When Edward Snowden blew the lid off the National Security Agency’s (NSA) spying tactics, it was believed that tech companies like Google had cooperated with the American agency to facilitate their controversial programs. But as expected, none of those companies accepted they were involved in any way with the NSA.
It has been suggested on several other occasions too that Google is in bed with the NSA. But the Internet giant has denied this each time. But a new revelation by Al Jazeera America suggests otherwise.
The American news channel has revealed an exchange of emails between former NSA director Keith Alexander and Google chairman Eric Schmidt and co-founder Sergey Brin.
More interesting is that these exchanges didn't take place after Snowden's whistleblowing act. These back and forth interactions are from several years ago, from a time when the NSA was doing all it wanted to without anyone suspecting a thing.
In one of the emails, Alexander mentioned a planned meeting between officials of the two entities at an airport in San Jose, California. He wrote: "When we reach this point in our projects we schedule a classified briefing for the CEO’s of key companies to provide them a brief on the specific threats we believe can be mitigated and to seek their commitment for their organization to move ahead. Google’s participation in refinement, engineering and deployment of the solutions will be essential."
Schmidt conveyed his unavailability for the meeting in his counter email but judging by his courteous response, it seems the two parties must have met some other time. Knowing what we know of the NSA, it must have had its way with Google too. Here is the entire message:
When both Al Jazeera America and the Huffington Post contacted Google for their response to this leaked email, their representative simply said: "We work really hard to protect our users from cyber attacks and we talk to outside experts, including occasionally in the US government, to ensure we stay ahead of the game."
Just this past January, Schmidt denied knowledge of the NSA tapping his company's data. While the above email doesn't prove that he was lying, at least this much is certain, that Google and the NSA have been in contact for several years. The relationship between their top brass is also far cosier than most netizens would like.