Facebook Will Now Tell You If the Government Is Spying on Your Account

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Being in the business of convincing people to share every last bit of private information on the Internet down to the very last baby picture, Facebook has a bit of an interest in convincing people that it’s safe to do so. Now, they’re stepping up that effort by offering notifications for when your account has become compromised—even by the government.

The new notifications are specifically aimed at government-sponsored spying, which is sadly a thing that we all know too well by now is a very real concern in 2015. In a post by Facebook’s security team, chief security officer Alex Stamos showed off the new notifications banners:

Facebook government spying warning.

Unfortunately, Stamos clarifies that such a notification isn’t likely to mean that your Facebook account itself has actually been hacked, in which case you could just change your password. Instead, it’ll show up when your computer or other device has been infected with government-run malware meant to spy on your online activities. That means you’ll actually need to go through the process of identifying and removing the malware or getting a new device altogether.

On the up side, you weren’t likely to ever find out such spying software had made its way onto your device without Facebook’s help, so at least you won’t be left in the dark. Stamos concluded,

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. That said, we plan to use this warning only in situations where the evidence strongly supports our conclusion. We hope that these warnings will assist those people in need of protection, and we will continue to improve our ability to prevent and detect attacks of all kinds against people on Facebook.

(via TheNextWeb)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.