Several Google executives held a question and answer session on Reddit today to address (and avoid) a variety of different topics. Perhaps most notably, the Google executives voiced their support for the federal appeals court ruling on Thursday that said bulk collection of telephone records by the NSA is not lawful.

Google’s director for law enforcement and information security Richard Salgado, along with senior privacy policy counsel David Lieber, applauded the ruling and noted that Google strongly opposes giving the NSA power to mass collect telephone records. The two executives then voiced support for a bill currently pending in Congress that would allow the NSA to collect data only on a case-by-case basis. The bill, known as the USA Freedom Act, was called a “serious step toward real surveillance reform” by the two executives.

Also during the Ask Me Anything Session, Salgado addressed Google’s policy on allowing the government to directly access its data by saying,  “We don’t build backdoors into our services. We do not have a ‘surveillance portal.’” Lieber also noted that Google has “often pushed back on government requests that are over-broad or otherwise don’t satisfy legal requirements.”

Finally, Salgado reinforced that Google is working hard to encrypt its services and make communications harder to intercept. You can view the full AMA session here.

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Chance Miller


Chance currently writes for both 9to5Google and 9to5Mac, in addition to 9to5Toys.