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Google engineers curse out NSA over data center intrusion

Outraged Google(s goog) engineers are using public posts to blast the National Security Service in eloquent — and very salty — language over reports the spy service has been tapping into the company’s private fiber-optic cables.

“I now join [my colleague] in issuing a giant [eff] You to the people who made these slides,” wrote Zurich-based engineer, Mike Hearn, in a Google+ post that refers to leaked documents showing that the NSA has infiltrated private data centers at Google and Yahoo.

Hearn laments that by-passing the company’s security service is illegal, but that no one at the spy services who disregarded the laws will “stand before a judge and answer for this industrial-scale subversion of the judicial process.”

And last week, a member of Google’s security team offered thoughts in a blog post of his own.

“[eff] these guys,” wrote Brandon Doyle, expressing anguish that he has spent a decade protecting Google users from spyware and criminal gangs, only to find his own government has broken into the systems. He offers this pithy summary of his feelings:

“It’s just a little like coming home from War with Sauron, destroying the One Ring, only to discover the NSA is on the front porch of the Shire chopping down the Party Tree and outsourcing all the hobbit farmers with half-orcs and whips.”

The engineers were speaking for themselves, not Google, though chairman Eric Schmidt on Monday took to CNN to blast the NSA’ activities as an overstep.

Some will find it rich, of course, to hear Google, which has been evermore blithe about exploiting its own users’ data, complain about the government’s lack of due process. Still, the blog posts provide an interesting, unfiltered view from engineers about the still-unfolding spy scandal.

(Image by ollyy via Shutterstock)

7 Responses to “Google engineers curse out NSA over data center intrusion”

  1. I don’t want Google spying on me — BUT the worst they do is sell my preferences to a company that then tries to tailor its sales to my preferences. And I can use other search engines or take additional measure to protect myself from Google’s spying. In other words, while I object, I don’t suffer substantial harm.
    The Feds steal my data so that they can fine, arrest, imprison and otherwise harm me if the mood so takes them. Substantial damage comes from everything the State does to we its victims. And I have no choice: unlike Google, the govt has invaded every aspect of our communications.
    DISMANTLE the NSA — and the entire State, while we’re at it.

  2. RobPaulGru

    Doesn’t Google share data with the NSA through PRISM anyway. This is just spinning their already terrible privacy policies. If your data is on Google or anybody’s cloud, the government has access. PERIOD.

  3. if Google itself was seriously against what the NSA is doing, Google’s founders would have made strong and detailed comments.

    I think Google is just going along with it.

    • Having gotten not an nsa request but another similiar data request in the past you are very limited with what you can say if at all without getting lawyers all over you with legal threats.

      and specificity can land you in jail.

  4. NSA has done massive damage to the US TECH industry. I have nothing to hide, but just like in the mid 90’s Crypto Wars, have taken action because I value my rights:

    Cell phone –>canceled data bundle (flip phone)
    Gmail –>deleted account. Local mail and calender
    Air Gap and PGP —>installed
    Cloud –>No thanks
    Facebook –>deleted
    Linkedin –>deleted
    Full disk encryption –>installed

    Funny thing is don’t miss any of it.

    • Yes, and didn’t Schmidt say that if you are concerned that what you store online could be compromised then maybe you’ve been doing something you shouldn’t be?