Mark Zuckerberg has just taken to Facebook to personally respond to the accusations that Facebook is involved in PRISM, an alleged secret government program that gives the government access to user information, denying that Facebook has ever given any government “direct access” to its servers.
This comes just hours after Google responded to the unfolding events regarding PRISM, which reportedly allows the NSA and FBI access to the servers and user information of multiple major US tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple.
Zuck’s response isn’t that different from Larry Page’s:
I want to respond personally to the outrageous press reports about PRISM:
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 post has over 56,000 likes at the time of writing.
It’s worth noting that the wording in Page’s statement and Zuckerberg’s statement is very similar. Just check out the Doc in this tweet from Alex Madrigal:
All of the companies accused of participating in the program have denied their participation, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Dropbox, PalTalk, and Aol. Five out of eight of those companies denied giving “direct access” to servers to any government agencies. At least half of them have said “they never heard of PRISM”. Page and Zuckerberg both said verbatim that they hadn’t heard of PRISM “until yesterday”.
The seeming coordination here is just one floating and possible theory. The other is that the domino effect was necessary. Once one company denies participation (regardless of the truth, which we clearly are very unsure of right now), the rest must follow suit.