Facebook paid a cyber security firm six figures to develop a system to unmask a man who spent years terrorizing children.
The FBI tricked the man into opening a video (purportedly of child sexual abuse) which had a special code on it to expose his IP address.
The predator, a Californian by the name of Buster Hernandez, used Facebook as his hunting ground. Between 2012 and 2017, Fernandez terrorized children, threatening to murder, rape, kidnap, or otherwise brutalize them if they didn’t send him nude images.
It seems that this is “the first and only time” that Facebook has helped law enforcement hack a target.
This represented a major ethical issue for Facebook. It paid for a company to strip away the anonymity of a user. On the other hand it is promising end-to-end encryption across all of its messaging apps.