Feeds

Report: Google's NSA dealings not as bad as you thought – THEY WERE WORSE

Email releases suggest company had better relationship with feds than it let on

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Google and other technology giants were working far more closely with the NSA government than originally thought, if a set of uncovered internal emails are to be believed.

Al Jazeera has posted an email correspondence between NSA director General Keith Alexander and Google's Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin discussing cooperation with the company on an industry security framework.

The emails, dated January and June of 2012, discuss participation from Google in the NSA's Enduring Security Framework (ESF) program. According to the email from Alexander to Schmidt, Google was one of a handful of Silicon Valley companies who were invited to a briefing with the NSA on the effort to "coordinate government/industry actions on important (generally classified) security issues that couldn't be solved by individual actors alone."

In the pitch, Alexander notes that the project played a role in the deployment of measures to protect against the BIOS attack plot on US computer systems. The NSA was later found to be using its own BIOS-level malware to target systems.

Schmidt responded that he would be unable to attend the meeting, but invited Alexander to meet up at a later time.

In the exchange with Brin, dated January 13, Alexander thanks the Google cofounder for attending an ESF Steering Group meeting which discussed threats facing the industry and strategy for mitigation techniques.

The company has yet to respond to a request for comment on the report.

The correspondence suggests that Google was working closer with the NSA than the company had originally let on. Shortly after the leak of the first payload of documents on the PRISM program, Google publicly spoke up against government surveillance, with Schmidt personally condemning the NSA when it was alleged that the agency had tapped Google's internal data centers.

Al Jazeera's report is not the first indication that Google was cozying up to the US government prior to the Edward Snowden revelations. In March, a former NSA general counsel said that the company and other web giants had "full knowledge" of the PRISM surveillance system, and were willingly providing the government with intelligence. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.