The spy who liked me: Facebook alerts users to snooping by governments

 
Lynsey Barber
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Government spying will be monitored by Facebook
Government spying will be monitored by Facebook (Source: Getty)

Facebook is increasing its security measures with a new alert which tells users when their account is the target of spying by government authorities.

In a post on Facebook, the company's head of security Alex Stamos said "we will notify you if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised by an attacker suspected of working on behalf of a nation-state".

Users will get the following message:

"While we have always taken steps to secure accounts that we believe to have been compromised, we decided to show this additional warning if we have a strong suspicion that an attack could be government-sponsored. We do this because these types of attacks tend to be more advanced and dangerous than others, and we strongly encourage affected people to take the actions necessary to secure all of their online accounts," he explained.

Facebook did not say how it identifies these type of attacks, but said it would only let users know if the "evidence strongly supports" the conclusion that an attack is state-sponsored.

These type of attacks happen not through compromising Facebook itself, but via the devices used to access the site, usually through malware on a computer or smartphone.

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