ICE Uses Facebook Data To Find and Track Immigrants, Internal Emails Show

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Intercept: ICE, the federal agency tasked with Trump’s program of mass deportation, uses backend Facebook data to locate and track immigrants that it is working to round up, according to a string of emails and documents obtained by The Intercept through a public records request. The hunt for one particular immigrant in New Mexico provides a rare window into how ICE agents use social media and powerful data analytics tools to find suspects. In February and March of 2017, several ICE agents were in communication with a detective from Las Cruces, New Mexico, to find information about a particular person. They were ultimately able to obtain backend Facebook data revealing a log of when the account was accessed and the IP addresses corresponding to each login. Lea Whitis, an agent with Homeland Security Investigations, the investigative arm of ICE, emailed the team a “Facebook Business Record” revealing the suspect’s phone number and the locations of each login into his account during a date range. Law enforcement agents routinely use bank, telephone, and internet records for investigations, but the extent to which ICE uses social media is not well known.