Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, has spoken out against the way the NSA handled the public reveal of its PRISM surveillance program, saying that it made it very hard for technology companies like his, to assuage public concern and make customers feel protected.
Thse revelations were made at the recent TechCrunch Disrupt even in San Francisco, where Zuckerberg also said that companies like Facebook had a duty to customers and that the US government had made it very hard for tech firms, especially those operating overseas, to fulfil it.
“It’s our government’s job to protect all of us and also to protect our freedoms and protect our economy … and companies,” he said (via Politico). “And I think they did a bad job of balancing those things here. … So frankly, I think the government blew it. They blew it on communicating the balance of what they were going for here with this.”
While he was a little more commendable of the recent moves for more transparency, it was the initial response from the government that Zuckerberg was most critical of.
“The morning after this started breaking, a bunch of people asked them what they thought and the government’s comment was, ‘Oh don’t worry, basically we’re not spying on any Americans.’ Oh, wonderful, that’s really helpful to companies who are trying to serve people around the world and really going to inspire confidence in American Internet companies. Thanks for going out there and being clear about what you are doing. I think that was really bad.”
To date, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and Google have all announced that they're suing the US government in an effort to give them the legal right to release information to their customers, about what data they are sharing with the US government.
Kitguru Says: Not too surprising that Zuckerberg is mad about this, but I get the feeling it's more to do with the news about PRISM having a negative impact on Facebook rather than its customers. Especially since this is the guy that claimed a few years back that privacy was “dead.”
What do you guys think?