US spy agency can keep mum on Google ties: court

May 11, 2012
The top-secret US National Security Agency is not required to reveal any deal it may have with Google to help protect against cyber attacks, an appeals court ruled Friday. The US Court of Appeals in Washington upheld a lower court decision that said the NSA need not confirm or deny any relationship with Google, because its governing statutes allow it keep such information secret.

The top-secret US National Security Agency is not required to reveal any deal it may have with Google to help protect against cyber attacks, an appeals court ruled Friday.

The US Court of Appeals in Washington upheld a lower court decision that said the NSA need not confirm or deny any relationship with Google, because its governing statutes allow it keep such information secret.

The ruling came in response to a request from a public interest group, which said the public has a right to know about any spying on citizens.

The appeals court agreed that the NSA can reject the request, and does not even have to confirm whether it has any arrangement with the .

"Any information pertaining to the relationship between Google and NSA would reveal protected information about NSA's implementation of its information assurance mission," Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote in the appeals opinion.

The non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a formal request to make public documents related to the dealings, and said much of the information had already been in news media.

The request stemmed from a January 2010 cyber attack on Google that primarily targeted the Gmail email accounts of Chinese .

According to the Google blog, the Internet group's chief legal officer David Drummond stated that the firm was notifying other companies that may have been targeted and was also working with the relevant US authorities.

The and Washington Post reported that Google had contacted the NSA immediately following the attack.

According to news reports, the NSA agreed to help Google analyze the attacks in a bid to better protect the California-based search company and its users from future intrusions.

The reported alliance would seek to allow the to evaluate Google's hardware and , as well as estimate the sophistication of its adversary in order to help the firm understand whether it has the right defenses in place.

Privacy advocates already critical of Google policies regarding saving user data and targeting ads to match online behavior patterns fear that an alliance with the spy network could put private information at risk.

Explore further: Facebook lets users squirrel items away

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Privacy group sues to get data about NSA-Google ties

Sep 14, 2010

The National Security Agency should divulge information about its reported agreement with Google Inc. to help the Internet company defend itself against foreign cyber attacks, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by a privacy ...

Homeland Security and spy agency to work together

Oct 14, 2010

(AP) -- Computer experts at the secretive National Security Agency are teaming up with the Homeland Security Department in an effort to strengthen the nation's defenses against cyber attacks.

US tracked email of Wikileaks volunteer: report

Oct 10, 2011

US authorities have obtained a secret court order to force search giant Google and a small Internet provider to hand over information from email accounts of a volunteer for whistleblower website WikiLeaks, ...

German court rules against Google's terms

Aug 31, 2009

(AP) -- A German court has ruled that Google Inc. must change terms of service that could be interpreted to compromise a user's rights, a decision the consumer advocacy group that brought the suit welcomed ...

Recommended for you

Google made failed bid for Spotify

4 hours ago

Internet titan Google tried last year to buy streaming music service Spotify but backed off for reasons including a whopping price tag, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

4 hours ago

(AP)—Cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 StubHub customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events through the online ticket reseller, a law enforcement official and the company said Tuesday.

Putin signs law seen as crimping social media

16 hours ago

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a law requiring Internet companies to store all personal data of Russian users at data centres in Russia, a move which could chill criticism on foreign social networking ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

alfie_null
not rated yet May 12, 2012
Considering all the other ways other entities can gather and use information about me to my disadvantage, the potential activities of the NSA rank pretty low.

EPIC could better use its resources to push for legislation that would make me the owner of information about myself (require my permission for aggregation, sharing, etc.). Stuff like this is (for them) a hard-to-resist headline grabber, though.