Facebook was warned of alleged Russian meddling back in 2014

Mark Zuckerberg Gives International Parliamentary Panel Hearing a Miss

The email, the first disclosure from a large cache of seized Facebook papers that MPs plan to release, was cited at an unprecedented "Grand Committee" of British and worldwide lawmakers who questioned Lord Allan of Hallam, Facebook's European policy director.

Joining Britain were legislators from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Latvia and Singapore.

Allan was also forced to defend Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, who has refused to appear before the British parliamentary inquiry despite repeated requests to do so. In April, Zuckerberg sent another executive to answer questions after British lawmakers asked him to answer questions about user privacy violations at Facebook. Zuckerberg has been questioned by American lawmakers, but he has so far not appeared before those of other nations.

Allan, attempting to get ahead of the story, told the committee it would be unfair to take the "internal conversations" and "robust comments" as the company's official position.

In the United States, meanwhile, senators were preparing to hold a hearing of their own - grilling members of the Federal Trade Commission, the agency that's now investigating Facebook for its privacy mishaps.

Facebook vice president of policy solutions, Richard Allan, answers questions from parliamentarians from nine countries at a hearing in the United Kingdom.

Collins also said that he is urging Facebook to stop blocking the documents from being unsealed in a California court.

Representatives from nine countries grilled a Facebook executive in Great Britain Tuesday about online safety, fake news, harmful content, bullying and data breaches.

Summarizing an element of the documents, Collins said that "an engineer at Facebook notified the company in October 2014 that entities with Russian IP addresses had been using a Pinterest API key to pull over 3 billion data points a day through the Ordered Friends API".

Collins said he hoped to publish the documents in the coming week. Collins implied the documents show Facebook had advance warning that Russians were sucking massive amounts of data off the firm's website.

Facebook said comments were taken out of context and "no evidence of specific Russian activity" had been found at that time.

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, another member of the Canadian Parliament, pressed Allan over whether a user signing up for Facebook could reasonably be seen as "meaningful consent" - the standard under Canadian privacy law - for the company allowing others to access that data.

Lawmakers from Europe, the Americas and Asia pummeled Allan with questions, targeting the company's business model, its willingness to cooperate with governments and the steps it is taking to ensure it does not spread misinformation.

Mr Allan said the documents were "a partial set of information that was obtained by a hostile litigant". He later said in an email to CBS News that a decision about that will be announced later this week.

"Unless you're going to turn off the internet, I'm not confident that people would be better off in a world where Facebook is not able-however imperfectly-to offer services where we spent 15 learning how to do", he said.

Allan was responding to Canadian lawmaker Charlie Angus, who said the social media giant has "lost the trust of the worldwide community to self-police", and that governments have to start looking at ways to hold the company accountable.

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