Julian Assange won’t be sending out friend requests anytime soon. In an interview with Russia Today, the Wikileaks founder called Facebook “the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented,” claiming that the site is one of the top tools used by the U.S. government to spy on its citizens.
“Here we have the world’s most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations, and their communications with each other, their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to U.S. intelligence,” said Assange. “Facebook, Google, Yahoo—all these major U.S. organizations have built-in interfaces for U.S. intelligence.”
Although Facebook isn’t actually run by the U.S. intelligence community, Assange continued, “everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies in building this database for them.”
In an email to the New York Daily News responding to Assange’s comments, Facebook said that “the legal standards for compelling a company to turn over data are determined by the laws of the country, and we respect that standard,” but denied that it has been passing along any more information than is legally necessary.
"We don't respond to pressure, we respond to compulsory legal process," Facebook wrote. "There has never been a time we have been pressured to turn over data—we fight every time we believe the legal process is insufficient."