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Taking lessons from Snowden episode, Google has enhanced the encryption technology for its flagship email service that will make it harder for the National Security Agency to intercept messages moving among the company’s worldwide data centers.
Yahoo has promised similar steps for its email service by this spring.
Google and other technology companies have been vocal about the US government’s spy programs. The companies are worried more people will reduce their online activities if they believe almost everything they do is being monitored by the government. A decline in Internet use could hurt the companies financially by giving them fewer opportunities to show online ads and sell other services.
“The encryption technology ensures that the messages are safe not only when they move between the user and Gmail’s servers, but also as they move between Google’s data centers.
The NSA’s principal tool to exploit the Google and Yahoo data links is a project called MUSCULAR, operated jointly with the agency’s British counterpart, GCHQ. NSA and GCHQ are reportedly copying entire data flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information between the data centers of the Silicon Valley giants.