Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg continued his push into political advocacy this weekend, taking to ABC's This Week to discuss immigration reform, Healthcare.gov, and NSA surveillance during an interview. On the security agency's widespread surveillance, Zuckerberg said that it was important to find a balance between "doing the right things" and to be clear about what it is that they're doing. Right now, he doesn't think the government has done a very good job of that: "I think the government really blew it on this one," Zuckerberg said, reiterating past remarks. "I honestly think that they're continuing to blow it in some ways, and I hope that they become more transparent in that part of it."
"I think the government really blew it on this one."
Zuckerberg's statements echo Facebook's own push for transparency and its desire to distance the network from recent leaks. Facebook has been embroiled in the surveillance scandal alongside Google, Yahoo, and other major tech companies after their names were all found on a slide listing parties that allegedly gave the NSA access to their data. Since then, Facebook has been among those openly and aggressively requesting permission to disclose more information on security requests.
But Zuckerberg's biggest political focus has been on immigration, which he tells This Week is "one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time." His advocacy group, FWD.us, has been pushing to make it easier for skilled workers to gain US citizenship, but recent opportunities for reform appear to have fallen apart in Congress. Still, Zuckerberg thinks it'll come eventually. "I’m fundamentally an optimistic person, as an entrepreneur," he said. "The vast majority of Americans want this to happen."
Asked about Healthcare.gov, Zuckerberg seemed to commiserate with those behind the struggling website. "You know, sometimes stuff doesn't work when you want it to. [Facebook has] certainly had plenty of mistakes and things that haven't worked the way that we want to." Unfortunately for the government's trouble web team, Zuckerberg's political interests aren't so directly related to his web expertise. Rather, Zuckerberg's interest in immigration reform — and in seeing an influx of new coders available for hire — seems to be what's come out of his role at Facebook.