Last week, it was revealed that the NSA and Britain’s GCHQ collaborated on a program called MUSCULAR. In short, it would break into the data links that connect Google’s data servers and pilfer information without the company knowing about it. As you would expect, Google was pretty angry, and its engineers took it personally.
When the program was first revealed, Googler Brandon Downey said the news made him “terribly sad.” He then went on to compare the NSA to an evil entity in The Lord of the Rings trilogy that razes the Shire while Frodo is off destroying the one ring. If that makes no sense, you should read the whole post:
Another Googler in the UK, Mike Hearn followed up Downey’s post by revealing that he worked on the anti-hacking system that Google employs to keep criminals out of its data centers. That very same hacking system was detailed in the leaked NSA documents. He laments over the fact that the NSA will never be forced to stand trial for what it has done, and says that all he can do to protect users from government intrusion is to build better security for its data centers.
Once again, it’s probably best if you read the whole thing:
While other Googlers may not publicly state their stance regarding the NSA, many probably feel the same way. After all, government spying not only harms their image among users, but it also may have a negative effect on Google’s ability to cater foreign businesses.
In the immortal words of Sonic the Hedgehog: “That’s no good.”