A new Snowden leak, detailed in the Washington Post, reveals that the NSA and the UK spy agency GCHQ placed taps between data-centers owned by Yahoo and Google, intercepting the entire data-flow between American companies without warrants, gathering the private, sensitive data of literally tens of millions of innocent citizens of both nations. Both companies give the impression of fury bubbling beneath their careful PR statements. I can only imagine that after the companies gave the NSA front-door access through programs like PRISM, it's a serious kick in the teeth to learn that they snuck in the back door, too.
The MUSCULAR project appears to be an unusually aggressive use of NSA tradecraft against flagship American companies. The agency is built for high-tech spying, with a wide range of digital tools, but it has not been known to use them routinely against U.S. companies.
...In a statement, Google said it is “troubled by allegations of the government intercepting traffic between our data centers, and we are not aware of this activity.”
“We have long been concerned about the possibility of this kind of snooping, which is why we continue to extend encryption across more and more Google services and links,” the company said.
At Yahoo, a spokeswoman said, “We have strict controls in place to protect the security of our data centers, and we have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency.”
NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say [Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani/Washington Post]
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