Zuck tells Parliament they'll have to arrest him if they want him to testify

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/16/i-double-dare-you.html

1 Like



In retrospect, the frantic chase across the roofs of the Palace of Westminster, with its dramatic finale – Zuckerberg snarling “You’ll never take me alive, copper!” before leaping into the Thames from the top of Victoria Tower – was definitely one of the high points of 2018.


To be clear, they didn’t threaten him with arrest, they threatened a “formal summons”, which sounds to me like important-looking people meeting you at the airport and strongly advising you to follow them to Parliament, but they haven’t put out a warrant for him on entering the country. So no, Zuck didn’t tell Parliament they’d have to arrest him.


Don’t they have reciprocity with the USA? Could he not be extradited if they decide they really want him?


Putting Zuckerberg in handcuffs to get him to testify? That’s ludicrous! He should be put in the stocks.




Except you don’t get to say no. It’s basically “come with us, you get to choose whether you wear handcuffs or not”.

If Zuckerberg doesn’t come to Britain at all then Parliament will decide what to do without him, and it will almost certainly be worse for Facebook than if he does come willingly.



Theoretically we do have a US-UK extradition treaty that should allow for the extradition of people from the US to the UK.

In practice, that mainly seems to work the other way round.

Although that depends who you ask.

According to the US government, the treaty is absolutely fair and balanced. :slight_smile:


In this sort of scenario, the main hurdle would be the fact that the US Secretary of State gets final decision over whether any one gets extradited or not.

One of the criteria (although the decision is at the SecState’s absolute discretion) is whether the extradition is ‘politically motivated’.

It’s hard to see a more ‘politically motivated’ extradition request than one based on the legislature of a foreign country demanding a US citizen appear before them to answer questions and let the MPs get their soundbites in.

I somehow can’t see that request being approved.


Who does the mouths as eyes illustrations for BB? Cory? And from whence did they originate? I find them strangely compelling.

1 Like


A dankly carpeted place, beyond a once locked portal.

Ia, R’lyeh.


Sadly no. The ‘formal summons’ is just that - a summons. If he refused, he could be held to be in contempt of parliament.

There’s another procedure involved in making that finding. Just not answering the summons would not automatically get him arrested the next time he set foot in the UK.

If he is held in contempt, no one really knows what Parliament could do about it. Not just because he’s in the US but just because no one knows what Parliament can do about people refusing to turn up or lying to them in general.

See here for the run-down:


Basically, Parliament has traditionally had three options.

a) Admonishment (i.e. the Clerk of the House writes to you telling you that Parliament is ticked off with you)
b) Fines;
c) Imprisonment

No non-member has been fined by Parliament since 1667 and there are plenty of people whose business it is to think about these things who think the power is no longer available.

That said, we are allegedly in an era of renewed Parliamentary sovereignty, so they could simply state that they are reviving the power.

As far as imprisonment is concerned, the provisions for doing so do seem to still be there but no one has been committed to prison by the Speaker since 1880.

The traditional approach has been to hope like hell that people think being summoned to appear for Parliament is bad for their image (and hurts their chances of a knighthood, lucrative quango, etc.). If that doesn’t work, then surely a formal admonishment will. ETA: none of which is of course going to be any concern to Zuckerberg.

It’s all a bit sad really.


I know BB authors read The Guardian - do Guardian journalists read BB? :slight_smile:



Thanks for the new word!

1 Like

Enjoy :slight_smile:


Wow, so it’s even less impressive than I imagined. Just a threat to be very upset with him on an ongoing basis. Well gosh, that’ll get him talking.


Wait. What? A Cory Doctorow headline is pure fiction extremely loosely extrapolated from some weird but deliberate misreading of the actual facts, some of which it appears he does not even know or chooses to ignore and replace with some ‘alternative facts’ that he thinks create a better effect (AKA clickbait)?

Insert ‘shocked not shocked’ gif.


I’ll criticize him along with you when I’ve sold half as many works of eerily prescient fiction.


A fitting origin for the dankest of memes!
A͙͉̰͕͙͓l̘̼̰̥̕l̵̮̰̺ ͎͓̭̙̣̖͎̀h͚̥̠͖̝̼̜a̤͔i̛͍̙̲͈͔̟l͟ ̮͕@͚̺͇̲̪̕B̖̟ͅe̥͍̭̻̪̼s͞c̝̤̬̣̳̝̦h̩͓̭̙ḭ͖͙͔z̥z̨̲̘̘͍a̤̠͖̯̲̟ͅ!̶̦̞̣̠̱͍͇


Fine. Your call. I won’t, though. And I was only repeating a very common theme here (BBS) about Cory’s often misleading/clickbaity headline writing, as a way to reinforce that this headline is utter tosh.

But seeing as you raise the point ref him also being a successful author of fiction, I did not realise that selling lots of books (and they are indeed eerily prescient and deal entertainingly, imaginatively and provocatively with current societal themes - I admire him for them) gave one a pass to make up fiction (untruths) about the news/real-world current events, and grant him an immunity from criticism of such behaviour.

For avoidance of doubt I like the way he writes fiction that does deal with the issues he addresses, and I admire and support his position - and campaigning - on other real-world issues (such as, DMCA, copyright, digital security and so on) but I sometimes think he risks doing his position some small harm by the way he presents some of these issues here on BB, especially when he ‘reports’ erroneously on real events. OK so BB is not a news outlet much less a journal of record, and I do not think it should necessarily behave as if it is - it’s a blog! But deliberately misleading its readers does us a disservice.

However, I am not disappointed in that - I was just commenting on the annoyingness - and predictability - of it. Why do BB readers need so often to correct what he writes for the benefit of other readers who may not otherwise realise they are being misled?

(And that’s all I have to say about this for now. It’s a commonly enough commented phenomenom and the thread does not need further derailing by yet another discussion of Cory’s habits. I was merely amplifying for others that the headline was nonsense - pure fiction. Yes you can accuse me of making that point too facetiously, or of hypocrisy for raising it more generally than only in respect of this particular headline and then saying the thread should not get taken further off-topic. The point remains.)


Burn the witch and his dark algorithmic sorcery.