The NY Times has an interesting and informative story building on yesterday's bombshell about the NSA and GCHQ infiltrating
Google and Yahoo's network links between datacenters. Much of the NYT report covers the same ground as the original Washington Post article
, but adds a few key details. The key part? That the network cables that connect the various Google datacenters are apparently provided by telco infrastructure giant Level 3 -- and when asked about it, Level 3 seemed to hint strongly that the government may have gotten access via it, but that it was legally gagged from talking about it:
In a statement, Level 3 said: “We comply with the laws in each country where we operate. In general, governments that seek assistance in law enforcement or security investigations prohibit disclosure of the assistance provided.”
That's not a definite confirmation, but you can see how it would raise eyebrows. As the NYT report notes, in an earlier story, concerning claims that Level 3 had helped the intelligence community spy on Germans, the company had denied the report. The fact that it's not
denying it here, but rather pointing out that if it had helped there would be a gag order, certainly suggests the potential way in for the NSA. If so, Google might want to look rather closely at its agreement with Level 3.