Birnbaum & Godkin. Both mentioned a third member of Six4Three's legal team, Thomas Scaramellino, who was also a former investor in the company. He was not present, but they said he may have played a role in granting Kramer access to the files through a company Dropbox account that may have had "syncing" features they were unaware of.
“I said, ‘Mark, 97 percent of Filipinos on the internet are on Facebook,’” Ressa recalled. “I invited him to come to the Philippines because he had to see the impact of this. You have to understand the impact ... He was frowning while I was saying that. I said, ‘Why, why?’ He said, ‘Oh well. What are the other 3 percent doing, Maria?’”
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