We’re exercising our freedom and taking off the 3rd to celebrate the 4th. See you Monday!Hide

Mark Zuckerberg Says The US Has Become A Threat To, Rather Than A Champion For, The Internet

from the indeed dept

Better late than never: it appears that Mark Zuckberberg is finally really pissed off about the NSA surveillance efforts. This comes in the wake of the recent reports that the NSA sought to build a malware empire by setting up a bogus Facebook server to intercept traffic and fool users. While there have been indications that Facebook hasn't been happy about all of this, Zuckerberg has taken to his Facebook page to really dig in, noting that he'd even called President Obama to express his thoughts on the matter.
I've called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future.
Also, and perhaps more importantly, he notes that the US government has become a threat to the internet:
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.
Earlier this week we wrote about Google's Eric Schmidt directly claiming that the company was attacked by the NSA, and now Zuckerberg is publicly stating that the government has become a threat to the internet. From the very beginning of the Snowden revelations, we've been saying that the tech industry needed to speak out more vehemently about the kind of damage the NSA is doing to a huge part of our economy and the ability to innovate. It's taken some time but it's good to see these companies finally saying this stuff.

Of course, words alone may not do very much. Zuckerberg admits that reform may be a long time coming, but instead is focusing on how the tech industry can build better (read: more encrypted, more secure) systems to fight back against this "threat." Google recently announced that all of its searches are encrypted, but that's just a start. The tech industry has to move to a world where encryption is the norm, and not the exception any more. It may suck in the way that it sucked when homes and cars finally "required" locks, but at this point it's a necessity.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 2:52pm

    Not sure what to think...

    On one hand, you have a horribly invasive, omnipresent system that can track every moment of your life, even if you don't give out much information. On the other hand, the other one's just as invasive, omnipresent and can track every moment of your life without needing much information.

    Hmm... Which evil is less evil?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Not sure what to think...

    The one that only wants information about and from me to sell to advertisers. If it really came down to it, if I absolutely had to make a choice, I'd choose Facebook any day of the week, because they can't throw me in prison or prevent me from travelling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    HegemonicDistortion (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Not sure what to think...

    I'm gonna go with the one that doesn't stand in the middle of your intended link and inject malware to steal info from your computer.

    (Hey fellow gawerkerite (??)!)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 4:12pm

    Obama has been on a lot of calls lately...

    Hey Marky, expose everything you know about the NSA involvement in your company + do your own internal investigation and then maybe you would be doing something beyond lip service.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Vel the Enigmatic, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Not sure what to think...

    Neither is good for us if you think about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Not sure what to think...

    facebook is highly unlikely to kick in my door, steal all my shit, and send me to prison. they just want to sell shit to me. keep the feds out and i don't care about ignoring more marketing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    edpo, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 4:52pm

    NSA Plants

    I would hope Facebook, Google et all are working to flush out the NSA moles in their employee ranks. Once identified, fire them publicly and sue the government for whatever you can...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 4:53pm

    Pot meet kettle.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    coward (anon), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 4:54pm

    Universal encryption

    And where are we to find an encryption algorithm that we can trust? The NSA appears to have broken all of the ones we are currently using. And by "broken" I mean either cracked or corrupted. I don't trust any AES derivative and I know for a fact not to trust elliptical curve as supplied by the government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Universal encryption

    The NSA appears to have broken all of the ones we are currently using. And by "broken" I mean either cracked or corrupted.

    Not true. Snowden pointed out that encryption, done right, works, and there are plenty done right.

    Yes, NSA has corrupted some, but not all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 5:19pm

    I guess this means

    Zuckerberg has unfriended Obama?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 5:27pm

    Typical - it's ok elsewhere, but not in my backyard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 5:44pm

    'Better the evil you know than the one you don't'

    Nah, better idea would be to leave them in place and use them to feed misinformation to the various spy groups, and allow them to make 'changes' to completely bogus hardware while the real stuff remains untouched.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 6:01pm

    Like Zuckerberg has any standing?

    This reminds me of the smack talk that drivels out of every Global Warming fanatics mouth as they jet about the planet on private jets.

    The truth doesn't even matter when someone does the very thing they preach against. Hypocrisy! To follow such a one reveals those whom have a clear & present cognitive dissonance.

    Facebook lead the way, showing that our privacy is not only for sale, but also free to be taken away from the idiot masses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 6:06pm

    The most disturbing thing to me in this post

    is the fact that Mark Z. has a direct phone line to the president. I think this shows just how bought and paid for our government is. Could I call President Obama directly? Doubtful. But if I had a Billion dollars I bet I could.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Mr. Z, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: Not sure what to think...

    The story does not mention the entity to which you refer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Like Zuckerberg has any standing?

    I'm reasonably certain that Facebook isn't setting up fake servers to launch man in the middle attacks, and installing hidden malware on people's computers. They also aren't bribing and/or infiltrating security organizations to weaken encryption standards. They also aren't approaching telephone companies with a suitcase full of money in one hand, and a NSL or a court order in the other to track information about every phone call you make.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Universal encryption

    Try DJB's suite. The most famous is Curve25519 (key exchange), but there's also Ed25519 (digital signature), Blake and Blake2 (hashing), Salsa20 and ChaCha20 (encryption), Siphash (a different kind of hashing), Poly1305 (authentication; the original proposal uses AES, but you can try AGL's variant instead, which uses ChaCha20), and many, many others. Just forget about using his code; it's too idiosyncratic. Use other people's implementations of his algorithms.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 6:41pm

    Firesheep

    We should thank the creators of the Firesheep plugin, which forced Facebook to enable HTTPS by default.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    tony, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 7:00pm

    wow

    i am actually surprised that mr. zuckerberg admitted that the us government is a threat to the internet... and i feel he is correct, subverting the encryption standard for US interest is a threat to freedom of the people of the world. and as an american i feel ashamed that "our" government would do this in our name... to all the people of the world, I am soooo sorry! I am not complicit with the actions taken by "my" government

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 7:03pm

    Re: The most disturbing thing to me in this post

    "Yo Prez, I'm gonna delete your profile if you don't quit that out..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Craig Welch (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 7:31pm

    Re: Not sure what to think...

    Which is less evil? The one you don't have to sign up for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 9:17pm

    Re: Re: Like Zuckerberg has any standing?

    So because his privacy sins are lesser than NSA/Gov you now give a pass? Don't let me stop, when the bad guy stabs you in the back after getting you to rally and support them remember what you signed up for!

    Its like saying the dirtbag that only has dirty pictures of your daughter is okay to be your friend since they talked trash about the dirtbag that kidnapper her!

    In short... Is it just too much to ask that we choose the people we are prepared to get behind out of the NON-hypocrite bucket instead of the hypocrite one? No wonder this country is going downhill fast... People forget everything in 2 damn minutes!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 9:28pm

    Re: Re: Not sure what to think...

    A post about taking the lesser of 2 evils is rated as insightful?

    Does not take a lot of insight to choose to swallow a rabbit turd instead of a steaming cow-pie when someone makes those the only choices for themselves.

    Tsk Tsk...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Catweasel (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 10:39pm

    Re: Not sure what to think...

    The one without guns, gagging orders, drones, the power to kidnap, torture, indefinitely detain and subject to trial by military tribunal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Catweasel (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 10:42pm

    Re: Re: Not sure what to think...

    Most importantly, the one that I can tick no to under 'accept terms and conditions'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 10:45pm

    Nope

    They need to be much more transparent about what they're doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst.


    Zuckerberg is just wrong.

    Before the leaks, we had no transparency, and almost nobody thought that the NSA was working to systematically break the internet. Now we have transparency, and it turns out that they are trying to break the internet. Saying that people will "believe the worst" only works when the NSA isn't actually doing things that are worse than most people would find plausible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 11:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Like Zuckerberg has any standing?

    Who said anything about giving him a pass? The point is that the simple fact of the matter is that Facebook (and Google for that matter) aren't doing the thing they preaching against. They are calling foul on shit that would be flat out illegal if Facebook or Google did it, but the government justifies in the name of "National Security". That's why the word "privacy" doesn't appear in Zuckerberg's complaint. He doesn't care about privacy, he cares about the government sodomizing network security until an army of rats can crawl through the gaping hole.

    Furthermore, even if he was being a hypocrite and advocating for privacy, his hypocrisy would not invalidate his point. The truth doesn't stop being the truth simply because it's spoken by a habitual liar. To the contrary, it suggests that the truth is even more profound or fundamental that even the habitual liar goes against their nature to speak it. Case in point, Feinstein is being a total hypocrite when she bitches about the CIA spying on her staffers while she defends the NSA for doing the same thing to the rest of the god damned planet. That does not change the fact that she is right to call the CIA out for spying on her staffers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    Catweasel (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 11:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not sure what to think...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 11:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not sure what to think...

    Of course it is, in this day and age. Surprisingly, Facebook is the lesser of these two evils.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 11:54pm

    Re: Re: Universal encryption

    And I would disagree with that, as I would not exclude the possibility that the NSA has corrupted something that could just be seen as a miinor bug...unless you knew it was there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 3:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Not sure what to think...

    Thankfully he is talking about a hypothetical scenario where he is forced to choose while pointing exactly why the Government must be kept away from the absolute data collection. Also, you can easily confuse Facebook and other ad-oriented businesses and if you want to hide your activities there are tools like proxies or VPNs to further increase your privacy. If the Govt is dead set in spying you they will simply install a tap in your wires and no amount of steps will prevent them from screwing you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 4:30am

    Who cares?

    Spammer Mark Zuckerberg is a sociopathic asshole. Anybody who cares what he thinks or says is seriously in need of remedial education.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 4:59am

    Re: Nope

    "almost nobody thought that the NSA was working to systematically break the internet"

    Ignorance is bliss, has been for like forever

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 6:14am

    > They need to be much more transparent about what they're doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst.

    Yes, but that would mean admitting they ARE doing the WORST we're already imagining. So from their point of view there's nothing to gain by admitting to it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    ChrisB (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Not sure what to think...

    So don't go on Facebook you arrogant twit. Hmm, a site which I freely subscribe to and provide personal data, somehow has my personal data?! What is wrong with you people?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    ChrisB (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 6:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Like Zuckerberg has any standing?

    I give him a pass, like any sane person would. Every "sin" Facebook commits, it commits with full participation and agreement by its members. You two really don't give anyone any credit for being able to read, or string a few thoughts together.

    Look, we get it, you don't like Facebook. So just unsubscribe and quit complaining.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 7:02am

    Yeah only after you gave them everything already, Zuck you douchebag.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 7:07am

    Re: Who cares?

    He's the CEO of a well known, far reaching corporation. It's only natural for people to care about what he says as he's in a position to make waves.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    mathman, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 8:04am

    Sell Out

    Zuckerberg has no credibility. Facebook is as bad as the NSA. Just like the government, his numerous data collection vacuuming tricks had to be outed by users.

    He's also the guy that wants to bring in more lower cost foreign workers via visas rather than hire or train unemployed Americans already here.

    His concern now about the government "ruining" the internet is quite late, about a decade. Where has he been, having wine coolers with Senator Feinstein?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 8:48am

    Re: wow

    I remember the "I'm Sorry" website that popped up after Bush JR decided to expand the War of Terror beyond Afghanistan. Maybe another needs to be started in regards of the general behavior of the U.S. government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: wow

    Except the world doesn't want an apology. They want us to get our house in order.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 8:50am

    Re: Who cares?

    But he's a rich and powerful sociopathic asshole. It makes all the difference.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 8:52am

    Re: Sell Out

    "Facebook is as bad as the NSA"

    No, it's really not. Facebook is bad, yes, but you don't have to use it, and the information they collect about you isn't going to be used to do terrible things to you or to subvert our government and society.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Universal encryption

    That's just simple paranoia. Technically everything, not just encryption, could have been subverted for use as a spy tool, so your statement is functionally meaningless.

    We have no, as in zero, evidence that anything other than a small handful of crypto schemes have been weakened. Perhaps they have, but it does no good to start jumping at shadows.

    It's better to treat crypto as it should have always been treated: a method of delaying when the bad guy can read the message. Using crypto doesn't mean, and has never meant, that the secret it protects will be kept indefinitely.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    FM Hilton, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 9:50am

    Calls to a President

    So everyone is wondering how come Zuckerberg can call the President, and get him on the phone.

    On a scale of 'famous people one should know and care about", he's about a 5, and others like Bill Gates, and all the Silicon Valley honchos are on it too, along with some pretty famous other people.

    Wouldn't you take a call from him, too, if you were a politician? Would you dare to refuse a call from Bill Gates?

    Of course not. These people have the influence and power to change a whole lot of minds and anyone in Washington who ignores them is doing so at their peril.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2014 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Sell Out

    To put it in more concrete terms, Facebook and the advertisers they sell to do not care that you're making purchases suitable primarily for growing and smoking marijuana. They'll just suggest pro-weed groups on Facebook, and advertise to you things like snacks, and pro-drug lawyers offering their services in your area.

    The NSA on the other hand is interested and will have a quiet word with their friends at the DEA and FBI, one of whom will likely be sending some folks to bust through your front door with machine guns drawn, shoot your dog as it comes running up to greet them as your children watch, and demand your wife tell them where you are, while you're at work. Then come trial time they won't tell you that they only became suspicious of you because they violated your fourth amendment rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Universal encryption

    "We have no, as in zero, evidence" We didnt have evidence before Snowden either... juss sayin.
    -
    Sorry but if I see a shadow... im going to shine a light in that direction to see whats there.
    -
    In this day and age of surveillance... paranoia is not such a bad thing.
    -
    Just because I am paranoid doesn't necessarily mean someone isn't watching me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 14th, 2014 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Universal encryption

    "We didnt have evidence before Snowden either... juss sayin."

    Not true at all. There was quite a lot of evidence, long before Snowden. That's why nothing that's been revealed has been a true surprise to those of us who've been following this for decades. We just had no definitive proof until Snowden.

    "im going to shine a light in that direction to see whats there."

    Me too. That's rational. What's not rational is assuming something until the light has been shined (or at least until the shadows have been carefully observed.)

    "paranoia is not such a bad thing."

    Paranoia is always a bad thing. It decreases your level of safety and security from the actual threats. But caution nowadays is based on something real, and isn't paranoia.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Mar 16th, 2014 @ 3:23am

    Re: Re: Sell Out

    No, you don't have to use it.

    But friends and family may use it on your behalf without your consent.

    A young relative gets married and decides to upload wedding photos with tags identifying people...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2014 @ 2:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Sell Out

    Yes, that alone is seriously bad enough. Not to mention Facepalm's shadow profiles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2014 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Not sure what to think...

    Tell that to Alchemax and their Private Security Forces.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.