May 13, 2012
The relationship between the National Security Agency (NSA) and Google is not going to be disclosed.
A US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, ruled last week that the NSA does not need to confirm nor deny (known as a “Glomar” response) its collaborations with Google; how the two work together to spy on American citizens in the name of protecting the public from false flag “cyber-attacks”.
The court’s ruling states effectively that regardless of a filing by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) with the Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents as to the relationship, the US government does not have to divulge any arrangement between the NSA and the search engine giant.
This request by EPIC was spurned after a cyber-attack on Chinese human rights activists was conducted through their Gmail accounts. EPIC v. NSA is the name of the court case. Google complained that the Chinese government had instigated the attacks on their own people.
Then Google was found to be teaming up with the NSA to collect data on users and analyze the cyber-attack under the guise of preventing another in the future.
David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, stated that Google was notifying corporations that may have been targets and working with US federal authorities.
“The existence of a relationship or communications between the NSA and any private company certainly constitutes an ‘activity’ of the agency subject to protection” from public disclosure, said Judge Janice Rogers Brown. “Moreover, if private entities knew that any of their attempts to reach out to NSA could be made public through a FOIA request, they might hesitate or decline to contact the agency, thereby hindering its Information Assurance mission.”
“In reviewing an agency’s Glomar response, this court exercises caution when the information requested implicates national security, a uniquely executive purview,” said Brown. “NSA need not make a specific showing of potential harm to national security in order to justify withholding information.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that NSA was contacted by Google moments after the attacks.