Print 36 comment(s) - last by Alexvrb.. on Nov 8 at 10:30 PM

Google has registered complaints with the NSA, President Barack Obama and members of Congress

Reports are floating around that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been spying on Google's data centers, and the company isn't happy about it. 

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that the NSA's alleged spying on data centers is "outrageous" and that its strategies of pulling hundreds of millions of records to find a few hundred is "bad public policy" and even "illegal."

“It’s really outrageous that the National Security Agency was looking between the Google data centers, if that’s true," said Schmidt. "The steps that the organization was willing to do without good judgment to pursue its mission and potentially violate people’s privacy, it’s not OK. The Snowden revelations have assisted us in understanding that it’s perfectly possible that there are more revelations to come.

"The National Security Agency allegedly collected the phone records of every phone call of 320 million people in order to identify roughly 300 people who might be a risk. That’s just bad public policy…and perhaps illegal. There clearly are cases where evil people exist, but you don’t have to violate the privacy of every single citizen of America to find them."

The NSA had allegedly directly accessed communications used by Google and Yahoo to move massive amounts of email and user info in overseas data centers. 

The NSA released the following statement last week: 

“NSA conducts all of its activities in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies—and assertions to the contrary do a grave disservice to the nation, its allies and partners, and the men and women who make up the National Security Agency."

Separately, NSA Director General Keith Alexander attempted to banish the allegations by denying that the NSA is able to tap into Google and Yahoo communications. 

"I can tell you factually we do not have access to Google servers, Yahoo servers," said Alexander. "We go through a court order."

This certainly isn't the NSA's first time being accused of overstepping its boundaries. Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden uncovered the spying methods used by U.S. intelligence agencies earlier this year, which included collecting data from phones. This was used to fight terrorist attacks, but the public feared for their privacy after such revelations.

In August, reports said that the NSA admitted to touching 1.6 percent of total globe Web traffic. Its technique was to filter data after harvesting it, which led to over-collection on a major scale. 
Days later, an internal audit showed that the NSA broke the law nearly 3,000 times from 2011 to 2012. More specifically, the May 2012 audit revealed that the NSA had abused its power to either accidentally or intentionally spy on Americans and green card holders 2,997 times in that time period. 
Later in September, The New York Times reported that Snowden revealed just how far the NSA will go to subvert most types of encryption, including court orders, supercomputers, technical stunts and even by working with tech companies to gain back-door access to security methods. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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RE: google
By Argon18 on 11/4/2013 1:49:13 PM , Rating: 0
Funny because it's true. All those "free" Google services like Gmail, have you ever read through the terms of use agreement? Or did you simply click "Ok" without reading it? When you use these "free" services, you are giving Google free and total access to all of your data and all of your communications that use their services.

Funny how folks get their privacy panties in a twist over the government sifting through their data, yet they freely give full access to Google employees, by agreeing to their terms of use.

RE: google
By kattanna on 11/4/2013 2:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
yeppers. Also, if I remember right, it was google+ that also stated any works you posted up on their service, like a picture, they then had license to use as they saw fit without your permission or compensation.

what I also find equally "interesting" is why the sudden outrage now? When I worked for a major ISP back in the late 90's it was well known about the government tap in the datacenter

RE: google
By Solandri on 11/4/2013 3:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
There was a flap over that when Google+ first rolled out which led Google to clarify that the permissions in the terms and conditions were only so they were authorized to serve your posts/photos/etc to you and those whom you chose to share with (or in the case of +1s and endorsements, everyone). It wasn't a blanket license for them to do anything they wanted with your data.

I use Google+ to make lower-res copies of my photos available online because they make it free for photos under 2000x2000 resolution. I made damn sure that I wasn't giving them rights to use my photos for anything they wanted before I signed up with them.

RE: google
By adrift02 on 11/4/2013 2:03:16 PM , Rating: 5
True, but the issue for me is that I *consented* to Google mining my information. And I could stop that any time I want by disconnecting from their service. I know the price I'm paying for "free".

The NSA on the other hand is illegally stealing that same information and violating my rights. It's ridiculous how government and police are saying they can't do their jobs anymore following due process and going through courts (warrant). If they have evidence enough to justify going through my private information they have evidence enough to get it court approved. This isn't 24 -- it's just a power play.

RE: google
By ClownPuncher on 11/4/2013 2:52:29 PM , Rating: 3
One is analogous to rape. The non-consensual one, btw.

RE: google
By Reclaimer77 on 11/4/2013 3:18:05 PM , Rating: 5
Funny how folks get their privacy panties in a twist over the government sifting through their data, yet they freely give full access to Google employees, by agreeing to their terms of use.

Hmmm I don't remember the NSA offering the American public a "terms of agreement" that we can opt out of.

All you Google haters are loving this, I know, but there's a goddamn epic difference between the NSA spying on citizens and how Google operates. And deep down I think you know it.

On the most obvious level is this: What the NSA is doing is illegal. What Google does is not.

RE: google
By Alexvrb on 11/4/2013 9:49:08 PM , Rating: 2
Hey Reclaimer, you know Schmidt and Google are HUGE Obama supporters, right? Kind of ironic, really.

RE: google
By Reclaimer77 on 11/4/2013 10:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
And if Romney was President, they would be HUGE Romney supporters.

Your point is moot. Any corporation as large as Google in this country MUST "pay to play", so to speak. That doesn't mean they necessarily support everything he's doing.

Plus, Obama is a liar. Plain and simple. He lied about all his campaign promises. And he's famous for getting business leaders together and telling them exactly what they want to hear, then doing the exact opposite.

Go ask the insurance companies how they feel about all his assurances (lies) over Obamacare.

RE: google
By Alexvrb on 11/8/2013 10:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
Except they donated money to get Obama ELECTED. TWICE. They donated zero (0) to Romney's campaign. If Romney won... they would save their money and donate to the next Democratic presidential candidate in 2016. My point is NOT moot, because most corporations don't stand exclusively by Obama unless they're his cronies. They supported him twice, but you're so in love with Google that you're blinding yourself to their dedication to his ideals.

Otherwise I agree with you, he's broken virtually every promise that his handlers had him make, and you'd be hard pressed to bankrupt the nation faster if you tried.

RE: google
By inighthawki on 11/4/2013 3:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
Google doesn't treat me like a terrorist and send government agents to arrest me at my doorstep if I search something related to making an explosive.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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