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Released Emails Show the Cozy Relationship Between Google and the NSA

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A series of email exchanges between Google executives and (now former) NSA director Keith Alexander show that tech companies behind the services you use aren't being all the way forthcoming about how closely they've worked with the NSA over the years.

The two 2012 exchanges, one between General Alexander and Google chairman Eric Schmidt, and one between Alexander and Google co-founder Sergey Brin, were obtained by Al Jazeera. The emails don't reveal anything too juicy, but they do show the degree to which Google and the NSA didn't just cooperate with the NSA, but kept a familiar, friendly relationship. The emails name Microsoft, HP, AMD, Apple, and others as willing participants in NSA meetings. They're fairly mundane scheduling emails cleared for release by the NSA following a Freedom of Information Act request. What happened at those meetings we don't know, but we're sure executives behind all the services you use were there, and happily so.


Since Edward Snowden leaked a huge trove of documents about the NSA's outrageous data collection program almost a year ago, tech companies have sought to distance themselves as much as possible from the NSA's activities. In fairness, companies are legally prohibited from revealing many details about what the NSA asks them for. At the same time, it's been pretty clear from the get go that they've also not been completely forthright about how willingly they've cooperated with the NSA's spying over the years. [Al Jazeera via The Tech Block]