Mark Zuckerberg called President Obama over NSA spying, dubs it ‘a threat’ to the Internet

Mark Zuckerberg

In a Facebook post published Thursday, the social network’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said U.S. government surveillance efforts are “a threat” to a free and open Internet – so much so that he claims to have called President Barack Obama to express his “frustration” about the issue.

“The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat,” wrote Zuckerberg. “They need to be much more transparent about what they’re doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst.

“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.”

Zuckerberg says that the key to keeping the Internet “strong” is to “to keep it secure” through encrypted communications, two-factor authentication for logins, and helping other companies fix their security issues, which he says Facebook’s engineers regularly do.

“The Internet works because most people and companies do the same,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We work together to create this secure environment and make our shared space even better for the world.”

Because government policy solutions apparently remain far in the distance, says Zuckerberg, “it’s up to us – all of us – to build the internet we want.” This sentiment echoes that of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who on Monday told a crowd at the 2014 South by Southwest Interactive Festival via Google Hangouts video chat that developers can help strengthen Internet communications by incorporating end-to-end encryption in their products, which would make it financially unfeasible for the NSA or other surveillance actors to spy on the general public, rather than suspected terrorists and other criminals, as is currently the case.

“[The NSA] are setting fire to the future of the Internet,” said Snowden. “The people who are in this room now, you guys are all the firefighters, and we need you to help us fix this.”

Zuckerberg’s comments come one day after The Intercept’s Ryan Gallagher and Glenn Greenwald reported that, according to documents leaked by Snowden, the NSA created servers that impersonated Facebook to trick targets into exposing their computers to NSA malware. The NSA reportedly had the capabilities to infect “millions” of computers with covert viruses that gave spies complete access to files, and even the ability to remotely wipe targeted machines.

Read Zuckerberg’s full post below:

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 4.53.47 PM

Facebook no longer lets you save your friends’ birthdays to your own calendar

Facebook quietly removed a feature that allowed users to export and sync their friends’ birthdays to an external calendar like iCal or Google Calendar. While you can still export upcoming events -- parties, get-togethers, and the like --…
Social Media

Your Twitter name can change with the times, just like you do — here's how

Despite what you may or may not have heard, Twitter names aren't actually set in stone. Check out our quick-hit guide on how to change your Twitter username and display name in less than five minutes.

Reddit is finally back online after an hours-long desktop outage

Reddit is back online for desktop users after an hours-long outage early Thursday morning. Reddit's status page said it was still investigating some residual issues, so users may still have some trouble accessing the site. 
Social Media

Here’s why Twitter went down for an hour earlier on Thursday

Twitter is finally back online after going down for users around the globe late Thursday morning. The hour-long disruption made Twitter the latest major social media network to go offline over the past month
Social Media

Facebook now allows you to opt out of those ads that target your tastes

Tired of seeing Facebook ads that aren’t relevant to you? Now you can not only opt out of ads from that company, but you can also see why the ad was shown to you in the first place.

Stop Facebook from tracking you and using targeted ads with these tips

Facebook and businesses that use the site track what pages you like, your political affiliation, and even try to guess your race. All of this is done so the site can target you with relevant ads. Here's how to opt out.
Social Media

YouTube offers creators more ways to boost their bank accounts

Whether you're a top YouTube creator or just breaking into the game, the video-streaming site has some new features designed to help you please your fans and increase your bank balance.

President Trump attacks Facebook Libra, says it’s not dependable like the dollar

President Trump attacked Facebook's new Libra cryptocurrency on Thursday, claiming it will have "little standing or dependability" and that Facebook would need to seek a banking charter if it wanted to move forward.
Social Media

The FTC will hit Facebook with a $5 billion fine over privacy violations

Facebook has agreed to a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its numerous “privacy missteps." Once it goes through, this would be the largest FTC fine for a major technology company – and a huge chunk of…

Lua uses animated emotions to help you keep your plants happy and healthy

The Lua Smart Planter is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo to make this smiling plant pot a reality. The device helps you take care of your plants by showing their needs through a series of animated faces.

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.

Facebook says it won’t launch Libra until regulators are happy

Facebook says it won’t roll out its Libra cryptocurrency until it’s fully addressed regulatory concerns – though it added that regulation of the currency itself would largely happen in Switzerland, not the U.S.
Social Media

Twitter’s mobile-inspired dark mode desktop makeover isn’t just about looks may have a new look, but it's one that already feels familiar. The new design for Twitter's desktop version borrows heavily from the platform's mobile apps, with a sleeker look, a new dark mode, and easier navigation.
Social Media

Instagram is down again for some users. Here’s the latest on the outage

Instagram went down yet again on Thursday morning, the third time in just over a month that the social network has experienced issues. The outage began around 7 a.m. PT and seemed to get worse around 10 a.m. ET