On Monday February 3, 2014, Facebook made it known in a news release by its General Counsel that they were providing the United States Government access to Facebook user data due to national security requests they received.
Facebook released what they call a “Transparency Report” and stated, “We continue to believe the information included in these reports was an important contribution to the public debate over government surveillance practices, but it was limited.” Saying they were not allowed to even let it be known they had received such security requests.
It was also made clear, that just last week the U.S. government was now approving additional data about these national security request to be released.
Facebook plans to update these transparency reports every six months, but keep in mind the government has to give authorization first. Does this mean the United States Government now run Facebook?
Facebook insists only 1% of user accounts were subject of any government data requests. However, would the United States Government waste its time on such a small percentage?
You can read more about the government’s explanation at http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/366201412716018407143.pdf
Therefore, while Facebook stance is that they are thinking only about their users, maybe one should ask why they did not deny the government access.
Moreover, what does this saying about our Constitutional Rights?
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression.
While millions of people around the world look to Facebook to communicate with family, friends and co-workers. They also use Facebook to expression their views. It's clear the Government will be watching and our right to 'Freedom of Expression' is at stake!
Resources: Facebook Newsroom