Your Christmas newsletter in Google Docs is now being proofread by NSA contractors
It should come as no surprise that encryption has become a very topical news item which has been appearing with increasing frequency. Yesterday the Washington Post revealed exactly what was going on by publishing these news stories:
- NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say
- The NSA is infiltrating private networks
- NSA fires back at Washington Post report
The opening line of the first news report says it all:
The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials.
One of the more interesting tidbits from the Washington Post’s story was this item:
In an NSA presentation slide on “Google Cloud Exploitation,” however, a sketch shows where the “Public Internet” meets the internal “Google Cloud” where their data reside. In hand-printed letters, the drawing notes that encryption is “added and removed here!” The artist adds a smiley face, a cheeky celebration of victory over Google security.
Two engineers with close ties to Google exploded in profanity when they saw the drawing. “I hope you publish this,” one of them said.
The question becomes what did Google know and when did they know it. Fortunately the news reports establish a chronology for the events describe by the Washington Post. On or about 2013-09-06 stories began to appear that Google had embarked on an extensive effort to encrypt all the data passing between its datacenters worldwide but there were not too many details as to why other than a distrust of the NSA. Apparently Google had become aware that their networks had been hacked in early September based on these stories which suddenly began to appear about that date.
- Google encrypts data amid backlash against NSA spying
- Circumventing Encryption Frees NSA to Access Web Data without Bothering Service Providers
- NSA’s Decade-Long Plan to Undermine Encryption Includes Backdoors, Stolen Keys, Manipulating Standards
- Google accelerates encryption project
- Google speeding up end-to-end crypto between data centers worldwide
- Google scrambles to block backdoors
This was a joint project between the governments of the United States and Great Britain and is clearly illegal under the laws of both nations. This makes Watergate look like a Sunday Social. Clearly corporations need to expand their security perimeters into areas which were previously believed to be secure. All data in motion must be encrypted, even on internal networks!
- NSA secretly tapped Google, Yahoo data centers worldwide, new report claims (foxnews.com)
- Latest Snowden leak: ‘NSA hacked into Google & Yahoo data streams’ [Sam Sacks @ RTAmerica] (disclose.tv)
- Snowden leak: NSA secretly accessed Yahoo, Google data centers to collect information (rt.com)
- Snowden Leak: NSA Secretly Accessed Yahoo, Google Data Centers To Collect Information (eurasiareview.com)
- NSA taps into Google and Yahoo cables outside the US (androidcommunity.com)
- Even after NSA revelations, Yahoo won’t say if it plans to encrypt data center traffic (washingtonpost.com)
- The Scariest Part of the Latest NSA Revelation Is This Goofy Post-It (gizmodo.com)
- MUSCULAR Is The NSA Program You Should Be Afraid Of (washingtonpost.com)
- NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers, Snowden documents say (stltoday.com)
- Google & Yahoo infuriated by NSA hacking (worldbulletin.net)