Facebook's Zuckerberg Says Surveillance Systems Put the Internet as We Know it Under Threat

By Gerald Lynch on at

Social network kingpin Mark Zuckerberg has spoken out against the US government's use of surveillance systems to track web users, calling it a "threat" to the internet.

Revealing that he had personally called President Obama to air his concerns, the billionaire Facebook boss joins the likes of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and top executives at Google and Microsoft in slamming the privacy-invading practises of the NSA, and its UK counterpart the GCHQ.

“The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook blog post on Thursday. “They need to be much more transparent about what they’re doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst.”

"The Internet works because most people and companies do the same," he continued. "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 behaviour of the US government. When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we’re protecting you against criminals, not our own government.”

Of course, Zuckerberg himself stands on shaky ground here. Facebook has regularly been criticised for the way it handles its users' private details, and of course profits on that data through advertising. As much as Zuckerberg's argument seems genuinely impassioned, its also a golden opportunity for he and his company to look like the good guys when it comes to matters of privacy, a position they are rarely afforded. [Facebook]