MENLO PARK, CA – Facebook is vehemently denying allegations that founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been employed with the U.S. National Security Agency for years; his initial recruitment dating back as far as early 2002. Retired U.S. Air Force General Buck Turgidson, who worked with the National Security Agency from 1999 until late 2005, has intimate knowledge regarding the circumstances surrounding Zuckerberg’s employment.
“He was a senior architect of the PRISM program,” he stated during a interview last week on Fox & Friends. General Turgidson went on to say that “Facebook was designed as an extension of PRISM in that it created massive data gathering capabilities. It revolutionized the way we gather information on a large scale, meanwhile bypassing federal surveillance laws because users make the choice to voluntarily give up personal information.”
According to classified NSA documents leaked by former employee and whistle-blower Edward Snowden and later released to the American public by journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, Zuckerberg met regularly with top U.S. intelligence officials in closed-door sessions. However, the details of these sessions were never recorded. In an email response to questions submitted by this reporter, Facebook’s Public Relations director April O. Neel confirmed that “Mr. Zuckerberg attends biweekly sessions at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade strictly as a pro bono consultant.”
If true, these allegations could explain why in March of last year, Facebook requisitioned a secure, climate controlled, server storage facility roughly the size of two football fields at the Utah Data Center, a massive data mining complex operated by the National Security Agency.
General Turgidson, who agreed to meet with this reporter at an undisclosed location yesterday, defended the PRISM program as well as Facebook’s alleged involvement, citing “national security concerns” amid an “ever growing age of technology.” He called the clear invasion of privacy “necessary” and added, “It’s no secret that Facebook openly employs the use of surveillance technology, whether it be global positioning services or facial recognition software. The public is aware of it and they accept it. It’s right there in the Terms of Service.”
Overshadowed by these groundbreaking allegations against Zuckerberg is the mysterious disappearance of Facebook intern James Olsen. Olsen, who accepted a post-college internship with the social media company late last year, posted a cell phone video he took during a staff meeting at Facebook headquarters in which Zuckerberg can be heard allegedly shouting, “Privacy is not a right, it’s a privilege!” The video was uploaded to the media sharing site YouTube on January 5th, 2015, however it was pulled by the site less than four hours later.
A programmer currently working for Facebook, who spoke to this reporter on the condition of anonymity, said he witnessed plain clothes security officers armed with handguns forcibly remove Olsen from Facebook headquarters. The programmer claims Olsen was escorted to a waiting SUV bearing official U.S. government plates before being driven away. Olsen’s parents have since filed a missing persons report with the Menlo Park Police Department.