Two of the most powerful men in American culture are feuding – Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg personally called President Obama on Thursday to complain about government surveillance practices.
Zuckerberg posted a status on Facebook eluding to the gist of his complaint to the president saying, “When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we’re protecting you against criminals, not our own government.” The 300-word post received a lot of attention and re-sparked controversy about government spying practices. “I’ve called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform,” continued Zuckerberg in his Facebook post. A White House official spoke about the phone call between the two famous figures, referring to Zuckerberg’s concerns as “allegations.”
Last year, Facebook took action to make impersonation by the NSA more difficult by encrypting all of its pages.
After the Snowden scandal, spying by the government on personal entities has been a hot topic. Zuckerberg’s lash out at President Obama brings all of that back to the spotlight. Zuckerberg is pop culture icon with the most popular social media site in the world and one, simple phone call from him to the President makes the government the object of severe public scrutiny. The relationship between the public and the government suffered after leaks by Snowden and this feud will continue to create distrust of the government by the public. Technology has not necessarily changed the government’s actions towards the public but it has certainly changed the public’s awareness of government actions.
Oreskovic, A. (2014, March 13). Facebook CEO Zuckerberg phoned Obama to complain about spying. chicagotribune.com. Retrieved March 14, 2014, from http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-rt-us-facebook-obama-20140313,0,4267955.story