This Would Be a Good Time to Not be Evil

by on July 20, 2011 · 5 comments

Daily news service TechLawJournal (subscription) reports that the U.S. District Court (DC) has granted summary judgment to the National Security Agency in EPIC v. NSA, a federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case regarding the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s request for records regarding Google’s relationship with the NSA.

EPIC requested a wide array of records regarding interactions between Google and the NSA dealing with information security. Reports TLJ:

The NSA responded that it refused to confirm or deny whether it had a relationship with Google, citing Exemption 3 of FOIA (regarding records “specifically exempted from disclosure by statute”) and Section 6 of the National Security Agency Act of 1959 (which prohibits disclose of information about the NSA).

The FOIA merits of EPIC’s suit are one thing. It’s another for Google to have an intimate relationship with a government agency this secretive.

This would be a good time to not be evil. Google should either sever ties with the NSA or be as transparent (or more) than federal law would require the NSA to be in the absence of any special protection against disclosure.

  • http://techliberation.com/author/berinszoka/ Berin Szoka

    I agree, but if it turns out that the relationship was, as was reported last year simply a matter of NSA helping Google ward off cyberattacks, especially from China, do we really expect a measured, thoughtful response to even that collaboration from the Googlephobes?

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    I fail to see how cooperating with the NSA is “evil,” regardless of which way the cooperation goes. The USA has enemies, and the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

  • cole Terlesky

    I don’t think the NSA has protected us from enemies any more than traditional detection methods. I have not heard of any cases where the NSA has led to the capture of an enemy. The constitution may not be a suicide pact, but boogeyman shouldn’t be a blank check on the government’s power.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

     If you don’t like the NSA, then you can try to abolish it. Good luck.

  • Smarmymotherfucker

    It’s the opacity of the relationship.  Read much?

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