Mark Zuckerberg addresses 'outrageous press reports about PRISM'

Summary:Facebook's CEO chimes in about the NSA PRISM scandal, and he isn't mincing words.

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Following in the footsteps of Google CEO Larry Page earlier today, Facebook's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has also issued a statement regarding its involvement in the brewing NSA scandal.

It's clear that all of the tech giants are signing the same tune: all of them are denying involvement in or even knowledge of the classified PRISM program.

Zuckerberg's memo is short but not sweet, noting that he wanted to "respond personally to the outrageous press reports about PRISM."

Here is a copy of the rest of the message:

Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. And if we did, we would fight it aggressively. We hadn't even heard of PRISM before yesterday.

When governments ask Facebook for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure.

We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe. It's the only way to protect everyone's civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term.

To recall, the Washington Post and the Guardian reported on Thursday that the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been secretly mining user data from the central servers at nine major Silicon Valley companies.

That group consists of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple, and video chat room community PalTalk. Dropbox was up next.

Apple came out on the defensive first, declaring it had never even heard of the PRISM project. Facebook and Microsoft also denied any involvement or a "back door" for U.S. government agencies.

Nevertheless, President Obama ( following suit from other government officials ) has spoken out in defense of the program, asking the American people to trust that the data is being used for national security purposes.

Topics: Government : US, Big Data, Legal, Privacy, Social Enterprise

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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