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Zuckerberg in serious talks with Obama over NSA spying

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has said he called President Obama to express his frustration over government spying, but does not believe the feds will make any meaningful changes in the near future.

"The U.S. government should be the champion for the Internet, not a threat," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. "They need to be much more transparent about what they're doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst."

In speaking with Obama, Zuckerberg said he shared "my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform."

Obama has pledged to make changes to US surveillance programs, particularly as it relates to the collection of phone metadata, but like most things in Washington, it's slow-going.

"At Facebook we spend a lot of our energy making our services and the whole Internet safer and more secure," Zuckerberg said today. But "when our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government."

Zuckerberg's post comes shortly after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked details of NSA surveillance programs to the press last year, appeared remotely at the SXSW conference in Austin. There, he encouraged the tech community to develop secure tools that would make such spying more difficult, since developers would likely have more luck thwarting spies than Congress.

Zuckerberg had a similar message today. "Together, we can build a space that is greater and a more important part of the world than anything we have today, but is also safe and secure," he wrote. "I'm committed to seeing this happen, and you can count on Facebook to do our part."

The Facebook chief was similarly critical of the NSA back in September, when he said that the government "blew it" when it came to communicating with the public about its spy programs.

The latest revelation from leaked NSA documents, meanwhile, is that the agency has been hijacking botnets for spying purposes, according to Reuters.