It’s not surprising that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg would use Facebook to weigh in on reports that the National Security Administration has direct access to Facebook’s servers as part of its PRISM program. Zuckerberg called those reports “outrageous” and claimed never to have heard of PRISM.
I want to respond personally to the outrageous press reports about PRISM:
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.
When governments ask Facebook for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure.
We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe. It’s the only way to protect everyone’s civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term.
Facebook, of course, has for a while now been the Internet’s poster child for privacy concerns, which each new update to the popular service raising red flags about how personal information is stored and shared. Not only that; quite a few people noticed a remarkable similarity between Zuckerberg’s personal response and Google’s official statement on the matter, as issued by CEO Larry Page.
First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers. Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a “back door” to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.