In a substantial blow to the joint-agencies work over the past ten years, Google has officially encrypted all lines of communication between their data centers, effectively shutting out both the NSA and the GCHQ in one fell swoop. Today the company announced they have taken extensive measures to fully encrypt and lock down every fiber-optic line of data transfer between all their major server farms, effectively wiping the floor with MUSCULAR and its new cousin “Serendipity” in a single shot.
Yesterday the Washington Post revealed another set of slides which suggested that not only was the Obama administration aware of the NSA spying programs, the content collected each day was a part of his morning briefings. That means if we’re to believe the graph below, Barack Obama has been checking the most popular, potentially insidious search terms being mashed into Google and Yahoo since the very first day he took office. Now with the lines the NSA relied on for the majority of its metadata collection program blocked up, this part of his morning paper will remain blank.
Hopefully he won’t know what everyone is privately looking at in the comfort of their own homes anymore, unless he decides to start parking drones outside our windows and snap a couple of photos the “old fashioned” way.
Yesterdays slides also suggest that while the taps were functional, the spy network gained extensive knowledge about the inner workings of the Google and Yahoo frameworks. This implies they either spent tens of millions of dollars to reverse engineer the hardware themselves, or slightly less to pay off former engineers and software designers who had worked for the companies at some point in the past.
As news started to emerge about the NSA’s monitoring of traffic within the private networks of Google and Yahoo, Google security team engineer Brandon Downey wrote a post to Google+ expressing his views on the matter: “F*** these guys.” Yesterday, another Google security engineer, Mike Hearn, backed the same sentiment heartily:
“I now join [Downey] in issuing a giant F*** You to the people who made these slides,” Hearn wrote. “I am not an American, I am a Brit, but it’s no different—GCHQ turns out to be even worse than the NSA… The traffic shown in the slides is now all encrypted and the work the NSA/GCHQ staff did on understanding it, ruined.”
Score one for the light side, and don’t forget to stay tuned to VPNCreative for all the latest news on the fight back against those who seek to spy on all of us!