Google and the NSA

Some of you may remember earlier in January when Google announced that their system source code was assaulted numerous times between December and January.  Google called this a massive attack and let us all know that e-mail accounts of human rights activists in Europe and the USA had been compromised.  I, along with many, do not have a category for a cyberattack.  We can categorize burglary, murder, assault, but a cyberassault is a different problem.

Google is taking this serious.  So seriously they have taken two steps.  First, they have demanded the Chinese government allow them to operate an uncensored search engine in China.  Up to this point everything searched through Google has to be censored in the land of the dragon.  Second, Google contacted the NSA about investigating the attack.

This may make you leery because the capabilities of America’s electronic spy agency are far overblown (maybe).  We really do not know what they’re capable of doing but I can guarantee you it is a lot.  I am of two minds with this.  First, any government agency teaming up with a private organization which has control of some of the private data of individuals make me nervous.  My ingrained American distrust of anything smacking of tyranny comes rising up.  Second is more pragmatic.  I expect the NSA has the ability to do a lot of good electronic investigating and I can only imagine Google collected an immense amount of data about the attack.  Investigating this properly can only increase our knowledge of and resistance to cyberattacks.  Google knows they need to protect their users data, so let us hope they do so properly.

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