Google Encrypts Data Streams in Slap at NSA

But can the snoops crack it?


Google has kicked into high gear a plan to encrypt data sent between its data centers, in the wake of the National Security Agency spying scandal.

The Washington Post reports that Google's plan was devised last year, but was put on the front burner to help safeguard the company's reputation in the wake of the surveillance documents leaked by former NSA tech worker Edward Snowden.

"It's an arms race," Eric Grosse, Google's vice president for security engineering, told the Post. "We see these government agencies as among the most skilled players in this game."

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  1. Yeah, NSA, only CHINA can get Google to violate its citizens’ human rights. Back off!

  2. I thought the NSA put a ton of effort into decryption. How effective is this really? And how long before the NSA just sends an NSL demanding the key?

    1. Most of what the NSA seems to have done involves cracking encryption with well-known vulnerabilities — mostly used by incompetent entities or older systems (i.e., not Google) — or by inserting backdoors in proprietary software. Google mostly uses in-house software or open source software (typically modified in-house).

      But of course they are vulnerable to legal coercion, as you say.

      1. They are in great positions to implement man in the middle attacks.

  3. Americans should keep a close eye on what Google is up to. I recommend Julian Assange’s recent piece on Google (posted at Wikileaks) about the VERY close relationship between the tech giant and the U.S. gov’t.

  4. Google can go to Hell. I think it’s an attempt to regain lost credibility, but I’ve lost any trust I may have had with them. I won’t be using Google mail or any of their other apps. I’m now ussing DuckDuckGo for search, even on my iPhone, and I won’t be installing Chrome any time soon.

    1. ’cause everybody knows Pennsylvania-based DDG, with nowhere near the legal team Google has, is immune to NSLs.

      Not to mention that its search results suck.

  5. It’s all Bush’s fault… Oh, wait…

    Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011

    The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material.

    In addition, the court extended the length of time that the NSA is allowed to retain intercepted U.S. communications from five years to six years ? and more under special circumstances, according to the documents, which include a recently released 2011 opinion by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, then chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

    What had not been previously acknowledged is that the court in 2008 imposed an explicit ban ? at the government’s request ? on those kinds of searches, that officials in 2011 got the court to lift the bar and that the search authority has been used.

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