Google may be publicly denouncing some of the NSA’s recent tactics, but the search giant might be closer to the agency than it has led people to believe. A chain of emails between Google execs and former NSA director Keith Alexander suggests that the company may have downplayed how closely the two have worked together in the past.
A series of purported emails from 2012 between General Alexander and Eric Schmidt and Alexander, and Sergey Brin and Alexander have been obtained by Al Jazeera. While the exchange of messages don’t exactly scream scandal, they clearly reveal a friendly relationship between both camps. Not the only tech giant in this circle, the emails also name Apple, AMD, HP and Microsoft as participants in NSA meetings.
Here’s an excerpt from one of the emails:
About six months ago, we began focusing on the security of mobility devices. A group (primarily Google, Apple and Microsoft) recently came to agreement on a set of core security principles. When we reach this point in our projects we schedule a classified briefing for the CEOs of key companies to provide them a brief on the specific threats we believe can be mitigated and to seek their commitment for their organization to move ahead … Google’s participation in refinement, engineering and deployment of the solutions will be essential.
While we’re not sure what took place at those private get-togethers, we know that major players from the tech industry were in attendance. After months in the spotlight, several companies (including Google) have tried to distance themselves from the NSA and its activities. However, if any of these aforementioned organizations actually have a problem with the agency, why not shoot them an email and talk about it in a private meeting?