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Folkestone MP Damian Collins could disclose Facebook emails

By Paul Francis

An MP says he could disclose emails relating to allegations concerning Facebook and fake news.

The Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins made the threat as he headed a hearing of a special international committee at Parliament.

The group was brought together to probe claims the social media giant allowed firms to exploit flaws in its privacy policies to target millions with political advertising.

Damian Collins
Damian Collins

The committee headed by Mr Collins had been hoping to grill the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg yesterday about the claims - but he declined to appear.

The documents were obtained by MPs after Collins used special parliamentary powers to seize emails and other documents relating to the ongoing inquiry at the weekend.

Facebook representative Lord Allan, a Liberal Democrat peer warned Mr Collins in an email ahead of his appearance that the documents are “subjudice before a court in California” and are “sealed”.

However, Mr Collins, chairman of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, responded: “Under UK law and parliamentary privilege we can publish papers if we choose to.”

It comes as Facebook released heavily redacted documents which appeared to indicate concerns about an alleged security incident involving Pinterest and Russia were overblown.

However, Mr Collins tweeted there may be more details to come.

He said: "Facebook have broken the seal on the court documents from California; will they now ask for the rest to be released?

"These emails show there was no external investigation of Russian IP addresses calling for Facebook data & don’t confirm how much was taken."

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