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Facebook Denies Responsibility for Morocco's Lousy Sense of Humor

Published on February 29, 2008
by John Paczkowski

If Fouad Mourtada spends the next three years in prison for creating a fake profile of a Moroccan prince on Facebook, it won’t have been the social-networking site that put him there. Facebook insists it didn’t help the Moroccan government identify the 26-year-old engineer as the author of crown prince Moulay Rachid’s fake Facebook page. Facebook spokeswoman Brandee Barker said in a statement that the company shares information with law enforcement and other government agencies only “when it has a good-faith belief it is legally obligated to do so.” But with regard to the bogus profile that led to Mourtada’s arrest, “Facebook has shared no such information with the Moroccan authorities,” she said.

So if not Facebook, then who? Advocacy group Reporters Without Borders suspects Mourtada’s ISP, Maroc Telecom. “Did the police get his computer’s IP address? And if so, how? We have asked the ISP, Maroc Telecom, in which the French company Vivendi is a shareholder, to provide us with the relevant information.”

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