Among the many National Security Agency revelations that have come about over the past two weeks, one of the most important was information suggesting that the government agency spied on data being sent between data centers operated by Google and by Yahoo. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said in an interview Monday that if true, the NSA's actions are "outrageous" and possibly criminal.
While it is not technically proven so far, Schmidt and others are assuming that the NSA did spy on Google's data centers. With the NSA tapping phone lines and even spying on foreign officials, it is no longer difficult to believe the agency would behave in the same way towards a tech company in the U.S.
Far more information would be necessary, along with some proof, before legal action could be taken against the NSA. However, that has not stopped Google from taking a stand against the agency based upon reports released by a former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden.
"It's really outrageous that the National Security Agency was looking between the Google data centers, if that's true," Schmidt said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "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."
Despite a lack of hard evidence against the NSA or the Obama administration, Google is filing complaints with both. At the very least, Google wants it to be known that it is not complicit in NSA spying.
Schmidt and his fellow Google executives may be some of the first tech industry officials to criticize the NSA, but others around the world have already done so. Late last month, it was revealed that the NSA had spied on the personal cell phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This revelation was only one of many incriminating assertions, which have angered both U.S. friends and enemies globally.
"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," said the NSA, in response to these reports.
Unfortunately, the claims made by the NSA suggesting that it follows all applicable laws, do not mean much to the average citizen. Prior to the Snowden revelations, most people knew little about the NSA's espionage. At this point, it is safe to say we still do not know the full extent to which the NSA spies on foreigners or Americans. Even with the limited knowledge we have, it already appears as though the NSA is pushing the boundaries of "legal."
Posted: 2013-11-06 @ 9:56am PT
NSA has done massive damage to the US TECH industry. I have nothing to hide, but just like in the mid 90's Crypto Wars, have taken action because I value my rights:
Cell phone -->canceled data bundle (flip phone)
Gmail -->deleted account. Local mail and calender
Air Gap and PGP --->installed
Cloud -->No thanks
Full disk encryption -->installed
Funny thing is don't miss any of it.
Posted: 2013-11-05 @ 2:10pm PT
oh, please, and Google's spying on the public is not outrageous?
Posted: 2013-11-04 @ 6:30pm PT
The dystopian fantasies of yesteryear are now a reality. We’ve allowed the coming of an age where the civil liberties our forefathers fought so hard for are being eroded by the day. Freedom of Press, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly are mere ghostly images of their original intent. We’ve woken up to an Orwellian Society of Fear where anyone is at the mercy of being labeled a terrorist for standing up for rights we took for granted just over a decade ago. Read about how we’re waging war against ourselves at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/09/living-in-society-of-fear-ten-years.html