Coder website Bosnadev revealed in a blog post that a CIA-funded company appears to be scanning private chat messages in Facebook. The blog later on concluded that the so-called "Facebook privacy" does not really exist.
According to the post, the group built an app that was never published and posted its link in Facebook through a private chat box. They then noticed some unusual activity after keeping track of any attempt to access the link.
"During the testing of an application we've set up in a non-published area we have noticed some unusual activity," said Bosnadev. "The link for the app was sent via Facebook chat and afterwards comes the interesting part."
The blog also posted some screenshots of IP addresses wherein it indicated that some of them belonged to Facebook while some belonged to "Recorded Future."
According to the post, the link was checked by Facebook during the first three minutes which is something not unusual since Facebook as well as other chat sites check links as a routine activity. Three minutes later, the link was then hit by a company other than Facebook which was eventually identified as Recorded Future.
Recorded Future is an American-Swedish firm that deals with identifying real-time online risks through web-based source collecting and analyzing. These include analyzing links that have never been published anywhere else. Knowing that the firm had also accessed a link on Facebook chat, which is deemed as a secure channel for sending private messages, had somehow brought back the question on how Facebook handles privacy.
The company responded to the post by denying that they access the messages sent through Facebook Chat.
"We have no idea what the guy is referring to. We only get Public/Open Facebook data, and certainly have no interest nor any technical ability to get to any chat data at all," said Recorded Future.
The company also claimed that they found the URL at a public site and that the case is not at all related to Facebook chat messages which contain the link.
"Our systems followed this URL after it was posted on a public site. Our system constantly explores links published on the web. We've checked our logs and confirmed that this is what happened in this specific case. It's not related to any Facebook chat messages containing this link. Our system doesn't access that information."
Bosnadev went on by saying that Recorded Future is "backed by both Google Ventures and American intelligence agencies."
Photo: Maria Elena I Flickr