The top-secret US National Security Agency is not required to reveal any deal it may have with Google to help protect against cyber attacks, an appeals court ruled Friday.
The ruling came in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from a public interest group, which said the public has a right to know about any spying on citizens.
The appeals court agreed that the NSA can reject the request, and does not even have to confirm whether it has any arrangement with the Internet giant.
"Any information pertaining to the relationship between Google and NSA would reveal protected information about NSA's implementation of its information assurance mission," Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote in the appeals opinion...More at Yahoo News
H/T to rashmanly
The NSA has become the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever.
The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.”
It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.
But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted.
According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”
This whole story should be read by all US citizens at Wired