Report: Google in talks with NSA to team up on defense partnership


"The world's largest Internet search company and the world's most powerful electronic surveillance organization are teaming up in the name of cybersecurity," reads the opening line from this Washington Post report. The National Security Agency is reported to be finalizing an agreement with Google to analyze the recent and much-publicized hack attack Google says originated in China, targeting its networks. The point of the partnership is to help defend Google and Google users from future breaches. Snip:

Google and the NSA declined to comment on the partnership. But sources with knowledge of the arrangement, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the alliance is being designed to allow the two organizations to share critical information without violating Google's policies or laws that protect the privacy of Americans' online communications. The sources said the deal does not mean the NSA will be viewing users' searches or e-mail accounts or that Google will be sharing proprietary data.

The partnership strikes at the core of one of the most sensitive issues for the government and private industry in the evolving world of cybersecurity: how to balance privacy and national security interests. On Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair called the Google attacks, which the company acknowledged in January, a "wake-up call." Cyberspace cannot be protected, he said, without a "collaborative effort that incorporates both the U.S. private sector and our international partners."

Washington Post: Google to enlist NSA to help it ward off cyberattacks (via Danger Room)

More around the web: CNET, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Firedoglake.