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Fri Jul 12, 2019, 04:43 PM

F.T.C. Approves Facebook Fine of About $5 Billion

Source: New York Times



The Federal Trade Commission voted this week to fine Facebook about $5 billion for mishandling users’ personal information, according to two people briefed on the vote, in what would be a landmark settlement that signals a newly aggressive stance by regulators toward the country’s most powerful technology companies.

The agency approved the settlement in a 3-to-2 vote along party lines, with the two Democrats voting against it, said the people, who would speak only the condition of anonymity.

The deal still needs final approval from the Justice Department, which rarely rejects settlements reached by the agency. If approved, it would be the biggest fine by far levied by the federal government against a technology company, easily eclipsing the $22 million imposed on Google in 2012. The size of the penalty underscored the rising frustration among Washington officials with how Silicon Valley giants collect, store and use people’s information.

Peter Kaplan, a spokesman for the F.T.C., declined to comment. Andy Stone, a spokesman for Facebook, also declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported on the vote by the commission.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/12/technology/facebook-ftc-fine.html

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 05:29 PM

1. While deserved, this is really trump shaking down zuckerberg for resisting RW trolls on FB

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Response to PSPS (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 06:02 PM

2. Zuckerberg's "cost for doing business."

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 02:31 AM

3. So Zuckerberg is paying roughly what was requested for the wall? And let me guess, since that money

will not have been appropriated, there is flexibility on spending it?

From Kate Stith, Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law, Yale Law School (1988)
https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=2282&context=fss_papers

"Congress permits some agencies that collect fees or otherwise obtain receipts in the course of their activities to retain and spend such collections - sometimes referred to as "reimbursements" - without any further legislative process."



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Response to 24601 (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 03:18 AM

6. Good point, how coincidental that figure has come up!

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Response to 24601 (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 04:36 AM

7. Heh... no. Those funds go into the U.S. Treasury

The types of "fees" being referenced at your link are usually considered or designated as "user fees" and are already authorized by Congress to be collected and used to actually help fund certain activities that an agency carries out (and is different from fines or penalties).

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #7)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 02:01 PM

10. She includes forfeitures with spending that has been outside the Congressional appropriations.

Because the date of publication was unclear, I had not used this article which she wrote for the National Constitution Center. It's in their Interactive Constitution which was launched in September 2015.

Here's part of what she calls "Backdoor Spending." The whole Article is around 1500 words.

https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/interpretations/appropriations-clause-article-i-section-9-clause-7

Is “Backdoor Spending” Constitutional?

There are a variety of other forms of federal spending authority besides statutes called “appropriations.” For instance, Congress has often authorized agencies to “obligate” federal funds which have not yet been appropriated. Such obligation authority is necessary because federal agencies subject to annual appropriations often must enter into multi-year contracts. There is no violation of the Appropriations Clause as long as funds are not paid until appropriated.

In other statutes, Congress has indefinitely authorized federal agencies to spend Treasury funds or special-purpose taxes, fees, or forfeitures, without separate appropriation of such funds. Such “backdoor” spending, as it is often called, is usually without limitation as to amount or duration of spending but usually has effective limitations as to object. Payment of interest on the national debt has been “indefinitely” (no limitation as to amount) and “permanently” (no limitation as to duration) appropriated since 1847. Statutory entitlement programs—such as Social Security, unemployment payments, and certain agricultural subsidies—are likewise usually funded by an indefinite and permanent appropriation in the statute creating the program itself. The constitutional function of “Appropriations made by Law”—a legislative check on the Executive Branch and hence on the exercise of federal authority—is performed, if at all, at the creation of the entitlement program and by future Congresses in setting the rates and amounts of agency receipts and payments.

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Response to 24601 (Reply #10)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 02:23 PM

11. The National Constitution Center is here in Philly

Used to work near it and watched it being built.

Also worked for the federal government for 30+ years before retiring recently so am very aware of these different "pots" of money (and have had a number of years of "Appropriations Law" courses and related procurement training... Ack ).

As far as I know regarding Facebook, this is not a "forfeiture". It's a fine. And fines go into the Treasury.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #11)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 04:38 PM

12. I saw that on their web site and probably will visit if I go near Philly. Thanks for your time

Just started 48th year of federal service (combined mil & civil service) with retirement in sight July or December 2020. I started taking all the prep courses last December. The DC Chapter of SOFA.ORG conducts most of them.

My background never included procurement and you may be right about fines vs forfeiture. I'm still expecting an attempt.

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Response to 24601 (Reply #12)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 05:03 PM

13. They did a nice job with the building and it's just a couple blocks from Independence Hall

I definitely wish you luck on your upcoming retirement! I know you can't wait!!!!

And agree some suicidal stooge could TRY to do funky stuff with different pots of money in general, but then they run the risk of what happened when Ben Carson's admin/contract officers ended up with a misuse of funds for a furniture procurement (leading to a GAO report deeming that they broke the law - I.e., Anti-deficiency Act). The one thing to keep in mind too is that the pesky debt-ceiling is coming up (in September I think) so if anything, those funds from fines/judgements are definitely needed to calculate when "time is up" before a default or a ceiling raise must happen (that ceiling raise currently being in Pelosi's hands at the moment).

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 05:36 AM

9. For sure

nt

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 02:44 AM

4. I might be ignorant here, but

Where, exactly, does the $5 billion go?

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Response to IcyPeas (Reply #4)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 04:45 AM

8. The U.S. Treasury (in the Federal Reserve banks).

Any money that is collected by the U.S. government automatically gets deposited "in the Treasury". That money will become future money that Congress can decide to appropriate later.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 03:06 AM

5. Seems like a slap on the wrist

Facebook has a market cap of over 500 Billion.

I love when the government really sticks to the white collar criminals, but they never really do.

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