by Steve Watson
February 4, 2010
Search engine company has a history of
involvement with intelligence agencies
Google is set to establish a working
relationship with the National Security Agency, the government spy force
responsible for warrantless monitoring of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails
in the wake of 9/11.
The announcement comes in response to recent cyber attacks on the search
engine company, which it says emanated from China.
Anonymous sources tell the Washington Post that “the alliance is being
designed to allow the two organizations to share critical information”,
adding that the agreement will not allow the NSA access to users’ search
details or e-mails.
The sources also said that
the largest intelligence agency in the country, may also involve the FBI and
the Department of Homeland Security in the project.
“The critical question is: At what level
will the American public be comfortable with Google sharing information
with NSA?” said Ellen McCarthy, president of the Intelligence and
National Security Alliance, an organization of current and former
intelligence and national security officials that seeks ways to foster
greater sharing of information between government and industry.
Greg Nojeim, senior counsel for the
Center for Democracy & Technology, a privacy advocacy group, told the
Post that companies have statutory authority to share information with the
government to protect their rights and property.
In 2008, Google denied that it had any role in the NSA’s “terrorist”
surveillance program, after first
refusing to say if they have provided users
private data to the federal government under the warrantless wiretapping
However, it is clear where
Google’s interests lie given that the
company is supplying the software, hardware and tech support to US
intelligence agencies in the process of creating a vast closed source
database for global spy networks to share information.
The government supply arm of Google has also reportedly entered into a
number of other contracts, details of which it says it cannot share.
Google’s partnership with the intelligence network is not new. As we
reported in late 2006, an ex-CIA agent
Robert David Steele has claimed sources
told him that CIA seed money helped get the company off the ground
Speaking to the Alex Jones Show, Steele elaborated on
previous revelations by making it known
that the CIA helped bankroll Google at its very inception.
Steele named Google’s CIA point man as Dr.
Rick Steinheiser, of the Office of Research and Development.
“I think Google took money from the CIA when
it was poor and it was starting up and unfortunately our system right
now floods money into spying and other illegal and largely unethical
activities, and it doesn’t fund what I call the open source world,” said
Steele, citing “trusted individuals” as his sources for the claim.
“They’ve been together for quite a while,” added Steele.
Recent disclosures under the Freedom Of
Information Act have also revealed that the federal government
has several contracts with social media outlets,
including Youtube which is owned by Google.
The contracts are said to waive rules on
monitoring users and permit companies to track visitors to government web
sites for advertising purposes.
The NSA’s involvement with Google should be
treated as highly suspect, given the agency’s recent track record and its
blatant disregard for the Fourth Amendment.
set of documents obtained by the
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in June 2007 showed that US telco
AT&T allowed the NSA to set up a ’secret room’ in its offices to monitor
The discovering prompted a
lawyer for an AT&T engineer to allege that
“within two weeks of taking office, the
Bush administration was planning a comprehensive effort of
spying on Americans”.
That is BEFORE 9/11, before the nation was
embroiled in the freedom stripping exercise commonly known as the “war
on terror” had even begun.
In late 2007,
reports circulated that the NSA has
increasing control over SSL, now called Transport Layer Security, the
cryptographic protocol that provides secure communications on the internet
for web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, and other data transfers.
In other words the agency is capable of intercepting and reading your emails
and instant messages in real time. It is now beyond doubt that the NSA’s
“terrorist surveillance program” now extends to this.
In 2008, the ACLU also
uncovered details pertaining to a secret
Justice Department memo from October 2001 that reveals the Bush
administration effectively suspended the Fourth Amendment where domestic
counter terrorism operations are concerned.
It is almost certain that the memo was written to provide a legal basis for
the NSA to begin its warrantless wiretapping program, which was initiated in
the same month.
Two years ago, the US National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell
announced that plans were been drawn up for
a cyberspace spying program that would make
the current debate on warrantless wiretaps look like a “walk in the park”.
The plan involved giving the government the authority to examine the content
of any e-mail, file transfer or Web search. The message is clear -
government spies want unfettered access to the web searches and emails of
Americans. Any relationship between the government and Google must be
considered with this in mind.
After 9/11 the work of 16 different intelligence agencies, including the CIA
and the giant National Security Agency, which eavesdrops on international
communications, as well as the Energy Department and the Drug Enforcement
Administration was centralized under the office of the
Director of National Intelligence.
Over decades we have witnessed the evolution of
Government surveillance programs and information
databases targeting citizens.
We are now witnessing the centralization of this
vast control grid
The latest marriage between Google and the intelligence community also comes
in the wake of increased
calls to introduce a global licensing system
to police the Internet in the name of preventing cyber warfare.