Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is the latest technology exec to deny participation in the National Security Agency’s reported PRISM program.
Multiple reports claim the NSA has access to data from Facebook and other companies, such as Yahoo, Google, AOL and YouTube, which it uses to spy on private messages between users.
Zuckerberg issued a statement via his own Facebook page, which says in part:
“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.”
Facebook’s CEO Larry Page issued a similar missive in a blog post, also denying “direct access to our servers.”
Though executives from all nine companies included in reports on the PRISM program have denied involvement or knowledge of the program, a report by Wired casts some doubt on the transparency of the companies’ statements. The website points out Zuckerberg and Page both deny giving the government “direct access” — hey word: “direct” — and points to similarities in wording of the denials by all of the execs.
The data spying program reportedly started with Microsoft in 2007 and added Yahoo the following year. Google, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL, and Apple are said to have signed up between 2009 and 2012.
The news of the alleged PRISM programs comes on the heels of an NSA scandal involving Verizon customers’ phone data that has U.S. citizens calling Barack Obama‘s current presidency “George W. Bush’s fourth term.”
So, what do you think: Is Zuckerberg letting the government spy on your Facebook messages? After so many privacy missteps in recent years for the social media giant, it doesn’t seem that far-fetched, does it? Vote in our poll below: