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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says US spying a threat to the internet

Warwick Ashford

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said the US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat.

“They need to be much more transparent about what they're doing, otherwise people will believe the worst,” Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post.

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Zuckerberg’s comments came a day after a report – based on documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden – claimed the US National Security Agency used a fake Facebook server to infect computers with spying malware.

The report also claimed the UK intelligence agency GCHQ played an integral role in developing a surveillance malware campaign conducted by the NSA.

In February 2014, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Zuckerberg said the US government "blew it" and its actions could damage US internet companies.

Facebook is among the top US technology companies concerned about how broken trust in the internet will affect its business in the wake of Snowden’s revelations about mass surveillance by US and UK intelligence agencies.

“To keep the internet strong, we need to keep it secure. That's why at Facebook we spend a lot of our energy making our services and the whole internet safer and more secure,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Facebook has joined Google, Apple, Twitter, AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo to form an alliance called Reform Government Surveillance.

The group has written a letter to the US president and Congress, contending that current internet surveillance "undermines” freedom.

Zuckerberg said he called President Barack Obama to "express frustration" over US digital surveillance.

“Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Echoing the sentiments of World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee, he said: “It’s up to us – all of us – to build the internet we want.

“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.”

Earlier this week, Berners-Lee launched a campaign calling for a “free, open and truly global internet” to mark the 25th anniversary of his invention.

The Web We Want campaign – set up by the inventor’s World Wide Web Foundation – calls for the drafting of an “internet users' bill of rights” for every country.

“As more and more people awaken to the threats against our basic rights online, we must start a debate – everywhere – about the web we want,” said Berners-Lee.


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