Big Brother is watching you

The world’s largest Internet search company and the world’s most powerful electronic surveillance organization are teaming up in the name of cybersecurity.

Under an agreement that is still being finalized, the National Security Agency would help Google analyze a major corporate espionage attack that the firm said originated in China and targeted its computer networks, according to cybersecurity experts familiar with the matter. The objective is to better defend Google — and its users — from future attack.

Google and the NSA declined to comment on the partnership. But sources with knowledge of the arrangement, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the alliance is being designed to allow the two organizations to share critical information without violating Google’s policies or laws that protect the privacy of Americans’ online communications. The sources said the deal does not mean the NSA will be viewing users’ searches or e-mail accounts or that Google will be sharing proprietary data.

The partnership strikes at the core of one of the most sensitive issues for the government and private industry in the evolving world of cybersecurity: how to balance privacy and national security interests. On Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair called the Google attacks, which the company acknowledged in January, a “wake-up call.” Cyberspace cannot be protected, he said, without a “collaborative effort that incorporates both the U.S. private sector and our international partners.”

Kilde: Ellen Nakashima @ The Washington Post

google_logo Google har efterhånden et noget blakket ry når det kommer til privacy policy, og jeg har da også selv haft mine betænkeligheder, blandt andet i forhold til Google Street View. Alligevel kom det som noget af en overraskelse, da jeg læste ovenstående artikel i The Washington Post, fordi det forekommer mig noget rabiat selv for Google.

Egentlig giver en sådan aftale imellem NSA og Google god mening, når man tænker på terrorisme, cybersecurity etc. men for mig bliver det problematisk, hvis en privat virksomhed, som jeg vælger at betro med mine personlige oplysninger, har en aftale med et nationalt sikkerheds organ, som ikke er klart defineret i forhold til hvad den rent faktisk går ud på. Kan aftalen betyde at NSA kan se om jeg har brugt Google til at søge efter oplysninger om sprængstoffer?

Mig bekendt har der endu ikke været nogle sager i offentligheden, hvor Google rent faktisk har udeleveret private data fra brugerne, så indtil andet er bevist kan man nok ikke med god samvittighed kritisere Google. Men Googles “Do No Evil” mantra er begyndt at lyde ret hult.

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