WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says Facebook, Google, and Yahoo are being used by the U.S. intelligence community to spy on users.
In an interview, Assange was especially critical of Facebook, the world's top social network. The information Facebook houses is a potential boon for the U.S. government if it tries to build up a dossier on users, he told the Russian news site RT.
Assange also told RT that Google and Yahoo "have built-in interfaces for U.S. intelligence."
"Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented," Assange said. "Here we have the world's most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations and the communications with each other, their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to U.S. intelligence."
"It's not a matter of serving a subpoena," he said. "They have an interface that they have developed for U.S. intelligence to use."
Incidentally, WikiLeaks has its own Facebook page, which Assange — even when he was on the run after WikiLeaks released a particularly controversial batch of confidential documents — refused to shut down.
The company said at the time that the page did not "violate our content standards nor have we encountered any material posted on the page that violates our policies."
However, Assange did not mention Twitter, which in March granted the Justice Department access to the accounts of activists that allegedly had ties to WikiLeaks.
The department called complaints over its desire to obtain Twitter information "absurd," and said its actions were quite common in criminal investigations.