On Monday, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt commented on recent reports
that the NSA was covertly hacking into Google and Yahoo data centers, telling the Wall Street Journal
the agency's behavior is "outrageous." "There clearly are cases where evil people exist, but you don’t have to violate the privacy of every single citizen of America to find them," stated Schmidt. Back in September Google already stated
they were beefing up the use of encryption between data centers.
Google engineers on the front lines have been considerably less diplomatic. Google security engineer Brandon Downey took to Google Plus
to share his thoughts on what the NSA has been up to:
Fuck these guys.
Since the Washington Post published their first story
, the NSA has since repeatedly denied that any of this was real, using their now-familiar semantic play to answer inquiries. That prompted the Post to publish more slides
to further back up their story. Another Google security engineer, Mike Hearn, has taken to Google Plus to announce all the traffic shown the Post's slides has since been encrypted
I now join him in issuing a giant Fuck You to the people who made these slides....Unfortunately we live in a world where all too often, laws are for the little people. Nobody at GCHQ or the NSA will ever stand before a judge and answer for this industrial-scale subversion of the judicial process. In the absence of working law enforcement, we therefore do what internet engineers have always done - build more secure software. The traffic shown in the slides below is now all encrypted and the work the NSA/GCHQ staff did on understanding it, ruined.
Many will find the concern expressed by a company that's hoovering up and monetizing user data by the boat load rather ironic, though Google has at least been fighting against NSL gag orders
and other government efforts that appear to stretch the rule of law. A question that remains is where the NSA specifically gained access to Google's network, something the New York Times argues
was courtesy of Level 3.