Facebook worked with the FBI to identify a UK person accused of being part of a global cyber-crime organisation, said the FBI in a statement.
The social networking site helped the law enforcement agency to locate 10 individuals around the world by "helping to identify the perpetrators." The UK individual (as yet unnamed) is accused of working as part of a cyber crime organisation, using a malware program called Yahos. After Facebook helped to identify the individual, the FBI worked with SOCA (the Serious Organised Crime Agency) in the UK to make the arrest.
According to a FBI press release "the Yahos malicious software, or malware, which is linked to more than 11 million compromised computer systems and over $850 million in losses via the Butterfly Botnet, which steals computer users’ credit card, bank account, and other personal identifiable information."
The Facebook, FBI and SOCA logos. All three worked together to arrest a UK cyber criminal
According to the FBI " Facebook’s security team provided assistance to law enforcement throughout the investigation by helping to identify the root cause, the perpetrators, and those affected by the malware. Yahos targeted Facebook users from 2010 to October 2012, and security systems were able to detect affected accounts and provide tools to remove these threats."
The US law enforcement agency also announced arrests in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru, and the United States and the execution of numerous search warrants and interviews.
The FBI's close association with social networking organisations should be a warning shot to individuals involved with serious crime. According to Time Magazine, the agency has an initiative called Going Dark, in which it is "asking Congress to require tech companies to rewrite their software so it has a 'back door' that the FBI can listen in to". The Going Dark initiative refers to the FBI's concerns that its ability to follow suspected criminals is eroding, as people now communicate more online.
The American Civil Liberties Union is concerned that Going Dark and any change to the US Communication Assistance to Law Enforcement [CALEA] act, will not just affect citizens of the United States, but people around the world: "An expansion of CALEA by the United States would set an international standard. If the U.S. builds backdoors into internet communication devices, other governments - many of the repressive regimes like China and Iran - will want similar access".
The FBI's increased involvement with UK law affairs was thrown in the spotlight after Gary McKinnon, a Scottish systems administrator was accused in 2002 of hacking into various US military and NASA computers.
Gary McKinnon left the following threat on a US computer: "US foreign policy is akin to Government-sponsored terrorism these days … It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11 last year … I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels … " The US requested McKinnon's extradition to the US, where he faced up to 70 years in jail, however after considerably public outcry the Home Secretary Theresa May withdrew his extradition order.