It’s safe to say that the NSA is pretty low on the list of most people’s favorite government organizations these days (if people even make lists like that), but recent reports are also calling into question Google’s credibility, as it seems the company’s Android mobile operating system has had some involvement with the NSA.
According to a report by Bloomberg Businessweek, it turns out that the NSA has contributed some source code to Android. The NSA actually began working with Android in 2011 to help make the operating system more secure, and some of the code that it wrote already runs on a handful of Android devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One.
Apparently, the NSA, which has also contributed security-related code to Linux in the past, wants to protect these types of flexible and free open source operating systems because they’re useful for government systems, so by helping Google to fortify the operating system, the NSA is actually making it better for its own systems.
Google spokeswoman has confirmed NSA’s involvement and has said anyone can contribute to Android as it is open-source, and the source code is freely available for all to see on Android’s website.
Of course there will be questions raised as to NSA’s true intentions for contributing code to Android but, as Android Authority points out, anyone who is worried about NSA’s involvement can review the source code NSA wrote, as Android’s code is downloadable from Android’s website. Granted, having the source code out in the open will not quell the fears of all but I’d much rather use an open-source system that has NSA’s involvement than a closed-source system that has NSA’s involvement. The lesser of two evils, if you will. Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below!