One day after news of PRISM surfaced — a program which reportedly enables the U.S. government to tap directly into the central servers of U.S.-based Internet companies — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has released a statement claiming that his company takes no part in PRISM.
This statement, pasted below, mirrors Google’s response quite closely; the similarities include the statement that neither companies provide “direct” sever access. Additionally, like Larry Page, Zuckerberg states that he hadn’t heard of PRISM before yesterday.
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.
The above statement leaves a number of questions unanswered, including whether or not indirect access — or any sort of real-time monitoring capabilities — were provided to the US government. We have reached out to Facebook in regards to the matter and will update this story when we hear back.
This story continues to evolve. Visit the links below (ordered chronologically) to learn more:
- Apple, Google, Microsoft and 6 other companies reportedly feeding NSA, FBI info
- The leaked slide which contains the dates when Apple, Microsoft, Google, and others joined PRISM
- Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft, AOL, PalTalk, Dropbox and Yahoo deny participation
- President Obama’s response to PRISM reports
- Google CEO Larry Page issues further PRISM denial
Image credit: Getty Images / Justin Sullivan