Mark Zuckerberg at MWC: NSA spying scandal is 'not awesome' but WhatsApp is
The Facebook founder spoke at the Mobile World Congress, signalling the increasing dominance of mobile devices for technology companies
Never let it be said that the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is one to overhype a crisis. Asked about the National Security Agency’s spying scandal, which has hit Internet firms with widespread fears among users about being snooped on, he responded: “Well, it’s not awesome.”
Mr Zuckerberg was urging the telecoms industry at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to back his Internet.org initiative for basic online access to all, but he faced a barrage of questions about other issues including the NSA affair.
Despite his concerns, he said the situation was improving, presumably referring to Washington’s partial relaxation on how much internet companies were allowed to tell the public about what information they share with the NSA: “Now I think the US government is getting there,” he said.
Mr Zuckerberg, just days after buying the messaging app WhatsApp for £11bn, dismissed questions about further takeovers, such as another bid for Snapchat, saying: “After you’ve bought a company for $16bn, you’re probably done for a while.”
He warned that efforts to connect the entire world’s population to the web are “going way slower than most people imagine”, as he urged the telecoms industry to back his Internet.org initiative for basic online access for all.
Mr Zuckerberg told the conference that it was crucial to encourage people in emerging markets to get web access, citing a Deloitte study that showed productivity can increase by up to 25 per cent.
The Facebook chief executive said this idea of “connecting all of the world” was a reason why he had bonded with Jan Koum, the founder of the messaging app WhatsApp, which Mr Zuckerberg bought last week for $19bn (£11.4bn). He said mobile phone carriers should give cheap or free access to basic Internet services to connect the five billion people who are not yet online.
He admitted that would help Facebook to increase its profits eventually, but he maintained the social media giant would not break even on its investment in Internet.org for some time.
Mr Koum said he is aiming for two billion WhatsApp users in the near term.
Life & Style blogs
Google Maps Pacman: company offers chance to play arcade classic on streets around the world
Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
The Clove Club: The restaurant where you will pre-pay for your food
Apple Watch: What is it good for?
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has 30 years of ex...
£27000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing cloud based I...
£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...
£22500 - £30000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking for experie...