By Mitch Riportella
Apparently deciding that America’s distrust of the government isn’t strong enough, The National Security Agency is giving citizens something else to worry about.
The agency has allegedly tapped into private data centers of Google and Yahoo, according to the Washington Post and leaked documents from the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The data consists of hundreds of thousands of personal user accounts worldwide, including any email, documents, pictures and video tied to the accounts.
General Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, denied these allegations at a Bloomberg cybersecurity conference last week.
“I can tell you factually we do not have access to Google servers, Yahoo servers,” Alexander said.
What’s interesting about that statement, however, was that the NSA was never actually accused of accessing Google or Yahoo’s servers.
Barton Gellman, one of the Washington Post writers responsible for the story, said in an interview with PBS that, “[T]hey’re tapping into the traffic that’s between the data center here and the data center there. So they’re capturing the data as it moves across the net, not in storage.”
When logging into a Google or Yahoo account, all of the user’s data is sitting on a private server, Gellman said. When the user opens up the email, the account’s information is sent across the web and to a computer where the user can access it. The NSA can then intercept account information, conceivably giving them access to every single one of a person’s emails, as well as where they were sent or received.
Google has been openly angry with the NSA, and understandably so. The company already announced that they would be bulking up security measures.
The laws currently in place have too many loopholes, and they must be adjusted in order to ensure the privacy of American citizens.