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  #1  
Old 28 March 2012, 09:27 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
 
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Facebook Police have master password for Facebook

Comment: I've heard from several people that the police have a "master
password" for facebook, and that they can view anybody's page, even if
made private. I've heard this in the context of job interviews (employers
can contact the police and ask them to give them access to your facebook
page OR view it themselves to 'check' you out, as well as in the context
of students (the police/principals can view your facebook page and see
what your doing/posting)

This seems like an urban myth, but I've heard it from a variety of people
who claim they've been told directly (by a principal, police officer, etc)
or know someone who's been told.....
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  #2  
Old 28 March 2012, 10:15 PM
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DrRocket DrRocket is offline
 
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Roll eyes

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
.....or know someone who's been told.....
By someone who has a cousin who heard from his buddy who has a friend on a web forum who posted........
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  #3  
Old 28 March 2012, 10:21 PM
luvlyoranges luvlyoranges is offline
 
 
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I thought this was just legend due to, you know, 'the police' being so general. NYPD? Scotland Yard? Sting? Hill Street Blues? Turns out it _is_ Sting's old group. They just didn't include the capitalisation. The Shadows have the universal password to Twitter.
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  #4  
Old 28 March 2012, 10:37 PM
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Avril Avril is offline
 
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Even supposing the police of some municipality did have such a password, why would they give it out so loosely? The information police do have isn't shared with employers, so why this?

Meanwhile, what employers? All employers? Even parents who have hired the kid next door as a baby-sitter? Or what?
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  #5  
Old 29 March 2012, 08:30 AM
Jaime Vargas Jaime Vargas is offline
 
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Not to mention the implied notion that when somebody sets their Facebook to private it just has to mean they are concealing something nefarious or inappropriate there.

In real life most people who restric their access to Facebook do it just to stop thinking twice anytime they want to share something.
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  #6  
Old 29 March 2012, 09:27 AM
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lord_feldon lord_feldon is offline
 
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"The police"? All police? Just some police? If every police department had this master password and freely used it to allow employers to snoop, we would have known within minutes of it being put into place.
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  #7  
Old 29 March 2012, 10:04 AM
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When I reported a friend as a missing person, one of the police officers used his own Facebook account to get more information about the person (as I don't use Facebook myself). He'd hardly need to use his own a/c if "the police" had a master password.
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  #8  
Old 02 April 2012, 04:09 PM
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Canuckistan Canuckistan is offline
 
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If this is true, why are employers asking for your Facebook password? Including the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which you would assume would be fairly tight with police?
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  #9  
Old 02 April 2012, 04:29 PM
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Psihala Psihala is offline
 
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I doubt even those who work at Facebook have "master passwords". What they most likely have are accounts that have administrator privileges (or possibly several layers of different kinds of admin authority) over user accounts. It isn't likely any police department would have that kind of admin authority just given to them.

Unless Facebook is using some proprietary software that does away with the most basic of authentication processes, and I can't think of any valid reason why they'd want to, the premise of a "master password" makes no sense to me.

~Psihala
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  #10  
Old 03 April 2012, 12:31 AM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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I would have thought a warrant for a person information presented to Facebook management would work as a password just as well and be legal.
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  #11  
Old 04 May 2012, 08:05 AM
Mimi Mimi is offline
 
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With more and more potential employers asking for their potential (or sometimes current) employee's passwords, the owners/runners of Facebook have spoken out against this practice.
http://http://www.forbes.com/sites/k...ers-passwords/

I hope I posted the link properly.

When I lost my friend in August, the prosecutor and/or police investigating it did gain access to his account. They were able to view private messages between myself and my friend. I sent them copy/pasted messages via email but they gained access to his account also. I imagine it involved a warrant. I highly doubt anyone but my friend had his Facebook password, so they must have had to get it through Facebook.
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  #12  
Old 04 May 2012, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimi View Post
I sent them copy/pasted messages via email but they gained access to his account also. I imagine it involved a warrant. I highly doubt anyone but my friend had his Facebook password, so they must have had to get it through Facebook.
I would imagine they just had the password reset as if you had forgotten it - perhaps a family member with access to his email.
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  #13  
Old 04 May 2012, 07:35 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
I would imagine they just had the password reset as if you had forgotten it - perhaps a family member with access to his email.
Yep. People think that companies actually know what their user's passwords are. In general, that is not true. The company doesn't maintain a file of passwords since that would be incredibly insecure. The way it is generally done is that the password is passed through a hashing formula that converts it into another string of characters. That conversion process is irreversible, you can't take the hashed characters and work back to the original password. The hashed password is stored in a file. When a user logs on and gives their password that string of characters is hashed and compared with the hashed version stored in a file. If they match then the password is valid.

So like diddy said, they wouldn't need a "master password" they would simply reset the password to a known string of characters. The same thing web sites do when you click on the "forgot my password" button. The web site can't tell you what your password is because they don't know it, but they can change your password.
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  #14  
Old 07 May 2012, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Even supposing the police of some municipality did have such a password, why would they give it out so loosely? The information police do have isn't shared with employers, so why this?
If "police" could access the information at will, then it wouldn't be very secure information at all. Lots of people know a cop, and some are less scrupulous than others when it comes to doing a favor for a friend and looking up some information.

Which is good evidence that it doesn't exist, since it would be well documented.
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