Offbeat

Mark Zuckerberg and Marissa Mayer Talk About Prism

TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 Video Overview | Official Website

TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 Video Overview | Official Website

During the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference in San Francisco last Wednesday, CEOs Mark Zuckerberg and Marissa Mayer sat on a hot seat to answer questions regarding the US government’s data surveillance program called Prism.

It should be recalled that The Guardian and The Washington Post posted about a leakage regarding the government’s surveillance programs last June. These include a data collection program called Prism. Since then, tech companies have been scrutinized for the extent of their involvement.

Mayer Remains Mum on Prism Programs

In an on-stage interview during the event, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer pointed out that she couldn’t say anymore about the programs than the search company already has. That’s because doing so could be “treason”. She even added these things are “classified”.

Mayer also revealed that she could go to prison if she divulged the details about the government’s data request. However, she pointed out that Yahoo examines each request it receives and pushes it back if it appears to be unreasonable.

Zuckerberg’s Take on Prism

In a separate interview, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was more outspoken about the program, saying that the US government “blew it”.

It’s our government’s job to protect all of us, and also to protect our freedom and the economy, and I think they did a bad job of balancing those things. I think the government blew it.

Although the social media giant’s head noted that the government’s program was not designed to spy American citizens, he believes that they were unable to communicate their surveillance efforts well. As a result, it was difficult for US Internet firms to do business overseas.

Pushing for Greater Transparency

Both Mayer and Zuckerberg pointed out that they are pushing for greater transparency, and that their goal is to protect their users. Together with Google and Microsoft, they filed a lawsuit that will force the government to let them disclose the number of national security-related data requests that they receive.

Although their efforts have been unsuccessful, the companies asked again for permission to provide more data requests permission earlier this week.

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