Mark Zuckerberg called Barack Obama to 'express frustration' over surveillance

Filed Under: Facebook, Featured, Privacy

Mark Zuckerberg, Wikimedia CommonsMark Zuckerberg has phoned the US president to vent his frustrations over alleged internet surveillance.

In a Facebook posting Mark Zuckerberg said the US government should be "the champion for the internet, not a threat."

Zuckerberg says Facebook spends large amounts of energy making the whole internet safer and more secure.

He explained that the company encrypts communication, encourages users to employ multiple authentication factors and helps other services fix issues it discovers. He goes on to say:

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.

Apparently frustrated at a lack of transparency from the government, Zuckerberg flicked through his list of contacts and found someone whom he thought could help:

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.

A White House official later confirmed that the pair had spoken about recent press reports of alleged US intelligence activities.

Zuckerberg's comments and conversation with Obama come in the same week that the creator of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, made a call for people to protest against surveillance. Berners-Lee also suggested that the internet requires a 'Magna Carta' bill of rights to ensure that it remains independent and accessible to all.

Image of ZZZZ courtesy of Shutterstock.

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15 Responses to Mark Zuckerberg called Barack Obama to 'express frustration' over surveillance

  1. Pot called Kettle to express frustration over blackness.

    • The amount of surveillance that this government has stooped to against it's own citizens has ranked it right to the top of the list of the old "Axis of Evil" category. Great job boys! Sarcasm, unfortunately not needed.....

  2. BM · 193 days ago

    Unfortunately, the actions of the US government will probably mean that more technology development and hosting will be off shored. The US is actively sabotaging the last significant industry in which they are a global leader.

  3. Perhaps if he really cares he should publish Obama's phone number on his Facebook page; or even better, everyone's Facebook page.

    • Laurence Marks · 190 days ago

      > Perhaps if he really cares he should publish Obama's phone number on his Facebook page; or even better, everyone's Facebook page.

      Not necessary. It's +1-202-456-1111 . Like the address, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, most Americans grow up knowing it.

  4. I guess Mark doesn't like the competition.

  5. Rob · 192 days ago

    "Berners-Lee also suggested that the internet requires a 'Magna Carta' bill of rights to ensure that it remains independent and accessible to all."

    I think there to late for that. Its already being censored

  6. Andrew · 192 days ago

    never did like the NSA or GCHQ spying on innocent people. time both these departments are ordered to stop spying on the public but rather pursue individuals that are known criminals or terrorists and not before obtaining a court order. This must be done legally, no more under handedness.....

  7. John Smith · 191 days ago

    This is quite funny.

    People like Google and Facebook criticising surveillance, data mining and the end of privacy.

    I don't think GCHQ has ever actually read my emails - they might have them but they don't have the resources to read even the emails of all suspected terrorists, let alone all my emails.

    But send an email about pensions via Google and watch the pensions adverts spring up, not only on Google but on a string of other sites I access.

    Would Zuckerberg be able to say his organisation is not accessing and using data posted by users ? I don't think he can.

  8. Gabor · 190 days ago

    Let's not to forget. People signed up themselves to Facebook and shared all their personal details happily, unlike NSA. So there is a BIG difference!

    • Bob · 190 days ago

      Sure, but the reality is Facebook are more likely to invade your privacy than the NSA.

  9. jonathanpdx · 190 days ago

    Amazing what one can do when one has lots of money.

    Of course our country never has been "of the people, by the people and for the people"; that's just an illusion. Reality is our nation is "of the rich, by the rich and for the rich."

    OK, you can all go back to your beer and sports and/or entertainment shows now.

  10. Bob · 190 days ago

    And I was led to believe the yanks don't do irony - ego trip of the year award once more to Mark 'you're in safe hands' Zuckerberg.

  11. Gil Favor · 189 days ago

    One thief phoning another to whine about thievery...hilarious.

  12. NC Observer · 189 days ago

    What a whiner! Do a deal with the devil and then express outrage at the cost. Pathetic.

    Here's the thinking from this font of intellection. Firstly, get into bed with the organs of state security assuming your profits will be protected. Secondly, assume the same government (your new partner) will protect internet freedom-a vital business driver-by continuing the management of ICANN.

    Oops. What a surprise. Betrayed on both accounts by your partner.

    From those few observant securities analysts out there I would expect some sell recommendations in the not too distant future.

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About the author

Lee Munson is the founder of Security FAQs, a social media manager with BH Consulting and a blogger with a huge passion for information security.