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Google turns to NSA for help in cyberattack defences

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Google is detailing a new data-sharing agreement with the US National Security Agency in order to better protect itself against apparent attacks from China.

Back in 2006, Google claimed lots of positive press coverage for briefly resisting requests for its search data from the Department of Justice. The firm has generally considered only itself as a safe home for its users' private data.

But it is now finalising a new deal with the National Security Agency to share data without breaking either Google's Ts&Cs or US data protection laws.

Google went to see the spooks shortly after the Chinese attacks, but the detailed agreement is taking some time to sort out. This will be Google's first formal agreement with the NSA, according to Washington Post sources.

The paper said the agreement did not mean the NSA would be reading emails or looking at search histories. US opinion of the NSA has not really recovered from its warrantless wiretapping extravaganza.

The paper said the deal was focussed on testing Google's defences against future attacks rather than trying to find out who carried them out.

Neither Google nor the NSA would comment but the leak is likely to upset privacy campaigners. ®

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