Mark Zuckerberg addresses 'outrageous press reports about PRISM'

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

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10 comments
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  • Given the restrictions on the requests for information...

    ...he wouldn't be able to say if Facebook received these requests or not. Therefore why would we believe him?
    ye
    • That's not right

      Apparently, the justice department can require Verizon, Facebook, etc to not reveal a request has been made, but that doesn't mean that the justice department can require anyone to lie about it.

      In other words, if Zuckerberg says 'I can't answer that' there probably is such a request.

      If he says 'There has been no request', either there has been no request or he is lying about it for his own reasons (but not because he was compelled to lie).

      Or, if he says 'No comment', you really can't infer either way.
      Jake3.1
    • He flat out denied it

      That's a little stronger than the usual "cannot confirm or deny".
      John L. Ries
  • Let me translate you :

    "Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government ... like the one Verizon reportedly received." - But did, given facebook's was little different one...

    "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." - There are secret laws and secret courts so, no news here.

    "We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent ...." - So, why do you?
    giantiago
  • Farcebook is mind-numbingly stupid.

    I wouldn't even trust Zuckerberg with my grocery list.

    I don't get the fascination with social networks ... who wants to know about people's latest bowel movements or to see pictures of their pets.
    perrrob
  • Yeah, it's trendy

    tell everyone your really name, where you live, all of the contact choices, and what you want, can, will, .... do on the Internet is cool and awesome. You are ending yourself being a commodity where people can mine and sell your info as commodity. Internet is the worst privacy among all mode of communications if people want to believe. Smart phone anyone?
    anonymous99
  • Facebook proves many people or sheep

    Just who is it that uses and trusts Facebook?

    I'm asking about the people who post pictures of family, friends, personal events, photos from Christmas, etc...who are these millions and millions of people, anyway?

    Are there really that many people who willing publish their personal lives on Facebook and then expect one inch of privacy?

    Seriously?

    Why does FB even exist?

    I cannot ,for all the tea in China, understand how FB can be a profit making business, save for the fact that millions upon millions of sheep use it, delivering huge volumes of data to this idiotic corporation, who will become the targets of the advertisers who buy that data.

    IMHO, any person who uses FB, including my friends, are foolish and are suckers for even signing up with Zuckerberg's illusion. I don't think that just because someone is foolish enough to use this site that they deserve to be victims. But they also don't deserve the right to be shocked and surprised.
    Raid60
  • This was written by a corporate lawyer, not Zuckerberg

    Lawyerly qualifications like "direct access", "in bulk", etc. More holes than swiss cheese, and big enough to drive a Kenworth through.
    meh1309
  • very scary

    should we trust these people?
    kailash.vyas-24735558909922163793932460048163
  • Out of the woodwork

    The nutjobs (tea partiers included) are really coming out of the woodwork on this one. I wonder if they've stopped to consider that, by breaking cover, they might have put themselves on the list for heightened scrutiny? Just sayin'.
    Sir Name