Google’s secret NSA alliance: The terrifying deals between Silicon Valley and the security state Inside the high-level, complicated deals — and the rise of a virtually unchecked surveillance power. By Shane Harris.
In mid-December 2009, engineers at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, uncovered Operation Aurora, one of the most extensive and far-reaching campaigns of cyber espionage in U.S. history by the Chinese Government hacker group ATP. Politicians didn’t want to consult with China. Google disagreed. With one blog post Google forced the conversation and changed the global conversation about cyber defense. Google approached the NSA when it couldn’t tackle the hackers. NSA concluded that given budget and security levels, they now couldn’t step out of Google either. Foreign governments and their hackers military attacks won’t stop. Its leaders are prepared to steal the knowledge they need to have to gain superior economic power. Whether they like it or not, the NSA and corporations must fight this foe together, they won’t make it alone. Google’s Sergey Brin is just one of hundreds of CEOs who have been brought into the NSA’s circle of secrecy. The NSA has now used the classified threat briefings to spur companies to strengthen their defenses and obligate their attention. Companies without tools turn to security companies. Meanwhile the NSA and private security companies have a symbiotic relationship. Through exchange of intelligence, the government has created a cyber security business. The government doesn’t disclose which companies are receiving cyber threat intelligence and their definition could include any company.. “as critical”. As of now the program is voluntary, but politicians are already pressing to make it binding and thus force any company in the country to release any information they might need to have. The government will never be able to manage such an extensive security regime on its own. It can’t now, which is why it relies on AT&T and CenturyLink. More companies will flock to this new mission as the government expands the cyber perimeter. The potential market for cyber security services is practically limitless.. [Salon]
And where is the control on privacy or legitimacy?