Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lashes out at Obama over “damage” to internet

Mark Zuckerberg

In an unusual Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg blasted President Obama on Thursday over controversial hacking tactics used by the NSA in the name of national security.

“When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we’re protecting you against criminals, not our own government,” wrote Zuckerberg, adding, “I’ve called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future.”

The harsh words are likely related to leaked documents published yesterday that suggest the NSA has been instructing its computers to pose as Facebook servers in order to inject malware into people’s computers in order to spy on them.

The NSA had denied the allegations, putting out a statement late Thursday that reads in part: “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. NSA uses ¬†its technical capabilities only to support lawful and appropriate foreign intelligence operations.”

The leaks are the latest in a series of highly classified documents released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that have exposed how the NSA is using phone carriers and major tech companies to amass data and carry out espionage activities.

In recent months, other companies such as Google and Yahoo have also criticized the programs, and increased their encryption and security measures.

Zuckerberg’s post also warned that the NSA activities are threatening American credibility: “The U.S. government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat. They need to be much more transparent about what they’re doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst.”

This story was updated at 6PM ET to include the NSA response.

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