Mark Zuckerberg on gov's handling of NSA scandal: 'I think they blew it'

Mark Zuckerberg
Zuck shares his thoughts

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg minced few words in saying that the U.S. government did a "really bad job" balancing its responsibility to maintain national security while protecting the freedoms of citizens, the economy and companies.

"I think the government blew it," he said on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in reference to the fallout that's occured since Edward Snowden began releasing NSA documents. "I think they blew it on communicating what they were - basically the balance of what they were going for here with this."

Facebook was among a number of tech companies implicated when details of the NSA's Prism program started to spill, but the social network has denied giving the government direct access to user information.

"We take our role really seriously," Zuckerberg said today. "I think it's my job, and our job, to protect everyone who uses Facebook and all the information that they share with us."

Poking back

Zuckerberg said Facebook has worked behind the scenes to push for greater transparency, "and I think we've made a big difference."

It's through these efforts that Facebook could reveal it's received about 9,000 government requests in the last half a year, though the company hasn't been allowed to reveal how many requests have been granted.

Zuckerberg ended with one more plea.

"I wish the government would be more proactive about communicating," he said.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.