The British government is reportedly probing whether moles leaked plans to police social media to senior Meta official Nick Clegg
The UK government has launched an internal inquiry to identify ‘spies’ who may have leaked secret details about its plans to regulate Facebook to the tech giant, according to the Daily Mail. Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg – who recently became Meta’s new president of Global Affairs – reportedly received the sensitive information.
The search will cover the Treasury, Foreign Office, and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the paper reported on Saturday. The probe was apparently launched last week after a Financial Times article on the government’s upcoming Online Safety Bill, which aims to police social media platforms.
That report quoted an unnamed tech executive “who has seen the proposals” about regulation – which were apparently contained in confidential letters called ‘write-rounds’ that are only circulated between a handful of senior ministry officials, the Daily Mail noted.
But unnamed sources told the paper that fears about a potential leak had been raised as early as June 2020, when Clegg apparently cited classified information from one such letter during a Zoom call with government officials.
“We don’t know if Clegg himself is getting this information, or the company has other sources, but they seem to know what we are up to almost before we do,” a security source told the Daily Mail. Other officials told the paper that Clegg may have retained contacts from his time in government, which has allowed the flow of classified information.
Prior to joining Facebook in 2018, Clegg was the leader of the Liberal Democrats party and Deputy PM in David Cameron’s coalition government. On Wednesday, Clegg was promoted to the senior leadership position – reportedly “at the level” of Mark Zuckerberg – with responsibility over “all policy matters.” The move has apparently led to Clegg being dubbed the “Master of the Metaverse.”
The potential legislative hurdles facing Meta in the UK include payable tax, responsibility for harmful content, and whether it should have to pay media outlets for carrying their news stories. According to the Daily Mail, UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is urging Downing Street to include legislation to this effect in the next Queen’s Speech.
While Clegg has not commented, an unidentified Meta spokesperson told the paper that it was “not aware” of any government inquiry. They denied “any insinuation or suggestion” that Clegg is “seeking or soliciting documents from officials,” branding such claims as “absurd and false.”
https://ift.tt/jpoBUkA 20, 2022 at 05:02PM
from RT – Daily news