Julian Assange has dubbed Facebook an appalling spy machine, saying that the social networking giant has built-in interfaces for US intelligence organisations.
In an interview with RT, the WikiLeaks founder slammed Facebook and its counterparts for their misuse of information.
“Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented,” he said. “Here we have the world’s most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations and the communications with each other, their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to US intelligence.”
Assange went on to single out Google and Yahoo! for similar offences, saying that each company has interfaces developed specifically for US intelligence to use.
While he said that Facebook isn’t run by US intelligence, Assange did say that its data is used by various government agencies. “US intelligence is able to bring to bear legal and political pressure on them, and it’s costly for them to hand out records one by one, so they have automated the process,” he said.
“Everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies in building this database for them.”
Facebook isn’t the only company to face claims that it has used people’s information unethically. Apple has faced criticism for collecting location data of users of iOS-based devices. Internal emails from Google have revealed that it is also interested in using its customers’ location data.
Assange last month questioned Prime Minister Julia Gillard via video link from house arrest in the UK, asking if she swapped information about citizens with foreign powers.
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