News / USA

    Google 'Outraged' by NSA Spying Reports

    FILE - A computer monitor in Berlin displays information about Google+ service, seen through a magnifying glass, June 29, 2011
    FILE - A computer monitor in Berlin displays information about Google+ service, seen through a magnifying glass, June 29, 2011
    VOA News
    Internet search engines Google and Yahoo have expressed dismay over reports the U.S. National Security Agency secretly broke into their communication networks.

    In a statement issued Wednesday, Google said it is "outraged" at the lengths to which the U.S. government seems to have gone to intercept data from Google's private networks, and said these reports underscore the need for urgent reform. Both Google and Yahoo said they have not authorized the alleged tapping of their communication links.

    The Washington Post said on Wednesday that it learned of the classified NSA program from documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and from interviews with "knowledgeable officials."

    The report said the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, run a project called MUSCULAR, which taps into fiber-optic cables carrying data between the global facilities of Google and Yahoo. It said that allows the spying agencies to copy entire data flows, including the content of text, audio and video files.

    NSA chief General Keith Alexander said Wednesday the spy agency does not enter Google and Yahoo servers. Speaking to reporters at a Washington conference, he said the NSA gains access to data by "court order."

    The NSA already requests and obtains data from U.S. Internet companies such as Google and Yahoo by seeking court orders through a program called PRISM.

    The Washington Post said infiltrating the companies' networks without a court order within the United States would be illegal, but the NSA has been able to tap into parts of those networks located overseas, where it faces less oversight and fewer restrictions.

    The report said a top secret document dated January 9, 2013 shows the NSA collected 181 million data files from Google and Yahoo in the preceding 30 days and sent them to the agency's headquarters near Washington.

    In a statement, the NSA rejected the suggestion in The Washington Post report that it has found a way to skirt U.S. laws. It said "the assertion that we collect vast quantities of U.S. persons' data from this type of collection is also not true."

    The new allegations of NSA activity follow a series of recent media revelations regarding U.S. surveillance activities targeting international leaders and institutions.

    Key German and U.S. national security officials met in Washington on Wednesday to discuss German concerns about alleged U.S. tapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

    The Obama administration said last week it is not listening in on Merkel's calls and will not do so in the future, but brushed off questions about whether it monitored her calls in the past, possibly as far back as 2002, three years before she became the German leader.

    Chancellor Merkel voiced a personal protest about suspected U.S. surveillance of her mobile phone last week in a call to President Barack Obama. She said such snooping among friends cannot be condoned.

    Now, Berlin wants the United States and France to agree to a "no spying" deal among the allies by the end of the year.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Allen Bunch
    November 01, 2013 4:40 PM
    You really need to start getting off the couch more often if you think computers or cell phones can actually be private.

    Snowden better start learning to speak Russian.

    by: GlueBall
    October 31, 2013 8:07 PM
    Assuredly, monitored Americans have nothing to fear from zombie patriots, the likes of James Clapper and General Keith Alexander, who labor day and night to protect their freedom. The big dull bulk of this Orwellian big brother surveillance state doesn't mind to fork over their 4TH Amendment privacy rights for ad infinitum homeland security. It's reminiscent of the Hoover era McCarthyism, just substitute "communist" with "terrorist."

    by: Rob Swift from: United Kingdom
    October 31, 2013 2:16 PM
    It has always been the case that optical fibre cannot be tapped. However if a box were to be put into the system then google would have known all about it. Both google, and now yahoo, needed to have made a moral stand, which they failed to do, to the detriment of their reputations.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora