Google States Unequivocally It Was 'Attacked' By The Chinese… And By The United States
from the with-friends-like-these dept
Among the biggest revelations made by the Snowden documents so far was of course the fact that in addition to negotiating with companies like Yahoo and Google for user data via the front door (PRISM), the NSA was also busy covertly hacking into the links between company data centers for good measure (trust is the cornerstone of any good relationship, you know). The moves pretty clearly pissed off Google engineers, who swore at the agency and immediately began speeding up the already-underway process of encrypting traffic flowing between data centers.
Speaking at South By Southwest, Google’s Eric Schmidt for the first time (that I’m aware of) unequivocally stated that what the NSA did wasn’t just surveillance or your garden variety hack — it was a direct attack on one of the United States’ most successful companies:
“The solution to this is to encrypt data at multiple points of source. We had already been doing this, but we accelerated our activities,” he said. “We’re pretty sure right now that the information that’s inside of Google is safe from any government’s prying eyes, including the US government’s… We were attacked by the Chinese in 2010, we were attacked by the NSA in 2013. These are facts.”
You’re the executive chairman of one of the most powerful, wealthy companies in the world and you’re “pretty sure” Google’s internal networks are secure? Somehow I doubt that’s the case, given the fact that most of us forget we’re already working off of antiquated information provided by Snowden, and the NSA could have developed an unknown number of additional attack vectors since then. There’s only so much that the cat and mouse game of security can accomplish without the kind of meaningful intelligence oversight the United States government has made very clear they’re entirely disinterested in.
Last fall Schmidt stated that Google had briefly considered moving servers outside of the United States to avoid the NSA before the logistical nightmare (and likely futility given NSA’s reach and the even greater lack of oversight) of that concept had time to sink in. The reality is that no matter the endless analysis and constant promises of both companies and industry, we’ll probably have to wait until the next whistle blower emerges before we have any accurate, current idea of just how little privacy we currently possess.