Thursday, October 31, 2013

Google this!

Google's engineers "exploded in profanity," we're told, when they learned that NSA and friends are snooping on the unencrypted files of Google users as they are transmitted between various Google data centres around the world. The Washington Post story that revealed the program also reported that Yahoo data is also intercepted in this way (Barton Gellman & Ashkan Soltani, "NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say," Washington Post, 30 October 2013).

I understand the swearing, but did Google et al. really think these data streams wouldn't be subject to monitoring by NSA and, at least potentially, a lot of other countries' intelligence services?

Later in the article it is reported that
Last month, long before The Post approached Google to discuss the penetration of its cloud, Eric Grosse, vice president for security engineering, said the company is rushing to encrypt the links between its data centers. “It’s an arms race,” he said then. “We see these government agencies as among the most skilled players in this game.”
So they're not entirely dim. But surely this should have been done from the beginning.


Anonymous Richard Roskell said...

google may encrypt their datastream between offshore servers, but they are still an American company based on American soil and vulnerable to a wide range of US government powers. When the government waves a Federal Surveillance Court order in front of them, I see them handing over the keys.

November 01, 2013 1:50 am  

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