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
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 »
SHE’LL HAVE A ROLE WITH CLINTON CAMP
Wasserman Schultz to Resign at Week’s End
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

"After hours of private talks," Debbie Wasserman Schultz agreed to step down as chair of the Democratic National Committee after the convention ends. In the wake of the convention intrigue, Hillary Clinton announced she's making Wasserman Schultz "the honorary chair of her campaign's 50-state program."

Source:
MARCIA FUDGE TO PRESIDE
Wasserman Schultz Stripped of Convention Duties
15 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz "will not have a major speaking role or preside over daily convention proceedings this week," and is under increasing pressure to resign. The DNC Rules Committee on Saturday named Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge as "permanent chair of the convention." At issue: internal DNC emails leaked by Wikileaks that show how "the DNC favored Clinton during the primary and tried to take down Bernie Sanders by questioning his religion."

Source:
EARLY BUMP FOR TRUMP?
New Round of Polls Show a Tight Race
2 days ago
THE LATEST
  • A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
  • A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
  • And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.
BELLWETHER?
Candidates Deadlocked in Ohio
3 days ago
THE LATEST
17-POINT EDGE AMONG MILLENNIALS
Clinton Dominates Among Younger Voters
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

In an election between two candidates around 70 years of age, millennials strongly prefer one over the other. Hillary Clinton has a 47%-30% edge among votes 18 to 29. She also leads 46%-36% among voters aged 30 to 44.

Source:
×