At the Paley International Council Summit in New York this Friday, CEO of Google Eric Schmidt suggested his company had considered the possibility of moving their server farms and networking operations out of the United States, in order to avoid unwelcome probes by agencies like the NSA and CIA.
The government has gone so far they are actually hurting the economy at this point, as Google employs tens of thousands of workers in this country and moving the servers to foreign soil would certainly cut into that number at a drastic rate.
“Actually, we thought about that and there are many, many reasons why it’s impossible for Google to leave the United States, although it’s attractive,” Schmidt said.
“But the reason it’s an interesting idea is because American firms are subject to these rules, the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] rules, Patriot Act and so forth, and this government surveillance is really a problem.”
Of course, on a realistic level the company has realized that at least in the US there are still a few shreds of oversight left when it comes to matters of national security like this, and if they were to move beyond our borders that small hope of transparency they hold on to would be flat out erased.
“One of the great things about America is its OK to complain about this in public and we are doing so,” he said. “We have taken legal actions, we have filed a lawsuit in a secret court, it’s called a FISA court.”
Google continues to fight in and out of the justice system for the right to reveal the number of privacy requests over the past several years, although the most recent appeal from September 30th has already been denied outright.