Monday, September 13, 2010

Privacy Group Sues to Get Records About NSA-Google Relationship

Ken Dilanian writes in The Los Angeles Times:

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 group.

The ad hoc and secretive nature of Google's arrangement with the federal spy agency also spotlights what some experts said was the lack of a clear federal plan to deal with the growing vulnerability of U.S. computer infrastructure to cyber intrusions launched from foreign countries. At risk are power grids, banks and other crucial public services.

"We have a faith-based approach, in that we pray every night nothing bad will happen," said James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

In January, Google announced that it had been the victim of "a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property."

A month later, newspapers reported that Google had begun cooperating with the NSA, the spy agency in charge of defending the U.S. military from such attacks. Google, according to reports, enlisted the NSA, which has a vast electronic surveillance capability and a trove of cyber-warfare experts, to help trace the source of the attack and take steps to prevent future intrusions.

More here.


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