Zuckerberg on NSA: 'Government Blew It'

Marissa Mayer also talks government surveillance

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 12, 2013 2:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – Mark Zuckerberg and Marissa Mayer were both asked about the newly revealed NSA surveillance programs at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference yesterday, and neither had anything positive to say, the Guardian reports. "Frankly, I think the government blew it," Zuckerberg said, adding that he believes the government did a "bad job" of balancing its commitment to national security with individuals' privacy rights. He also wasn't pleased with the government's tactics after the story leaked: "The government response was, 'Oh don't worry, we're not spying on any Americans.' Oh, wonderful: That's really helpful to companies trying to serve people around the world, and that's really going to inspire confidence in American internet companies."

He predicts that "we are not at the end of this. I wish that the government would be more proactive about communicating. We are not psyched that we had to sue in order to get this and we take it very seriously," he said. As for Mayer, she said she's "proud to be part of an organization that from the beginning, in 2007, has been skeptical of—and has been scrutinizing—those requests [from the NSA]." But why didn't Yahoo reveal the surveillance to the public? "Releasing classified information is treason and you are incarcerated," she said. "We think it make more sense to work within the system." (Facebook, meanwhile, is facing new scrutiny over its proposed new privacy policies.)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about Instagram's new video feature at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, June 20, 2013.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about Instagram's new video feature at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, June 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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