App maker’s equipment to be seized over Facebook leak
A JUDGE in Silicon Valley has ordered the confiscation of laptops, emails and mobile phones that may have been used to leak secret Facebook documents to British MPS last week.
Judge V Raymond Swope ordered Ted Kramer, a US app maker at the centre of a stand-off between Facebook and Parliament, to hand his devices to investigators in a ruling that may shed light on how damaging Facebook emails were given to a Commons committee in defiance of a US court order.
The emails have already been used by Damian Collins, head of the Commons digital, culture, media and sport select committee, to grill Facebook about how early it knew about abuses of its system by Russian agents.
On Friday, Mr Collins’ use of a rare Parliamentary mechanism to seize the documents sent new ripples through a long-running dispute between Facebook and Six4three, Mr Kramer’s app firm, which is suing Facebook for “destroying” its business.
Mr Kramer claims he was dragooned into handing over the documents during a trip to London, saying that he “panicked” when Mr Collins told him that he was in contempt of Parliament.
Facebook alleges that he deliberately engineered a situation in which he could leak the documents. Its legal team also suggested that their opposing counsel might have requested the disclosure of documents not relevant to their lawsuit to one day make them public to make a “tactical gain”.
“[They] created a declaration with hundreds of pages of exhibits, many of which... had nothing to do with this case,” said Joshua Lerner, counsel for Facebook. “And lo and behold, it all gets disclosed when [Mr Kramer] decides to walk over to Parliament.”