Zuckerberg: Government 'made a lot of mistakes' on NSA transparency

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Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergThe free-market case for a clean slate Facebook takes down anti-NATO pages linked to Russia Congress needs to address consumer data privacy in a responsible and modern manner MORE said Tuesday he wished the United States government had been more transparent about its domestic surveillance program. 

Zuckerberg has previously expressed his opposition to the National Security Agency’s metadata program and elaborated his views in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show.


“I wish that the government had been more transparent about this up front,” he said. 

"I think that the government made a lot of mistakes in terms of not being clear about what they were using information for,” Zuckerberg continued. “If you ask Americans, they want the government to protect us, so it's not that they don't want any of this stuff. But I think they also want the government to be honest and clear about what's going on. And I think that's the line that was missed here."

Host Savannah Guthrie asked Zuckerberg what he thought of Snowden’s decision to leak highly classified documents as she spotted a sign at Facebook headquarters that read, “One Hacker Way.”

“Being a hacker has different definitions. This is something we’ve struggled with at Facebook,” he replied.

Zuckerberg said he interprets the definition as someone who can quickly prototype a product, which he said he encourages Facebook engineers to do.

“That’s our hacker culture, and I think it’s very different from some of these other things,” he added.

Last year, Zuckerberg said Facebook and other similar companies suffered a loss after Snowden’s leaks revealed the scope of the NSA’s program.

“The trust metrics for all [tech companies] went down when Prism came out,” he said at the time.

Earlier this month, President Obama announced proposed reforms to the NSA, and has tasked Attorney General Eric Holder with figuring out who might host Americans’ phone records in the future.