Zuckerberg, a 26-year-old Harvard dropout, is credited with creating a new system of exchanging and cataloging information that literally changes the way people live and interact with each other. In an on-line essay posted today, Time’s managing editor Richard Stengel wrote, “Our sense of identity is more variable, while our sense of privacy is expanding. What was once considered intimate is now shared among millions with a keystroke."
Stengel went on to say, “The social-networking platform he [Zuckerberg] invented is closing in on 600 million users. In a single day, about a billion new pieces of content are posted on Facebook. It is the connective tissue for nearly a tenth of the planet.”
However, the celebrations for Zuckerberg may turn out to be short-lived. After learning of the staggering amount of information being collected by Facebook’s servers, and all of it at Zuckerberg’s disposal, officials inside the U.S. State Department called an emergency session to discuss ways of suppressing the dissemination of this data over the Internet.
Said one source in Washington, “Until today, we had no idea how much information exists on Facebook. I mean, it’s all over the world. Did you know that? Our content filtering systems prohibit us from accessing Facebook at work, so we really have very little exposure to it. But given the 600 million global users and billions of pieces of content being posted every day, we need to act. This could be bigger than WikiLeaks.”
The source went on to imply that attorneys within the State Department have already begun coordinating efforts with the National Security Agency (NSA) to shutter Facebook under provisions of the Espionage Act.