It is true that the National Security Agency (NSA) keeps a tab on every single activity going on over the internet and Gmail understands its users’ concerns in this regards. For this, they have taken steps towards adding more encryption to their service.
A similar move had been undertaken by Google in 2010, when it made HTTPS its default connection.
Addition of the encryption technology has made Gmail the HTTPS only.
The reason why Google made a dash towards ensuring this is because NSA chief Edward Snowden recently hinted at the fact that his NSA agents had been accessing the links that connected the Yahoo and Google centers worldwide, as an effort to keep a tab on the websites.
A sudden and private check made on January 9th, 2013, made a terrible revelation. Sensitive data in millions was being sent to NSA’s data centers at Fort Meade, Maryland headquarters from Yahoo and Google internal networks every single day for assessment.
The check also revealed that a special tool called MUSCULAR had been deployed by NSA to keep a tab on Google and Yahoo data links. The same is being assisted by a British Agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
To do this, NSA and GCHQ first try to hack their way into the links and try to capture information sent to and fro through the fibre optic cables around the world.
For this, not only do they snoop and sniff around Public internet space, but also skim through private clouds that re under Google and Yahoo. It means all of our personal data can be seen by NSA agents anytime they please.
This was not welcomed by Google Executive Chairman of ten years, Eric Schmidt and he dismissed these trespassing and eavesdropping moves by NSA as “outrageous” and “illegal.” He said it was not at all OK for NSA to work without judgment and violate the privacy of millions of people. He also said that more revelations like that which Snowden made were inevitable in future.
Wednesday, however, brought new things into the picture. One of the major lawyers for the NSA said that the data that was being mined was under the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, that authorized the collection of all upstream communications information and metadata or any communication moving across the internet, had the compliance and agreement of Google and Facebook.
The same was denied this Thursday in Vancouver by Google CEO Larry Page, who claimed that Google had no knowledge of any such data mining in process.
The previous claims by NSA mentioned that the data it was collecting was only strictly related to foreign intelligence, and put Google and other such companies in a position where access had to be granted to the NSA.