Grab your tinfoil hats! Google teams up with the NSA

February 2, 2010: 11:01 AM ET

Though not confirmed by either organization, the mere mention of the two entities in the same sentence will have many privacy watchdogs on high alert.

The Washington Post is reporting that Google has enlisted the NSA to help secure their sensitive data.  In the wake of the Chinese hacker break-in, tensions are high at Google and other high tech firms that cyber attacks could compromise sensitive trade secrets.

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.

The Washington Post's sources say that Google (GOOG) won't violate its own data retention policies with the new agreement. They further contend that Google's users' data won't be shared with the NSA as it is protected by US laws.

Privacy advocates are rightly concerned that the NSA could institute the cyber-equivalent of the warrant-less wiretapping that followed the September 11th attacks if given access to Google's user data and accounts.

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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