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February 4th, 2010 2:28 pm
Is the NSA-Google Partnership an Intelligence-Industrial Complex?

Privacy advocates should be excused if for the last few days they’ve been trudging about in sackcloth and ashes mourning the integration of tech and state. After all, Phil did see his shadow. On the heels of a report that there is a growing movement towards creating a national network for police at all levels to electronically request and receive information from internet service providers, today it is announced that Google is negotiating with the National Security Agency (NSA). The deal would somehow allow the NSA to analyze and advise Google on how to avoid high level hacking while shielding Gmail and other users from Big Brother’s watchful eye.

Good luck. While I would hope NSA employs some of the best and brightest cyber security minds available, I’d be surprised if Google couldn’t hire them away. Moreover, why does Google see the need to “partner” with governments in areas where the probability of losing its independence is extremely high? First, it was gulping back China’s human rights record and censorship practices. Now, the most influential tech company in the world is asking Uncle Sam to set up shop in its control room.

Be on the lookout for that national police network. With partners in the permanent government, it may not be long until Google gets asked to help usher in a British-style CCTV (closed circuit television) monitoring program. All for the good of the country, of course.

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