Mark Zuckerburg To Obama: I'm Frustrated Over Government Surveillance

Zuck commits Facebook to the fight for a more secure and open Internet.

In a public Facebook post Thursday afternoon, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg called on his 26 million followers to unite and build "the internet we want," after "expressing frustration" to President Obama over government surveillance.

"The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat," Zuckerburg wrote. "They need to be much more transparent about what they're doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst."

"I've called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform."

This isn't the first time the Facebook CEO has been critical of security infringements by government agencies. Earlier this year, Facebook was one of eight tech gianst to draft an open letter to President Obama and Congress, calling for "a real need for greater disclosure and new limits on how governments collect information."

The full text of the post is quoted below:

As the world becomes more complex and governments everywhere struggle, trust in the internet is more important today than ever.

The internet is our shared space. It helps us connect. It spreads opportunity. It enables us to learn. It gives us a voice. It makes us stronger and safer together.

To keep the internet strong, we need to keep it secure. That's why at Facebook we spend a lot of our energy making our services and the whole internet safer and more secure. We encrypt communications, we use secure protocols for traffic, we encourage people to use multiple factors for authentication and we go out of our way to help fix issues we find in other people's services.

The internet works because most people and companies do the same. We work together to create this secure environment and make our shared space even better for the world.

This is why I've been so confused and frustrated by the repeated reports of the behavior of the US government. When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government.

The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat. They need to be much more transparent about what they're doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst.

I've called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform.

So it's up to us — all of us — to build the internet we want. Together, we can build a space that is greater and a more important part of the world than anything we have today, but is also safe and secure. I'm committed to seeing this happen, and you can count on Facebook to do our part.

[Image: Max Kiesler on Flickr]

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2 Comments

  • There's a simple fix to the entire issue. Just give the websites the ability to charge the Government for access to us and our data! They're already reaping billions charging others. It ain't like we can stop them from doing that, so whatever. Make the Government a paying customer and own up to how it all works anyway.