Mark Zuckerberg speaks out against the NSA.
Mark Zuckerberg isn't happy, and for good reason.
Documents leaked by Edward Snowden on Wednesday claim that the NSA has erected fake Facebook servers in order to conduct surveillance on millions of computers. When a watched individual sits down at his/her PC and attempts to load up Facebook, the individual is redirected to a fake NSA server. While downloading the page, the user also downloads a virus that siphons information from his/her computer.
"When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government," Zuckerberg says in an open letter to Facebook users. "The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat."
Zuckerberg said that he called President Barack Obama to express his frustrations over the damage the government is creating for everyone. Zuckerberg didn't go into any details about the call, only saying that it seems as though true full reform will take a very long time to achieve.
A Facebook representative told The Wall Street Journal that the social network hasn't seen any evidence that the NSA is re-directing Facebook users to fake servers. In fact, the method described in the leak will not work given that Facebook began using a higher level of security last year.
"To keep the internet strong, we need to keep it secure," Zuckerberg writes. "That's why at Facebook we spend a lot of our energy making our services and the whole internet safer and more secure. We encrypt communications, we use secure protocols for traffic, we encourage people to use multiple factors for authentication and we go out of our way to help fix issues we find in other people's services."
He says that the government needs to be more transparent about what they're doing, or otherwise everyone will assume the worst.
"It's up to us -- all of us -- to build the internet we want," Zuckerberg writes. "Together, we can build a space that is greater and a more important part of the world than anything we have today, but is also safe and secure."
"I'm committed to seeing this happen, and you can count on Facebook to do our part," he concludes.
In a follow-up statement received by the Wall Street Journal, the NSA says it monitors communications "exclusively where there is a foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purpose." The firm also says that "all of NSA's operations are strictly conducted under the rule of law."