Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt expressed his shock at reports that the NSA tapped into the internal communications links between Google servers, describing it as “outrageous” in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The claim was made as part of the ongoing PRISM revelations.
It’s really outrageous that the National Security Agency was looking between the Google data centers, if that’s true. The steps that the organization was willing to do without good judgment to pursue its mission and potentially violate people’s privacy, it’s not OK …
Schmidt said that while he accepted the need to balance security and privacy, “violating the privacy of every single citizen of America” was clearly wrong, referring to a related allegation that the NSA examined the phone records of 320 million Americans to identify 300 people of interest.
Google and other major tech companies recently signed an open letter calling for government powers to access private data to be limited.
Schmidt also said the company has no plans to expand its operations in China due to government censorship there getting worse since the company closed google.cn, redirecting traffic to google.com.hk in Hong Kong.
China’s censorship regime has gotten significantly worse since we left so something would have to change before we come back.