One day after news of PRISM surfaced — a program which reportedly enables the U.S. government to tap directly into the central servers of U.S.-based Internet companies — Google CEO Larry Page and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond have jointly issued a response to claims that Google participated knowingly in PRISM.
Repeating previous statements, Page details that Google has “not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers. Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a ‘back door’ to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.”
Yesterday, we quizzed Google, asking if it participates in a similar program by any other name, or if it provides special API access to any governments. The response we were given was a firm “no.”
Back to his response, Page calls for “a more transparent approach,” and details his company’s ignorance to the situation and utter lack of involvement:
Until this week’s reports, we had never heard of the broad type of order that Verizon received—an order that appears to have required them to hand over millions of users’ call records. We were very surprised to learn that such broad orders exist.
There is, of course, confusion as to whether or not Google could legally claim to be involved in a classified program. In any event, Page is quite clear in his statements. The title of his blog post is literally “What the …?”
Page managed to plug Google’s Transparency Report as well, before leaving us with a final message: “the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.”
This dizzying story continues to evolve, so visit the links below to learn more about what’s happened thus far:
- Apple, Google, Microsoft and 6 other companies reportedly feeding NSA, FBI info through data sharing pact
- The leaked slide which contains the dates when Apple, Microsoft, Google, and others joined PRISM
- Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft, AOL, PalTalk, Dropbox and Yahoo deny participation
- President Obama’s response to PRISM reports
Image credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
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