Google, Yahoo! React to NSA’s MUSCULAR Program

Google, Yahoo! React to NSA’s MUSCULAR Program


(Image source: NSA) BY EVAN THOMAS It sounds like Google and Yahoo! didn’t realize
just how much the NSA was getting out of their computer networks. Part of an NSA presentation
leaked to the Washington Post this week, detailing a backdoor the companies hadn’t known about. “Two engineers with close ties to Google exploded
in profanity when they saw the drawing. ‘I hope you publish this,’ one of them said.” The program, called MUSCULAR, collects metadata
and content like plain text, audio and video from the connections between servers at Google
and Yahoo!. It sends millions of records a day to NSA headquarters in Ft. Meade. “The NSA already has front-door access to
Google and Yahoo! accounts via the court-approved program PRISM. The MUSCULAR program is said
to operate outside the U.S. and is unregulated.” (Via Euronews) Google’s chief legal officer issued a strongly
worded denouncement of the NSA’s activities. “We are outraged at the lengths to which the
government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks, and
it underscores the need for urgent reform.” (Via Softpedia) Yahoo!’s response was less stringent. It says
it has “strict controls in place to protect the security of our data centers, and we have
not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency.” (Via
Ars Technica) NSA chief Keith Alexander, meanwhile, was
on stage at a Bloomberg cybersecurity conference when the news broke. “I can tell you factually we do not have access
to Google servers, Yahoo servers. It’s not millions, it’s thousands of those that are
done, and it’s almost all against terrorism and other things like that.” But Techdirt isn’t buying it — calling Alexander’s
response a ‘non-denial denial.’ “The report didn’t say they were accessing
those companies’ servers or databases, but rather hacking into the network connection
between their data centers. That’s like a report breaking of the NSA hijacking armored
cars with cash, and Alexander claiming ‘we didn’t break into the bank.’ Nice try.” Google, for its part, has been working to
encrypt the links to its data centers since June, but calls staying ahead of the NSA’s
methods an “arms race.” (Via The Verge) The Washington Post reports Yahoo! hasn’t
announced plans to encrypt its own connections.

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2 thoughts on “Google, Yahoo! React to NSA’s MUSCULAR Program”

  • SO I guess it didn't matter that I avoided Gmail and chose Yahoo…all the same. So how is it that the US governmental agency is running ops offshore that are not under the control of the US Government? Is that even possible without the NSA being either a Foreign Entity or a rogue element no longer under US control? Is the NSA even controlled at this point? Who runs the show? It sure can't be the POTUS…he's clueless.

  • vanessacarter1979 says:

    look this people! Obama's general lying every time!!!!!!!!! now it's time for get fired this kind of people include the president! USA seems like banana's country that stay down the equador's line !

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