Google has told The Washington Post that it is accelerating its pace to encrypt the “torrents of information” following news this week that the US’s National Security Agency has collaborated with tech companies to weaken encryption on their data, allowing the agency to spy on user information and communication.
The company has been on the offense of late trying to combat public opinion that says it cooperated with the NSA on its PRISM program, which was revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Google has rebuked claims time and time again that it is in bed with the intelligence agency and also joined forces with Microsoft to sue the agency for permission to divulge the full relationship.
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According to the Washington Post, Google’s encryption initiative was approved last year, but understandably has picked up its pace this summer. With the NSA enacting policies to combat encryption for the defense of the country, Google’s efforts will truly be tested, but perhaps it will make some users feel comfortable knowing that something is being done to ensure that their communiques are secure.
The Director of National Intelligence’s response to all of this? In a statement to the Washington Post:
Throughout history, nations have used encryption to protect their secrets, and today terrorists, cybercriminals, human traffickers and others also use code to hide their activities. Our intelligence community would not be doing its job if we did not try to counter that.
Lawmakers are taking steps to ensure that the public is protected too. Representative Rush Holt, Jr. from New Jersey is proposing a bill that would eliminate the NSA’s efforts to crack encryptions and cease some of its programs to violate private protections.
Indicative of its famous motto “Do No Harm”, Google has, at least for the sake of appearances, been implementing new security measures throughout the year to ensure that your data is essentially your data and not viewable illegally. Whether or not it works remains unknown and we may never really find out, at least until the next set of secrets get leaked.
➤ Google encrypts data amid backlash against NSA spying (Washington Post)
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