Mark Zuckerberg: ‘We Hadn’t Even Heard Of Prism’ Before Thursday

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded Friday to claims that the site had granted the U.S. government access to its servers. He called the reports “outrageous,” and noted that if Facebook were to ever receive such a request, the company would fight it.

Friday afternoon, Zuckerberg posted this message on his Facebook profile:

Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the U.S. or any other government direct access to our servers. 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. We hadn’t even heard of Prism before yesterday.

When governments ask Facebook for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure.

We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe. It’s the only way to protect everyone’s civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term.

The Guardian reported Thursday that it obtained a top-secret document indicating that the National Security Agency obtained direct access to the servers of Internet companies including Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, PalTalk, Skype, and AOL.

Readers: Do you believe Facebook was a part of the Internet spying initiative?