I couldn’t help thinking that the following headlines, published on Wired.com within 24 hours of each other, perfectly sum up the dilemma facing Facebook, and every user of the social network.
More details from the second article:
The United States sought data from between 20,000 to 21,000 accounts. Facebook said the data included “criminal and national security requests to the maximum extent permitted by law… In all, 74 nations sought Facebook data. India came in second, demanding information on 4,144 accounts. The United Kingdom was next, followed by Germany, Italy and France.
And something interesting from the first article:
But no one company or government can build out a full stack of infrastructure to support this around the world. So you need to work together with folks. Since we’ve announced Internet.org, we’ve heard from operators around the world and governments who want to work with us…
In a lot of developing countries, it’s hard to know persistently who your customer is.
Then again, as Wired quotes from a statement supplied by Privacy International: ‘governments don’t necessarily need intermediaries like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft to get our data. They can intercept it over undersea cables, through secret court orders, and through intelligence sharing’