A series of emails dating back to late 2011, suggest a far cozier working relationship between the then-NSA director Keith Alexander and Google chairman Eric Schmidt and co-founder Sergey Brin. The Huffington Post reports that, this correspondence suggests a close relationship between the NSA and Google before the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden ever leaked documents that detailed the agency’s online spying efforts.
The exchange illustrates how Google, like many other U.S. tech companies, worked with the NSA on cybersecurity issues. Disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the agency’s vast capability for spying on Americans’ electronic communications had prompted a number of tech executives whose firms were cooperating with the government to insist they had done so only when compelled by a court of law according to Aljazeera America. According to reports the two emails have been cleared for public release by the NSA as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.
“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,” Keith Alexander wrote in June 2012 email to Google chairman Eric Schmidt, according to the Huffington Post. “Google’s participation in refinement, engineering and deployment of the solutions will be essential,” the then NSA director Keith Alexander has reported.
“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,” a spokesperson for Google told The Huffington Post. According to the enquirer, Google, which claims to encrypt all its traffic to keep the NSA out, has not yet responded to questions on the subject.
Image credit: www.huffingtonpost.com