Thursday, November 7, 2013

Google's MUSCULAR defense

Google plays MUSCULAR defense:
Google has started to encrypt its traffic between its data centers, effectively halting the broad surveillance of its inner workings by the joint National Security Agency-GCHQ program known as MUSCULAR. The move turns off a giant source of information to the two agencies, which at one point accounted for nearly a third of the NSA's daily data intake for its primary intelligence analysis database—at least for now
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Last Thursday, 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 personal opinion on the matter: "Fuck these guys." Yesterday, another Google security engineer, Mike Hearn, echoed the sentiment with substance:
"I now join [Downey] in issuing a giant Fuck 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."
I wonder how much money Google and other corporations are now going to have to spend to themselves against constant surveillance? (Or how much of their client base and revenue stream they will lose if they don't) ? And how much money the government is going to spend to defeat this defense.  We might be looking at a defense-offense spending spiral like that between the US-USSR that led to the collapse of the USSR. Question: In the new version of this game, which side is the USSR? Another question: In this version, will both each spend itself to death?

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