Facebook’s Zuckerberg on Gov’t. Surveillance: ‘They Blew It’

(image source: TechCrunch) BY EVAN THOMAS Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had some strong
words for the U.S. government this week at TechCrunch’s disrupt conference. Zuckerberg believes the American public deserves
more transparency and accountability concerning data-gathering practices than the government
has displayed so far. “Frankly, I think that the government blew
it. They blew it on communicating the balance of what they were going for with this.” (via
TechCrunch) It’s harsh language, but Gizmodo suggests
Zuckerberg just wants to set the record straight. Facebook was named as complicit in the NSA’s
PRISM data collection program, though it has said no government entities have direct access
to its servers. (via Gizmodo) “When Facebook is asked for data or information
about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable
laws…” (via PolicyMic) And Facebook wants to make those requests
common knowledge. The social network partnered with Yahoo earlier this week to sue the government
for the right to publish more information on governmental data requests. (via The Verge) Of course, such transparency is a two-way
street. Even as it pushes for more accountability, Facebook is about to weather an FTC inquiry
into its recently changed privacy policy. Regulators want to know if the new language
fulfills the requirement for explicit consent to use of private data. (via The New York
Times) Zuckerberg will have a chance to argue his
positions more directly in the coming week. Politico reports Zuckerberg is meeting with
Speaker John Boehner and other House Republicans next Thursday, for “a broad discussion of
issues related to Facebook.” (via Politico)

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