Google discusses safety with the NSA, however do not draw any wild conclusions
Following Edward Snowden’s PRISM leaks final yr, corporations akin to Apple, Google and Microsoft sought to distance themselves from the NSA and claimed to be unaware of some authorities surveillance actions. And whereas we have seen corporations demand higher transparency from the NSA, that does not imply backdoor discussions about safety have not been happening as nicely. Think about this, as an example: E mail communications obtained by Al Jazeera present that Google execs corresponding to Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin have cooperated with the NSA on points akin to “mobility threats” way back to 2012, earlier than Snowden revealed details about the federal government’s capabilities for spying on People’ on-line actions.
It might be straightforward to over-hype the importance of interactions between Mountain View bigwigs and the NSA, however the emails do not point out something notably untoward on Google’s half. As an alternative, the communications reveal that NSA Director Keith Alexander invited Google CEO Schmidt to a “categorized menace briefing” to debate safety points. An e-mail from Alexander additionally exhibits that Google, Apple, Microsoft and different corporations labored collectively to outline core safety rules, and a number of other different tech companies — together with Dell and HP — labored with the NSA to attenuate threats to enterprise platforms. In different phrases, Google is clearly not alone in sustaining a dialogue with the federal government.
Whereas the alarmist undertones could also be a bit uncalled for, Al Jazeera does increase the logical considerations about how the NSA makes use of the knowledge it receives from Google and different web giants. In any case, although, Google’s emails with the safety company hardly implicate the corporate in any wrongdoing. Reportedly, further emails between Google execs and the NSA have but to be launched, so keep tuned.