Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Inc CEO on Wednesday says, “Revelations about U.S. government surveillance hurt users’ trust in Internet companies and that knowing more about the programs would help relieve some of the public concerns.”
Mark made a rare appearance in Washington at an event hosted by the Atlantic magazine. This 29-year-old social media billionaire expressed his urge to the federal government to tell the general public more about the requests for data it makes to Internet companies.
The Facebook Inc CEO also held meetings with the members of the Congress from both the parties to lobby for immigration reform.
He said,” “What I can tell from the data that I see at Facebook is that I think the more transparency and communication the government could do about how they’re requesting the data from us, the better everyone would feel about it. “
“From reading in the media, you couldn’t get a sense whether the number of requests that the government makes is closer to a thousand or closer to a 100 million. … I think the more transparency the government has, the better folks would feel.”
Zuckerberg was also seen expressing his concern regarding the outcry of the secret spy programs run by the National Security Agency and the U.S. response could alienate other countries and hurt innovation globally. In San Francisco last week, Zuckerberg opined that the government “blew it” on the spy programs.
“Response to the NSA issues that have blown up is a big deal for the Internet as a global platform. And some of the government statements I think have been profoundly unhelpful,” he said.
“‘Oh, we only spy on non-Americans.’ Gee thanks,” Zuckerberg further added, “We’re trying to provide an international service, not get crushed in those places either.”
Facebook analyzed that roughly around 1.1 billion people around the world uses its site each month, earlier this year.
Again a former spy contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the tech sector has been pushing for more disclosures about government data requests as Internet companies seeks to shake off the concerns about their involvement in vast secret U.S. surveillance programs.
Facebook joined hands with Yahoo! Inc, Google Inc and Microsoft Corp to ask the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for freedom to disclose aggregate data about the orders and requests for information they receive under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in the beginning of this month.
Zuckerberg, on Wednesday also said that the revelations about U.S. online surveillance had a much bigger impact on users’ trust in Facebook than any criticisms related to the company’s own privacy policies.
PRIORITY ON IMMIGRATION
Zuckerberg came to Washington because of the immigration reforms he wanted imply. Earlier, this year he came across an advocacy group, FWD.us that lobbies for a comprehensive immigration reform, promoting the concept of building a “knowledge economy.” The group has come under fire for ads that backed pro-immigration lawmakers on issues unrelated to immigration, such as oil drilling.
“We just want to be there to help support folks who are going to have to take challenging positions on something that’s going to be controversial but they ultimately believe is the right thing,” Zuckerberg said.
He was scheduled for sitdowns on Thursday with Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi as the House of Representatives. He poses an uphill battle for the immigration legislation which has already been passed by the Senate.
Zuckerburg was seen ditching his signature hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans in favor of a dark suit and tie on Wednesday as he made his way through the hallways of Congress. However, he was pretty optimistic on the legislation’s chances.
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