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Google Calls the Dreaded NSA for Tech Support

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Posted on Feb 4, 2010
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Google already threatened to quit China over a network attack originating from that country, but it seems the Internet giant was shaken up enough to call the National Security Agency (of spying-on-Americans fame) for assistance.

According to a report in The Washington Post, Google and the NSA are still working out the deal, which would help the company understand the nature of the attack and the quality of its defenses.

Sources tell the paper that “the alliance is being designed to allow the two organizations to share critical information without violating Google’s policies or laws that protect the privacy of Americans’ online communications.”

Google has said in the past that it did not cooperate with the NSA’s Bush-era Terrorist Surveillance Program.

When the company revealed the attack, it said “we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities.”

While some might be concerned about Google sharing too much data with the NSA, the company claims to have the privacy interests of its users at heart. The original attack, after all, targeted “the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists,” according to Google.  —PZS

Washington Post:

Under an agreement that is still being finalized, the National Security Agency would help Google analyze a major corporate espionage attack that the firm said originated in China and targeted its computer networks, according to cybersecurity experts familiar with the matter. The objective is to better defend Google—and its users—from future attack.

Google and the NSA declined to comment on the partnership. But sources with knowledge of the arrangement, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the alliance is being designed to allow the two organizations to share critical information without violating Google’s policies or laws that protect the privacy of Americans’ online communications. The sources said the deal does not mean the NSA will be viewing users’ searches or e-mail accounts or that Google will be sharing proprietary data.

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no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, February 4, 2010 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

So much for “rugged individualism.” Somebody get Rush a tissue (or a bib).

Only more evidence that corporations and government have become interchangeable terms.

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