Google Accused of Allowing Feds to Spy on Private Data Centers – Snooping Around “The Cloud”
How safe is the "cloud?" If you believe documents leaked by former NSA Contractor Eric Snowden, not very.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, by way of the Washington Post, Google and Yahoo allegedly allowed the National Security Agency -NSA- to tap into internal communication links between data centers owned by Google and Yahoo.
These data centers, often referred to as part of the "cloud", are off-site storage areas where millions of people can keep data they don't want to have on their computer. You can't watch TV for an hour without seeing some sort of commercial about "the cloud." Numerous companies offer off-site storage, and now it appears the feds are snooping around in it.
NSA documents leaked by Snowden allege the NSA has downloaded millions of records, according to The Journal:
"The latest Snowden documents claim the NSA has worked with its British counterpart, GCHQ to collect entire data flows across fiber-optic cables in a project codenamed MUSCULAR, said the Post. It reported:
According to a top secret accounting dated Jan. 9, 2013, NSA’s acquisitions directorate sends millions of records every day from Yahoo and Google internal networks to data warehouses at the agency’s Fort Meade headquarters. In the preceding 30 days, the report said, field collectors had processed and sent back 181,280,466 new records — ranging from “metadata,” which would indicate who sent or received e-mails and when, to content such as text, audio and video."
In what has to be one of the funniest rebuttals of the year, the director of the NSA, General Keith Alexander, said the NSA is "not authorized to go into a U.S. company's servers and take data." Notice he said authorized. That doesn't mean they not doing it anyway. We found out the IRS was illegally intruding into the financial affairs of conservative political and TEA Party groups, The Obama Administration lied about millions of Americans losing their health care plans, and several officials have been fired over corruption and collusion over stimulus loans to green energy companies.
So why would anyone believe the NSA was not invading our personal computer records?
The issue brings to light the increasing efforts of internet storage companies such as Google, Yahoo, and others saying they are working on newer method of encrypting data to prevent large-scale snooping into private citizens accounts.
Perhaps what we can learn from this is, if you're worried about the security of the "cloud," go buy a few extra memory cards and external hard drives, and install them in your own personal computer.