Zuckerberg: U.S. Government Is a 'Threat' to Internet Security

Image: Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook's 29-year-old billionaire creator Mark Zuckerberg speaks on the opening day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, on Feb. 24, 2014. LLUIS GENE / AFP - Getty Images file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he called President Barack Obama to vent his frustration over the “damage” the government has wreaked on Internet security.

In a post to Facebook on Thursday, Zuckerberg said he’s been “confused and frustrated” by repeated reports of government intrusions into private online communications.

“When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government,” he wrote.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the stage before delivering a keynote speech during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Feb. 24.ALBERT GEA / Reuters

Zuckerberg's message comes a day after a report from The Intercept, a publication co-founded by journalist Glenn Greenwald, claimed that the National Security Agency "masqueraded as a fake Facebook server" in order to infect targets' computers with malware. The NSA on Thursday denied that it impersonated Facebook or other social-media sites.

In his post, Zuckerberg said the U.S. government “should be the champion for the internet, not a threat.”

The 29-year-old Facebook founder also revealed he has shared his unhappiness about government surveillance techniques with Obama.

“I've called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform.”

Facebook is among several major tech companies that have complained about the limited information they can publicly disclose regarding requests from the government for customers’ data. The government has sought such data for counter-terrorism and other intelligence-related investigations.

— NBC News