Mark Zuckerberg Lambasts the NSA, Calls Obama to Complain
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg called President Obama on Wednesday night following the release of a report in the Intercept regarding the government’s use of the internet to aid the NSA‘s spying and hacking programs.
“I’ve called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform,” Zuckerberg’s post reads.
Zuckerberg followed up his phone call to the President with an exasperated blog post published Thursday afternoon that expressed his disapproval of the government’s tactics. “When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we’re protecting you against criminals, not our own government,” Zuckerberg wrote, addressing Facebook users. He continued with, “The US government should be a champion for the internet, not a threat. They need to be much more transparent about what they’re doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst.”
But Zuckerberg’s post may seem a bit hard to swallow for some readers, given that the company has suffered a great deal of negative publicity due to leaked NSA programs in the past. One user’s comment in response to Zuckerberg’s post sums up the irony of Zuckerberg’s frustration; “It’s cute when Facebook says they are concerned about your privacy.” Another mocks, “Keep Calm and Do not provide the Data to NSA.”
CNN Money adds that, “It may seem disingenuous for the leader of a giant tech company that hoards your data (and sells it wholesale) to point an angry finger at government surveillance.” According to CNN, however, Zuckerberg’s post was specifically meant to target the government’s alleged hacking of Facebook.
The Intercept report that fueled Zuckerberg’s frustrations said that, at times, the National Security Administration has created fake Facebook servers and used them to infect computers with malware, as well as take files off of their local drives, effectively “weaponizing” the internet, as on CNN article put it. In a statement, the NSA has denied claims that it has posed as Facebook or other websites.
“The NSA does not use its technical capabilities to impersonate U.S. company websites,” the agency said. “Nor does the NSA target any user of global Internet services without appropriate legal authority. Reports of indiscriminate computer exploitation operations are simply false,” the statement continues.