Online privacy has been back in the headlines after a recent revelation that NSA posed as Facebook to infect users’ computers. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, recently called President Barack Obama to ‘express frustration’ over the whole fiasco.
NSA has become almost synonymous with an organization which actively tries, through hook or crook, to keep a control over the data flow online and use it for surveillance purposes. The agency has virtually used every half-legal measure to make this happen, and yet its power remain unmitigated.
Things took a nastier turn a few days earlier when another revelation brought to light the fact that NSA had been posing as Facebook to infect computers with malware. This not only brings a bad name to Facebook, a US company, it also erodes the trust of users on online services as well as on NSA itself. The shocking part is that despite all the leaks, revelations and such, NSA hasn’t budged in its stance to illegally spy on US and non-US citizens on the pretext of national security.
In view of this, it is understandable that Zuckerberg has reached out to President Obama. According to Zuckerberg, he called the President and told him that the problem of online surveillance by the likes of NSA isn’t going to be solved anytime soon.
In an online post, Zuckerberg talked about the call and wrote, “The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat. 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.”
He goes on saying that Facebook engineers primarily aim to protect users against criminals, and not the US government. So the government should stop trying to damage the reputation and standing of the internet companies by using their name as a tool for online spying. Sadly, President Obama’s response highlights the weak political will that is currently prevalent towards the issue of online privacy. Some analysts have even alleged that NSA has become a state within a state, commanding more power than the White House and dictating its own terms.