Google Attempts to NSA-Proof Its Data

Working to strongly encrypt its data amid PRISM fallout

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 7, 2013 2:48 PM CDT

(Newser) – Amid the fallout from the NSA's PRISM surveillance program, Google is scrambling to encrypt its data, in an effort to hide it from the prying eyes of intelligence agencies, the Washington Post reports. Of course, as we learned this week, the NSA can crack encrypted data too, but the search giant says it would at least like to make it a bit harder to do. "If the NSA wants to get into your system, they are going to get in. ... Most of the people in my community are realistic about that," says an ACLU computer security expert. "This is all about making dragnet surveillance impossible."

Google had already planned to do the encryption anyway, but put a rush on the project when the PRISM revelations brought it some bad press. The work should be completed soon—months ahead of the original schedule. The company wouldn't go into detail about the specifics of the project, but does tell the Post it will involve "very strong" encryption in both its data center servers and the fiber-optic lines connecting them. "It's an arms race," says Google's VP of security engineering. "We see these government agencies as among the most skilled players in this game."

The campus-network room at a Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The campus-network room at a Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Google, Connie Zhou)
Hundreds of fans funnel hot air from the computer servers into a cooling unit to be recirculated at a Google data center in Mayes County. Oklahoma.
Hundreds of fans funnel hot air from the computer servers into a cooling unit to be recirculated at a Google data center in Mayes County. Oklahoma.   (AP Photo/Google, Connie Zhou)
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