The Department of Justice will ask a federal court to uphold the secrecy that surrounds the working relationship between Google and the National Security Agency in a hearing that is scheduled for next week.
Privacy watchdog group The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is returning to court once again in an effort to disclose more information regarding the widely publicized partnership between the spy agency and the search engine giant.
EPIC is suing to obtain documents that detail the relationship, and will appeal against the NSA’s so-called “Glomar” response, claiming it “could neither confirm nor deny” the existence of any information about its relations with Google, because “such a response would reveal information about NSA’s functions and activities.”
The NSA’s response stated that the agency “works with a broad range of commercial partners and research associations” in order to oversee the security of important information systems, but did not provide any further detail.
The issue rose to prominencein January 2010 following a highly sophisticated and targeted cyber attack on the corporate infrastructure of Google and some twenty other large US companies.
The attack was blamed on the Chinese government, prompting Google to embrace a collaborationwith the federal agency in charge of global electronic surveillance.
Anonymous sources informed The Washington Post at the time that “the alliance is being designed to allow the two organizations to share critical information”, adding that the agreement will not allow the NSA access to users’ search details or e-mails.
The DOJ is backing NSA’s Glomar response, as The Legal Times reports:
CONTINUED at Prison Planet. Written by Steve Watson.