Google, Facebook condemn online spying

Jun 08, 2013 by Glenn Chapman

Google chief Larry Page and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg condemned online spying Friday and called for governments to be more revealing about snooping on the Internet.

"We understand that the US and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens' safety—including sometimes by using surveillance," Google chief and co-founder Larry Page said in a blog post.

"But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish."

Page put his personal stamp on the California-based 's denial that it allowed US to mine data from its servers.

boss Mark Zuckerberg did likewise in a statement posted online later in the day.

"Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers," he said.

"We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk... And if we did, we would fight it aggressively."

Google, Facebook and other technology firms have vehemently denied that they knowingly took part in a secret program called PRISM that gave the (NSA) and the FBI backdoors into servers.

"We have not joined any program that would give the US government or any other government direct access to our servers," Page said.

"Indeed, the US government does not have direct access or a 'backdoor' to the information stored in our data centers... We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday."

The program was reportedly set up in 2007 and has grown to become the most prolific contributor to President 's Daily Brief, the US leader's top-secret daily intelligence briefing.

Some of the biggest firms in were involved in the program, including Apple, AOL, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk, Skype, Yahoo and , reports said.

Internet titans contacted by AFP denied providing intelligence agencies with backdoors to networks and held firm that they only cooperated with legal "frontdoor" requests for information.

"This episode confirms what we have long believed—there needs to be a more transparent approach," Page said.

routinely publishes transparency reports listing numbers of requests for user data by governments and how they were handled.

"We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe," Zuckerberg said, speaking on behalf of the leading social network.

"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."

Explore further: Study shows role of media in sharing life events

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New reports allege vast US Internet spying sweep

Jun 07, 2013

US spies are secretly tapping into servers of nine Internet giants including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google in a vast anti-terror sweep targeting foreigners, explosive reports said Thursday.

But wait, there's more: A US spying Q&A

Jun 07, 2013

Wait, there's more? Yes, this was the week that America's intelligence secrets spilled out: Classified court orders. Top secret Power Point slides. Something called PRISM. It's pretty important stuff, once ...

Zuckerberg tops with Facebook employees

Mar 15, 2013

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg on Friday was ranked top chief executive in a Glassdoor survey of what current and former employees think of how top bosses are leading companies.

Recommended for you

Study shows role of media in sharing life events

22 hours ago

To share is human. And the means to share personal news—good and bad—have exploded over the last decade, particularly social media and texting. But until now, all research about what is known as "social sharing," or the ...

UK: Former reporter sentenced for phone hacking

Jul 24, 2014

(AP)—A former British tabloid reporter was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence Thursday for his role in the long-running phone hacking scandal that shook Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

Evaluating system security by analyzing spam volume

Jul 24, 2014

The Center for Research on Electronic Commerce (CREC) at The University of Texas at Austin is working to protect consumer data by using a company's spam volume to evaluate its security vulnerability through the SpamRankings.net ...

User comments : 0