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Senate Hearing: Facebook CEO Zuckerberg Is Questioned on Ties to CIA-Funded Company

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Mark Zuckerberg Appears Before a Joint Senate Committee on April 10, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg Appears Before a Joint Senate Committee on April 10, 2018

As Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg fingered his cheat sheet of canned answers to a barrage of questions from Senators yesterday on how Facebook had allowed a Trump-backed political operation to harvest personal data from 87 million of its users, Zuckerberg attempted to channel motherhood, apple pie, dorm room entrepreneurism and an altruistic desire to connect people around the world in one harmonious melding of human spirit.

Unfortunately, the facts just kept getting in the way. There was the questioning from Senator Richard Blumenthal pointing out that Facebook had been caught red-handed in 2011 by the Federal Trade Commission in egregious abuses of its users’ personal data. Blumenthal said current activities at Facebook showed that Facebook was in “violation of the FTC consent decree.”

Another uncomfortable moment came when Senator Patrick Leahy asked if Special Counsel Robert Mueller had issued subpoenas to Facebook. Zuckerberg first answered yes and then later said he wasn’t sure. What Zuckerberg was sure about was that Facebook employees had been interviewed by the Special Counsel’s office but he had not so far been interviewed.

One of the most eyebrow-raising moments came when Senator Maria Cantwell opened her line of questioning by invoking the name “Palantir,” a data mining company which received early funding from the CIA and whose co-founder, billionaire Peter Thiel, has sat on the Facebook Board of Directors since April 2005. Thiel contributed over $1 million to the Trump campaign and chipped in $100,000 for his inauguration according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The exchange went like this. (See the full exchange in the video below.)



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