Facebook offers to hand hate speech suspect data to French courts

Facebook offers to hand hate speech suspect data to French courts
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Facebook will provide French courts with data identifying suspected hate speech on its platform. 

France's minister of digital affairs Cedric O told Reuters Tuesday the deal was reached following a meeting he had last week with Nick Clegg, Facebook's head of global affairs. 

It is the first deal of it's kind the social media platform has made, according to Reuters. 

Facebook has refrained from handing over such data in the past and is not compelled to do so under U.S. or French legal conventions.

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“This is huge news, it means that the judicial process will be able to run normally. It’s really very important, they’re only doing it for France," O told Reuters. 

"As a matter of course, we will no longer refer French law enforcement authorities to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty process to request basic information in criminal hate speech cases," a Facebook spokesperson said in an email to The Hill. "However, as we do with all court orders for information, even in the US, we will scrutinize every order we receive and push back if is overbroad, inconsistent with human rights, or legally defective.”

The deal comes after meetings between Facebook founder Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Americans with COVID-19 immunity may lead US back to work Hillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation WhatsApp limiting message forwarding in effort to stop coronavirus misinformation MORE and French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronCOVID is a very different kind of crisis politically COVID-19 — a make-it or break-it moment for the European Union US inaction is hurting the chance for peace in Libya MORE, according to Reuters.

—Updated at 2:58 p.m.