Julian Assange: Facebook Is A Spying Machine
By on May 3rd, 2011

Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life

facebok-julian-assange-interviewBut what about people outside your life ?

People whom you don’t know and would not want to know anyway in the near future includes Governments, political pears and other legal eyes prying on your data.You have phone numbers, addresses, contacts, photos, videos, relatives, conversations and everything else on Facebook.

Sure it’s not public and stored behind a password but we have seen example reports when Facebook and other social networking sites can be closely monitored by the state government. Thanks to the instantaneous nature of digital data, the Police and legal authorities can prevent crimes or accidents but there is always an other side of the coin.

In a recent interview with Russia Today, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said that Facebook is a most dangerous spying machine ever invented. The interview is as follows:

Here goes the text transcript of Julian’s message

Interviewer : What do you think with sites like Facebook and Twitter ? How has these sites played in the revolutions in middle east? How easy would you say is to manipulate new media like that ?

Julian Assange: Facebook in particular is a growing spying machine ever invented. Here we have, the world’s most comprehensive database about people, relationships, names, addresses, locations and most importantly the communications with each other. All the information is accessible to US intelligence.

Facebook, Google, Yahoo all these major US organizations have built in interfaces, designed specifically for US intelligence. They have developed an interface which U.S Intelligence can use. Now is it the case that Facebook is actually run by U.S Intelligence ? No, it’s not like that.

It’s simply that the U.S intelligence is able to bring their legal and political pressure to them, when they need information. And it’s costly on the part of Facebook to hand out records one by one, so they have automated the process.

Everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United states intelligence agencies and building the database for them.

Assange’s views can’t be completely refuted and considering the recent iPhone and Android location tracking news, it’s no wonder that more and more organizations need the golden hen user data. Yes there are lawsuits being filed but at the end of the day, your location and other information is with the company who sold you a simple gadget an iPhone or Android.

Facebook’s Answer: We Don’t Respond to Pressure But Legal Processes

Reacting to Julian’s allegations, one Facebook spokesperson said:

We don’t respond to pressure, we respond to compulsory legal process. There has never been a time we have been pressured to turn over data — we fight every time we believe the legal process is insufficient. The legal standards for compelling a company to turn over data are determined by the laws of the country, and we respect that standard.

Question is, does U.S intelligence have access to user data through Facebook? Facebook isn’t saying but one of the spokesperson said that the social site has a dedicated team of CIPP certified professionals who manage requests from law enforcements. There is this public form which can be used for legal purposes and Facebook officials are most likely to give a nod, if the situation is truly Legalin nature.

I know some folks will laugh Look who is speaking of spying and espionage. Ironical !

But this guy who can reveal secret diplomatic documents of governments, must have some proof to backup his statement.

And as of now, Julian plays Black in this game of chess.

Author: Amit Banerjee Google Profile for Amit Banerjee
Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee

Amit Banerjee has written and can be contacted at amit@techie-buzz.com.

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