Saturday, September 7, 2013

Google beefs up user data encryption amidst NSA 'snoop-op' revelations

Google is reportedly encrypting the huge amount of data that flows through its data centers around the world following the National Security Agency secret surveillance revelations.

As revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the US agency along with its UK counterpart is known to be intercepting every form of data flowing through global internet channels for government consumption through Prism programme.

Google's encryption initiative was accelerated in June as the tech giant struggled to retain its users' faith as a reliable steward of information as the Prism programme allegedly obtained data from major tech companies with legal force, the Washington Post reports.

According to the report, encrypted information would still be intercepted by the intelligence agencies and have no effect on legal requirements for any tech company to furnish data when demanded.

Google's security engineering vice president Eric Grosse said that it is an arms race and government agencies are the most skilled players in this game.

As the intelligence agencies have to essentially convert the encrypted data to make it easy to intercept, it therefore complicates the entire surveillance effort by making it a lengthy and timely process.

The report said that several other companies, including Microsoft, Apple and Facebook, increasingly have begun using encryption for some of their services.

Google officials said that both the servers in the data centers and the information on the fiber-optic lines connecting them will be encrypted using 'very strong' technology .

The project is expected to be completed soon, months ahead of the original schedule.

Grosse reiterated Google's concerns regarding user privacy and resisted government surveillance, the report added.


  1. I seem to be missing something here?? These
    companies rolled over for the NSA years ago.
    They allowed the NSA direct access to their
    code and equipment. Are we supposed to believe that now Sergei Brin is going to do time in a federal super Max for violating a federal "secret" court order for his customers? The only way to ensure your safety is to cut these companies out of the loop..

    1. Absolutely.

      If the US government continues to render the implicit trust between "cloud" operators and their customers illegal, then those operators like Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and their ilk will eventually fail, no matter how pure the ambitions they had when they were founded.

      Of course this will also reduce the resources available to the US government, ultimately reducing their international influence, although they will do doubt continue to treat their own population as an existential threat to their own survival, as at present.

      It's time the Internet was decentralised - Much of its initial growth came from international cooperation so perhaps the rest of the world should build "kill switchs" to isolate themselves from the US when their activities become too obnoxious or disruptive?

  2. Sovereignty Intelligence Service
    already cut them out to the best of our ability. the only real solution is Peer to Peer private wifi mesh systems