For three months now, Craig ‘Lazie’ Lynch has been on the lamb from London authorities after escaping from a Suffolk Bay prison in September. The convicted thief has been using Facebook to taunt his pursuers, posting pictures of his various exploits — which include activities like sex and cooking.
The “good faith” clause is a common way for companies to deflect responsibility to proper authorities in cases like this. But Lynch hasn’t done anything illegal (that we’re aware of) on Facebook, and so the question becomes whether or not Suffolk Bay authorities have gone so far as to contact the social networking site. Facebook PR did not respond to an email request by the time this story was published.
Assuming Facebook would choose to aid authorities, they’d most likely provide Lynch’s IP address, which authorities could use to determine Lynch’s whereabouts. Giving up user data is a slippery slope, opening the door for lesser and lesser offenses to come under scrutiny by Facebook. To date it hasn’t been a national-news issue, but once in awhile the site gets wrapped up in criminal foibles.
Update: Facebook’s UK PR team got back to us and “have spoken with the Suffolk police (the force who are looking into Craig Lynch’s) disappearance and I can confirm we have been in touch and will work with the police about this matter and we work with law enforcement agencies where they are investigating criminal activity.”
Update 2: Asked what information they will provide authorities, the Facebook UK representative writes, “The police have asked us to not talk about methods we can use as they don’t want to do anything which might jeopardise Mr Lynch being caught as quickly as possible.”