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And Google plays Bouncer to NSA

keyholeNSAWhen “Providers” get fed up with customer-unfriendly methods of the NSA,
they start mocking up. In this case, Google has decided to lock out the NSA
from sniffing the communication between Google’s server farms. Google
announced to encrypt their traffic between the data centers.

This action was necessary after public notice of NSA’s actions on Google and their customers. Google hereby seems to fear the loss of valuable customers if they decide to turn their back on Google for allowing the NSA to watch everything about communcation Google is transmitting. The question is: Is there any encryption strong enough to withstand the power of the NSA or better ask: Is there ANY encryption, that has no backdoor for our “friends” from all the secret agencies. Not only the NSA is sniffing, it’s also the GCHQ, KGB and the BND (Germany) who are also trying to know everything about our privacy.

According to the following image (which looks a bit extremely simplificated)…


…Google (better say Mike Hearn) annoyedly responds with a “Fuck you… now we start encrypting!”

Brandon Downey has initiated the discussion where the spying actions of NSA and GCHQ became a worrying issue:

Fuck these guys.

I’ve spent the last ten years of my life trying to keep Google’s users safe and secure from the many diverse threats Google faces.

I’ve seen armies of machines DOS-ing Google. I’ve seen worms DOS’ing Google to find vulnerabilities in other people’s software. I’ve seen criminal gangs figure out malware. I’ve seen spyware masquerading as toolbars so thick it breaks computers because it interferes with the other spyware.

I’ve even seen oppressive governments use state sponsored hacking to target dissidents.

But even though we suspected this was happening, it still makes me terribly sad. It makes me sad because I believe in America.

Not in that flag-waving bullshit we’ve-got-our-big-trucks-and-bigger-tanks sort of way, but in the way that you can looked a good friend who has a lot of flaws, but every time you meet him, you think, “That guy still has some good ideas going on”.

But after spending all that time helping in my tiny way to protect Google — one of the greatest things to arise from the internet — seeing this, well, it’s just a little like coming home from War with Sauron, destroying the One Ring, only to discover the NSA is on the front porch of the Shire chopping down the Party Tree and outsourcing all the hobbit farmers with half-orcs and whips.

The US has to be better than this; but I guess in the interim, that security job is looking a lot more like a Sisyphus thing than ever.

This is, what Mike Hearn has replied:

Recently  Brandon Downey , a colleague of mine on the Google security team, said (after the usual disclaimers about being personal opinions and not speaking for the firm which I repeat here) – “fuck these guys”:

I now join him in issuing a giant Fuck You to the people who made these slides. I am not American, I am a Brit, but it’s no different – GCHQ turns out to be even worse than the NSA.

We designed this system to keep criminals out . There’s no ambiguity here. The warrant system with skeptical judges, paths for appeal, and rules of evidence was built from centuries of hard won experience. When it works, it represents as good a balance as we’ve got between the need to restrain the state and the need to keep crime in check. Bypassing that system is illegal for a good reason .

Unfortunately we live in a world where all too often, laws are for the little people. Nobody at GCHQ or the NSA will ever stand before a judge and answer for this industrial-scale subversion of the judicial process. In the absence of working law enforcement,  we therefore do what internet engineers have always done – build more secure software. The traffic shown in the slides below is now all encrypted and the work the NSA/GCHQ staff did on understanding it, ruined.

Thank you Edward Snowden. For me personally, this is the most interesting revelation all summer.

So I guess, Google is now heavily securing the GFE where NSA and GCHQ seem to have tapped the communication as it is the weak spot in Google’s interconnect between Googles data centers and the internet.

This is in fact an interesting turn of tide as Google is an american company and thus will probably be forced by either the government or the NSA itself to allow data inspection if needed.

Maybe this improves the sight of users on Google that Google is not that evil as one might often read. There are in fact employees at Google who also are against this huge data collection of NSA&Co.

From my side there’s a big cheer to the guys who care about each individual’s security by fighting the massive and uncontrollable data hunger of the NSA and GCHQ!

November 8, 2013 Netspark - 1133 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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