back to article Facebook's Zuckerberg buttonholes Obama, rages against NSA dragnet spying

Mark Zuckerberg is furious with US President Barack Obama, who - metaphorically, at least - clasped his hands over his ears and repeatedly said to himself "I can't hear you" when the Facebook boss tried to grumble about spies spying on people. The free content ad network supremo said in a public post on Facebook that he was …


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  1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    And they say that Americans don't do irony.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Isn't this proof they don't, otherwise Zuck the schmuck would've twigged before hurting my ears with his tears.

    2. Ole Juul


      They're masters - but just don't know it. In any case, I can't wait to see a South Park episode with Zukerberg and Obama yelling at each other.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Irony?

        I'd prefer a real-life episode of celebrity death match between those two.

      2. x86
        Thumb Up

        Re: Irony?


    3. g e


      You can largely avoid Farcebook if you choose to. No such luck with GCHQ/NSA

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Although

        Yes "largely" - but almos everybody has a stupid friend who uses FB or Whatsapp, and will post about you, images with you, and will let FB know your telephone number, emails, address via his or her phonebook... just FB has no legal authority of intruding into your devices - guess Zuckerberg will ask for "equal rights" to Obama...

      2. Ian Michael Gumby

        @G E Re: Although

        "You can largely avoid Farcebook if you choose to. No such luck with GCHQ/NSA"

        Actually you can't.

        Nor Google. Unless you want to act like Stallman who doesn't use his own PC on the internet, goes to 'public' PCs at MIT, and tires to hide who he is at all times.

        The issue is that even if you go to these extremes, you can't hide from FB or Google.

        You have friends, right?

        If they use Google or FB, and have any of your contact information... they know who you are.

        You would be surprised at how much information that these companies capture, regardless of your precautions and saying no thank you.

        You want to get out, you can't. They slurp everything. Every microbe of your digital footprint, no matter how small.

    4. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Kind of like a cannibal rallying against slaughterhouses as cruel.

    5. JDX Gold badge

      Irony? When you sign up to FB you are voluntarily giving FB your data to use. You may not know what they want to do with that data, but it's no surprise they have the data and no great surprise - even if a disappointment - when they do use it.

      FB wants your data and that's the point of their business model. Hardly the same as a government forcing them to provide your data, and trying to force them not to tell anyone this is happening.

      And FB is serious about security - they don't want anyone else accessing your data because THEY want it to themselves :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        You would be surprised at how insecure FB really is. ;-)

        FB slurps more data and from more sources than you think.

        Even if you don't give them your data, they slurp it from your friend's data.

        If you use FB to log in to a newspaper site... FB now tracks and monitors what you read.

        There's more, but I'll let you live in your Bliss little world.

  2. James 51

    Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, meed pot. I am sure you'll get along famously.

    1. DaveFace

      Not quite - for all those calling Zucker a hypocrite, he's not far removed from one but there is a difference. When you sign up to Facebook you are consent to data-mining, assuming it is between you and advertisers.

      The problem, as ever, is that the NSA/GCHQ are data-mining without consent.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        He is a hypocrite...he attempts to tag and profile people who haven't signed up; who haven't agreed to any terms and who haven't used his service in any way, shape or form. His attempted data rape is different from the spooks only because he can't strong-arm his kit into choke points and threaten to throw people into prison for non-compliance.

    2. Old Handle

      So, you're saying...

      Zuckerberg is calling Obama black?

  3. Lionel Baden

    there I fixed it :)

    A claim that the NSA has (kind of) denied.

  4. Neil Stansbury

    They are the criminals

    "we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government."

    More fool you - the government are the criminals.

    When they're not supporting their own Kleptocracy, they're institutionalising acts of state sponsored theft in the name of "Society" or "Social Justice", as they confiscate your wealth, revoke your rights, threaten you with acts of coercive force and knock down your home to build a new runway or an HS2

    Don't ever fall for the delusion that the State is here to protect your liberty.

    1. Brenn

      Re: They are the criminals

      Agree 100%

      1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

        Re: They are the criminals

        Of which crime(s) have they been convicted?

        Do tell.

  5. nematoad Silver badge

    A translation

    ""I've called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future"

    Or in other words "How dare you spy on these people, this is my job."

    Zucks angry not because of the spying, it's because he might lose a bit of cash.

    1. MonkeyScrabble

      Re: A translation

      Another question is why did el Presidente entertain this bellend by answering his call?

      Zuckerberg is a large, annoying pimple on the arse of society and definitely does not warrant a direct line to any head of state.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        "Zuckerberg is a large, annoying pimple on the arse of society"

        Maybe. But he's probably done more to change the world than Obama. He IS an important person - those who control information are important.

        1. ItsNotMe

          "But he's probably done more to change the world than Obama"

          Ahhh...@JDX...Hitler "changed the world". So did Stalin, Mao, and a whole host of other scumbags in the history of this planet...just NOT for the better. And neither has this twenty-something little snot.

          And no...he is not an "important person". He is an annoying arsehole...and THE prime example of the fact that money does not buy class.

      2. Sanctimonious Prick

        Re: A translation


        You need to watch House Of Cards.

      3. Rick Brasche

        Re: A translation

        Zuckerberg and many of the Silicon Valley elite are among the largest financial contributors to the DNC. Not to mention their propaganda functions and media saturation that don't "count" even though they'd cost millions if paid for that exposure.

        Prez answers the phone because he knows who gave him his seat.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A translation

        Doesn't say he spoke to the president, only that he called........

        Probably his whiny voice mail or message is being actively ignored as we speak ;)

      5. Ian Michael Gumby

        @MonkeyScrabble... Re: A translation

        When you're worth billions, you can be a big donor to the DNC's pockets.

        Money talks, so they say...

    2. dan1980

      Re: A translation

      "Zucks angry not because of the spying, it's because he might lose a bit of cash."

      Maybe the government is acting like a parent and teaching people 'the hard way' that they shouldn't share so much information with people.

      Well, of course not, but if that's what comes out of it then at least it's not without ultimate benefit to society. The fact that companies lke Facebook can be worth so much means that people don't really value their private information because they can be enticed to share it in return for the digital equivalent of shiny beads.

      Perhaps now that people are waking up to the kinds of things that are done with the data they part with, there'll be a more sober relationship with such sites in the future.

    3. Jason Bloomberg

      Re: A translation

      Zucks angry not because of the spying, it's because he might lose a bit of cash

      More that it's the usual hypocrisy and moral relativism, another case of 'what I do is okay but when others do the same it is not okay'.

      When they kill innocent civilians it's abhorrent terrorism. When we kill innocent civilians it's entirely acceptable and justifiable collateral damage.

      Both of them, Zuckerberg and Obama, and many more ->

      1. launcap

        Re: A translation

        "When they kill innocent civilians it's abhorrent terrorism. When we kill innocent civilians it's entirely acceptable and justifiable collateral damage."

        In a song I wrote many, many years ago:

        Bombs in cars or bombs from the sky,

        What's the difference when innocents die?

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: A translation

          If you're the pilot of the plane or driver of the car, I'd say it was a huge difference.

  6. Bronek Kozicki

    Zuck has a point

    Actually, two. First, he needs people to trust "Facebook" brand, because otherwise how will he sell ads? Second, his company is built by engineers who try to make it secure, but if this goes against government ideas of "security" then it makes their work more difficult. And of course he wouldn't like their productivity wasted on something that cannot be sold.

    I think both are valid points, and both might be interpreted as standing on the side of (ads target) consumer. Of course, everyone is a cynic now and nobody would interpret it this way - but that does not matter. The point still stands.

    1. Johan Bastiaansen

      Zuck does have point

      He doesn't want the government to spy on people. Surely in a free society, that's something a company should do, and they can sell that information to the government.

      Zuck is losing money hand over fist here because he has to deal with a government backed competitor ! ! !

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Zuck has a point

      Second, his company is built by engineers who try to make it secure

      Wow. You honestly believe that?

  7. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton


    You mean they kinda spy n eavesdrop on people using their web services.

    Are they pervs?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps a Cuban style blockade of the US is in order to show them that there are 6.6 billion others in the world and they need us a lot more than we need them.

  9. 404

    he 'called' Obama, eh?


    I can't even talk to a congresscritter.... too many staff in-between..

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: he 'called' Obama, eh?

      But how much did you donate to the election campaign?

      1. Anonymous Dutch Coward

        Re: he 'called' Obama, eh?

        Depends. Over a million and Obama may even pick up the phone :)

  10. Slx

    You can understand why all these social networks and big data / cloud companies are panicking. They're losing customers because of this kind of stuff.

    How many people have shut Facebook accounts?

    How many companies have opted not to use cloud services just yet that would have otherwise perhaps signed up with Google Apps, or some other hosted service?

    There are plenty of companies very concerned about their IP and where an "interest" could include a financial interest as opposed to a security one that data could potentially get slurped with some degree of 'legitimacy'.

    For example, a company developing an innovative technology, new drug, new device that could upset your economy by potentially knocking your national champion company out of the market through innovation. Is that a legitimate target?

    Then you've got to worry about what less transparent countries like China are slurping.

    This whole thing has put cloud computing into a very seriously questionable position. Can we actually trust these systems or is it safer to just have a server in your office basement?

  11. Amorous Cowherder

    Can' errm, sellotape all the backup tapes together!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Zuck... fed up with "the behaviour of the US government".

    I'm sure this champion of internet privacy will have no hesitation and present his views during his meeting with Obama (if and when), verbatim.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait a sec. A Facebook / Zuck story without "...bitch" in the title???

    The Reg's been hacked!!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and if they had used it?

      Who would you have suspected as being the 'bitch', and whose?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NDA denies sending malware to "millions" of PC's

    So the actual number is between 1,000,000 and 1,999,999 then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: NDA denies sending malware to "millions" of PC's

      ...or billions.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: NDA denies sending malware to "millions" of PC's

      No it was just that they hacked 2,000,001 machines so that's not exactly a number of millions

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better Title

    The www is MY data-slurping farm, NOT yours..bitch

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Stevie


    "which the NSA flatly denied"

    So the NSA can't do something Chechnyan Mafiosi do on a weekly basis?

    I want my tax money back!

  18. Brenn

    Zuck the Shmuck

    Zuckerberg has been joined at the hip day one with the NSA and the CIA. Capital from the CIA's INQTEL made the existence of FARCEBOOK possible.

    Zuck is an idiot if he thinks he can distance himself from the 'negative NSA stories' in the media. FARCEBOOK IS THE NSA.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What do I think of Mister Zuckerberg?

  20. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    What can I say about this?


    That is all.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its ok...Zucks got my back!

    I worry a lot more about Google. Google-API's are on half the websites on the internet with sufficient session info sent to Mountain View to allow them build super-cookies to TRACK YOU!

    And AdBlock / NoScript won't help any longer either, as websites have retaliated using Server side scripts to send all per-session info to Google for deep analytical probing! With Super and Zombie Cookies, there is absolutely no escape from tracking. Run panopticlick off the EFF website to check your exposure.

    In addition, about a third of all email addresses are Gmail at present, and every gmail is lovingly scanned. And a lot of email will eventually end up at Mountain View too because of redirection. When you converse with a .com or a university address, emails may ultimately redirect to a Gmail or a Google hosted service. A lot of people have been caught off guard by this, but the Reg points this out all the time! There are lawsuits pending over this....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its ok...Zucks got my back!

      good points, try vitru if you are worried about your email though.

      Once we all start using the technology, instead of letting ourselves be ridden by it, the better off we will all be.... might even cut down on the ranting.... heaven forbid.

  22. rossde

    what I find obscene is the fact he CAN ring Obama on the phone and complain. 99.9% of the world would not even get the phone number let alone being able to talk to anyone but the cleaner

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