Menu
NSA denies Facebook snooping as Zuckerberg lays into Obama

NSA denies Facebook snooping as Zuckerberg lays into Obama

Facebook's CEO says he called President Obama to express his 'frustration' at repeated revelations of NSA snooping

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks on stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco on September 11, 2013.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks on stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco on September 11, 2013.

An article that accused the National Security Agency of impersonating Facebook to spy on U.S. citizens has triggered a denial from the NSA and a reprimand for the U.S. president from CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The article, which also said the NSA plans to infect millions of PCs with malware, appeared on the website First Look and was co-written by Glenn Greenwald, who shot to prominence last year for a series of articles in the Guardian about classified NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

"In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target's computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive," the article states, citing leaked documents.

"In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer's microphone and take snapshots with its webcam."

On Thursday, the NSA issued a sharp rebuke.

"Recent media reports that allege NSA has infected millions of computers around the world with malware, and that NSA is impersonating U.S. social media or other websites, are inaccurate," it said in a statement.

"NSA uses its technical capabilities only to support lawful and appropriate foreign intelligence operations, all of which must be carried out in strict accordance with its authorities," the NSA said.

Greenwald's article attracted wide attention and apparently caught the eye of Zuckerberg, who took to his Facebook page Thursday to complain he has been "confused and frustrated" by the "repeated reports of the behavior of the US government."

"The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat," he wrote. "They need to be much more transparent about what they're doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst.

"I've called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future," Zuckerberg continued. "Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true, full reform."

In its statement, the NSA denied impersonating "U.S. company websites" but did not extend that denial to foreign company websites.

The agency said it doesn't target global Internet services "without appropriate legal authority. Reports of indiscriminate computer exploitation operations are simply false," it said.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Subscribe here for up-to-date channel news

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicessecurityU.S. National Security Agencysocial mediainternetmalwareFacebook

Featured

Slideshows

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

Revealed at a glitzy bash in Sydney at the Ivy Penthouse, the first StorageCraft Partner Awards locally saw the vendor honour its top-performing partners with ASI Solutions, SMBiT Pro, Webroot, ACA Pacific and Soft Solutions New Zealand taking home the top awards. Photos by Maria Stefina.

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards
Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

​Synnex and Lenovo hosted 18 resellers for an action-packed weekend adventure in RotoVegas, taking in white water rafting on the Kaituna River, as well as quad biking and dinner at Stratosfare​, overlooking Lake Rotorua at the top of Mount Ngongotaha​. Photos by Synnex.

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip
Show Comments