Eric Schmidt Claims Google Considered Moving Its Servers Out Of The US To Avoid The NSA
from the that-would-be-big dept
We’ve been hearing more and more reports that many folks within Google are incredibly angry over the NSA’s activities, some of which has bubbled up already. There have been some questions, though, about whether those attitudes go all the way up the management chain, so it’s interesting to see Google’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, now claiming that the company actually considered taking all its servers out of the US in the wake of the NSA revelations.
Google, the giant of the Internet, thought about moving its servers out of the U.S. after the NSA debacle, said Eric Schmidt, the company’s chairman, on Friday at the Paley International Council Summit in New York.
“Actually, we thought about that and there are many, many reasons why it’s impossible for Google to leave the United States, although it’s attractive,” Schmidt said.
“But the reason it’s an interesting idea is because American firms are subject to these rules, the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] rules, Patriot Act and so forth, and this government surveillance is really a problem.”
Of course, what Google probably realized is that, once out of the US, the NSA actually has more powers to spy on anything with basically no oversight. At least in the US, there are some (if minimal) restrictions, and there are at least some ways to fight back. Still, it would be quite a statement for a company like Google to make that kind of a move, and again would highlight just how much of a bad business impact all this NSA spying can have on American companies.
The real question is how much will Google continue to do in response to these revelations. Many, many people don’t trust the company, and taking a strong stand to protect its users privacy and to push back against government surveillance is going to be necessary, or the company runs a real risk of driving many people to other services that promise to be more secure.