Snooping NSA Broke Into Google and Yahoo Data Centers

Snooping NSA Broke Into Google and Yahoo Data Centers

Snooping NSA Broke Into Google and Yahoo Data CentersSeems the NSA is at it again, snooping and putting their nose where people feel it doesn’t belong. From documents obtained from Edward Snowden, it seems the NSA has secretly broken into the main communication links that connect Google and Yahoo data centers around the world.

A document dated January 9, 2013 indicates that NSA sends millions of records each and every day from Google and Yahoo’s internal networks to data warehouses at NSA headquarters. What’s worse? In the last 30 days since October 30, 2013, collectors have processed and sent back more than 180 million new records! And, even worse than that? Guess what these collectors were looking at! Let’s see, how about data that indicates who sent or received emails and when, texts, audio and videos.

So, with this “data theft,” is the NSA violating federal wiretap laws? Marc Rotenberg, executive director of Electronic Privacy Information Center, sure seems to think so:

"Although there's a diminished standard of legal protection for interception that occurs overseas, the fact that it was directed apparently to Google's cloud and Yahoo's cloud, and that there was no legal order as best we can tell to permit the interception, there is a good argument to make that the NSA has engaged in unlawful surveillance.”

What tool is NSA using to exploit Google and Yahoo data links? Heard of MUSCULAR? Well, it’s jointly operated with its British counterpart, GCHQ. These tools are coping entire data flows across fiber optic cables that carry information between the Google and Yahoo’s data centers.

What do you think?

Has NSA gone a little too far or do you think they are simply doing their job?

Do you agree with Marc that the NSA is engaging in unlawful surveillance?

I personally think that unless the NSA has gotten a tip that someone specific is engaging in illegal behavior that email “metadata” should be off limits. What totally cracks me up is the fact that they named their tool MUSCULAR, like it’s this huge gigantic tool that’s forcefully taking over the monitoring of data.


Photo of Google data center courtesy of Fox News.

Posted by Ginger Hill on Nov 05, 2013

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