Google Partners With The NSA To Fight Cyberattacks

By Daniel Indiviglio

The Washington Post reports that Google and the National Security Agency are working together to fight cyberattacks. In December, Google detected a security breach that originated in China. The attack led to Google threatening to abandon the Chinese market. This new partnership shows that Google wants to fight back. I think this is great news.

According to the Post:

Under an agreement that is still being finalized, the National Security Agency would help Google analyze a major corporate espionage attack that the firm said originated in China and targeted its computer networks, according to cybersecurity experts familiar with the matter. The objective is to better defend Google -- and its users -- from future attack.



I was critical of Google's threat to leave China as a result of the attacks. I thought Google would show more boldness by keeping its presence in the Asian superpower, beefing up its fight against Chinese hackers and continuing to promote freedom. Whether it ultimately ends up staying in China or not, this move shows that Google isn't content just labeling such hacker attacks as unavoidable: it seeks to ramp up its security.

That's good for Google, because its enhanced security will make its customers feel safer. But it's also good for the entire tech industry. Security is a major concern among businesses and individuals in today's highly Internet-reliant culture. Any progress the NSA and Google make in preventing such attacks in the future will benefit everyone.

Should privacy advocates worry? Not according to the Post. It says that Google won't allow the NSA to view users' searches or e-mail accounts. Presumably that's unless you happen to be a hacker? I would assume and hope that Google will hand over whatever data the NSA requests regarding anyone the company identifies as a malicious hacker.

There's a fine line between cyberattacks and cyberterrorism. It's nice to see the NSA willing to work with a company of Google's caliber to prevent security breaches and bring these hackers to justice.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/02/google-partners-with-the-nsa-to-fight-cyberattacks/35359/