Mark Zuckerberg Condemns Feds for Using Facebook to Hack Into Computers

The U.S. government’s online surveillance is jeopardizing the Internet as we know it, Facebook’s CEO wrote Thursday.

Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a press conference at the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California on May 26, 2010. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
National Journal
Dustin Volz
Add to Briefcase
Dustin Volz
March 13, 2014, 12:08 p.m.

Face­book founder Mark Zuck­er­berg took to his own site Thursday to cri­ti­cize Pres­id­ent Obama and his ad­min­is­tra­tion for its secret spy­ing tac­tics and to urge great­er trans­par­ency of its on­line-sur­veil­lance pro­grams.

“The U.S. gov­ern­ment should be the cham­pi­on for the In­ter­net, not a threat,” Zuck­er­berg wrote on his Face­book page. “They need to be much more trans­par­ent about what they’re do­ing, or oth­er­wise people will be­lieve the worst.”

The missive was is­sued in par­tial re­sponse to re­ports this week that the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency has de­ployed spoofs of the so­cial net­work to in­fect com­puters with mal­ware “im­plants.” The Menlo Park, Cal­if.-based com­pany has denied hav­ing any know­ledge of any such pro­gram and said it’s new en­cryp­tion stand­ards would block any such hack­ing.

Zuck­er­berg enu­mer­ated the way his com­pany works to keep user pri­vacy se­cure on Face­book, ex­plain­ing that such safe­guards are the un­der­pin­nings of the In­ter­net and make it a “shared space” every­one can par­ti­cip­ate in.

But gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance is dis­rupt­ing what the In­ter­net is and wants to be, Zuck­er­berg said.

“That’s why I’ve been so con­fused and frus­trated by the re­peated re­ports of the be­ha­vi­or of the U.S. gov­ern­ment,” he said. “When our en­gin­eers work tire­lessly to im­prove se­cur­ity, we ima­gine we’re pro­tect­ing you against crim­in­als, not our own gov­ern­ment.”

Zuck­er­berg also said he has called Obama to share his frus­tra­tion “over the dam­age the gov­ern­ment is cre­at­ing for all of our fu­ture.” But “it seems like it will take a very long time for true full re­form,” the bil­lion­aire ad­ded.

UP­DATE: The Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency on Thursday denied us­ing a dop­pel­gang­er ver­sion of Face­book, say­ing it lacks the abil­ity to do so and only con­ducts for­eign in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tions that are “law­ful and ap­pro­pri­ate.”

What We're Following See More »
NRA Chief: Leftist Protesters Are Paid
1 days ago
Trump Still on Campaign Rhetoric
1 days ago
Trump Rails On Obamacare
1 days ago

After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."

Trump Goes After The Media
1 days ago

Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."

Report: Trump Asked FBI to Deny Russia Stories
1 days ago

"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.