Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the latest tech company CEO to vehemently deny granting government access to its servers. In a post today, he said he wanted to "respond personally to the outrageous press reports about PRISM," and, like Google and Apple, said that "We hadn't even heard of PRISM before yesterday. " Zuckerberg used strong language to defend Facebook's policies:
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.
Zuckerberg said that Facebook does, of course, receive government requests for Facebook information, but that Facebook reviews "make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law." The sentiment echoes a Microsoft statement to The Verge, where the company said that "we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers." Like Google CEO Larry Page, Zuckerberg called for more transparency when it comes to government "programs aimed at keeping the public safe."
"We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure."
Earlier today, President Obama admitted to the existence of programs that collected phone call metadata as well as a program that tracked email — though he said it did not target US citizens. In both cases, Mr. Obama said that Congress was fully aware of the programs.
Each company that has denied participating in PRISM has given a remarkably similar, consistent message along the the lines of not providing the government "direct access" to servers, leaving the extent and methodology of PRISM unclear.