Apparently, Google is “pretty sure” that user data is protected from government spying

eric schmidt

During a session at SXSW 2014, Eric Schmidt, who is Google’s executive chairman, discussed Google’s security while sharing the stage with Jared Cohen, who is Director of Google Ideas.

Despite the news that the Britain’s GCHQ and US’s NSA was able to gain access to data sent in between Google datacenters, Schmidt believes that because of the new upgrade to Google’s security he is “pretty sure that information within Google is now safe from any government’s prying eyes.”

According to Smith there are a number of other aspects to their security upgrade that will remain undisclosed, along with the increased protection that Google has spoken about in the past.

He also talked about how improvements in encryption would help protect them further in the future, and while “pretty sure” aren’t exactly the most confidence-inspiring words, you can see, because of the events in the past year, how Schmidt might be inclined to speak in a more politically-conscious way.

[via The Next Web, image via magnus hoij’s flickr]

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  • Shava Nerad

    There’s very little that stands up against a state actor.

    But that aside, there’s nothing that stands up against a National Security Letter which comes with a gag order. He can’t talk about those, except in the aggregate thousands in the Google surveillance requests report (along with the other providers). (links and article here: )

    But what that report doesn’t say is that each one of those requests — if they follow the pattern of the Wikileaks Icelander requests — could represent the entire contents of a Google account, including all services, for the entire span of the relationship with the individual. That means any correspondence, files, or anything else shared in common with anyone from any other service is in the request.

    If you cast a wide net with enough Google and Yahoo and various cloud services’ users in enough degrees of separation in a network, you can fill in a lot of blanks this way with thousands or tens of thousands of NSLs.

    Whether the NSA broke into their network or not is an interesting question — could they say if it wasn’t a break-in? Remember, EFF took AT&T to court for years because they gave the NSA the keys to their NOC in SF ( years before anyone heard of Snowden. But if Google refused and the NSA had to get an NSL, paradoxically, then Google couldn’t tell you they let them in.

    Ah what a tangled web we weave when first we try to surveille and trancieve….

  • Orwell

    Those who expect their information — of any sort — to be free from NSA intrusion have not been paying attention. Deal with it because any attempts to make it otherwise are simply illusory and this is regardless of where you live.

    Just remember, though, you don’t have to outrun the bear; you just have to outrun the other dude running from the bear. Don’t make yourself a target and you won’t become one.


  • sl0j0n

    “Pretty sure?”
    I understand the ‘government’ has the power to destroy, and the need for Google to be circumspect regarding their actions that may be displeasing to the ‘government’. Hence, Google’s “pretty sure” comment.
    Regardless, there really isn’t much Google, or anyone else for that matter, can do to prevent the ‘government’ from spying on any electronic communications. The NSA’s Utah Data Center was apparently designed expressly to warehouse encrypted communications, to store them until the ‘government’ has the super-computing capability to break the encryption.
    All of which is moot, since the ‘government’ is already in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, intended to prevent so-called ‘en masse warrants’, and apparently there is nothing anyone can do about it.
    Welcome to “1984”, albeit thiry years late.
    All of which is more proof that we need the Kingdom.

    Have a GREAT day, Neighbors!