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Facebook will warn you if governments are spying on you


A new tool from the social network will notify you if you are being targeted by ‘state-sponsored actors’ and help you secure your account

In a move to take security more seriously, Facebook has said it will roll out a new feature that warns users if they are being spied on by government agents like the NSA or GCHQ.

Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos wrote in a Facebook blog, “Starting today, we will notify you if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised by an attacker suspected of working on behalf of a nation-state.”

This is what the notification looks like.

The Facebook notification you will get if you are being spied on by a government agency

Facebook doesn’t specify exactly how it identifies such perpetrators. Stamos said, “To protect the integrity of our methods and processes, we often won’t be able to explain how we attribute certain attacks to suspected attackers.” He also said, “We plan to use this warning only in situations where the evidence strongly supports our conclusion.”

If users get the notification, the company recommends rebuilding or replacing systems that have been infected by malware.

Additionally, turning on login approvals is a good practice to help keep other individuals from logging into other users’ accounts. Whenever accounts are accessed via new browsers or devices, Facebook will send codes to users’ phones.

Facebook hopes the notification will help those who want to protect their data, according to Stamos. In addition, it promises it will constantly enhance its capability to detect and prevent attacks against its users.

The announcement comes at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping told U.S President Barack Obama that his country would not “knowingly support” cyber theft and promised to abide by “norms of behaviour” in cyberspace. Facebook’s new tool could cause some awkwardness if it starts pointing fingers at foreign governments. Mr. Xi arrives in the UK today for a four-day visit.


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