I don't have and probably never will have a Facebook account - so I don't know what all the hoopla is about.
But I read Tom Hodginson's op-ed about the phenomenon that is Facebook with great interest. Tom wrote about the "real" backers of the website, its role in an experiment of the capitalization of friendship, and its link to the CIA:
The US defence department and the CIA love technology because it makes spying easier. "We need to find new ways to deter new adversaries," defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in 2003. "We need to make the leap into the information age, which is the critical foundation of our transformation efforts." In-Q-Tel's first chairman was Gilman Louie, who served on the board of the NVCA with Breyer. Another key figure in the In-Q-Tel team is Anita K Jones, former director of defence research and engineering for the US department of defence, and - with Breyer - board member of BBN Technologies. When she left the US department of defence, Senator Chuck Robb paid her the following tribute: "She
brought the technology and operational military communities together to design detailed plans to sustain US dominance on the battlefield into the next century."
Now even if you don't buy the idea that Facebook is some kind of extension of the American imperialist programme crossed with a massive information-gathering tool, there is no way of denying that as a business, it is pure mega-genius.