Court rules NSA doesn’t have to reveal its semi-secret relationship with Google

“If the world’s largest surveillance agency has a working relationship with the world’s largest Internet firm, that’s no one’s business but theirs, according to an appeals court in the DC Circuit,” Andy Greenberg reports for Forbes.

“In the ruling issued Friday, the court decided that the National Security Agency doesn’t need to either confirm or deny its relationship with Google in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, ruling that a FOIA exemption covers any documents whose exposure might hinder the NSA’s national security mission,” Greenberg reports. “Beyond merely rejecting the FOIA request, the court has agreed with the NSA that it has the right to simply not respond to the request, as even a rejection of the request might reveal details of a suspected relationship with Google that it has sought to keep secret.”

Greenberg reports, “The ruling comes as controversy has been growing around the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a bill that passed the House last month in a form that would allow private firms like Google to share a wide range of information with government agencies like the NSA for cybersecurity reasons, as well as other vague purposes like computer ‘crime’ and even ‘the protection of individuals from the danger of death or serious bodily harm.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Droooiiid.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Related articles:
U.S. Congress asks Larry Page if Google Glass infringes ‘on the privacy of the average American’ – May 17, 2013
Google Glass meets serious resistance – May 7, 2013
Apple’s iMessage is U.S. DEA’s worst nightmare – April 7, 2013
Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up U.S. feds’ surveillance – April 4, 2013
Google manager: Location data ‘extremely valuable’ to company – May 2, 2011
Android phones regularly transmit location data to Google ‘at least several times an hour’ – April 22, 2011
Google Street View Wi-Fi data included passwords and email – June 18, 2010


  1. I don’t believe there are many people who are naïve enough to believe that our government will ever reveal what it does behind closed doors when necessary. And that’s not always bad. Just like you hope the cop with a 9 mm Glock strapped to his side will never use that for anything bad. You have to hope that these powers will not be used except when absolutely necessary for the protection of United States and its citizens. Transparency and full disclosure would be wonderful in a perfect world. But…..

    1. The same people that demand to know everything the government knows, are the same one that criticize the same institutions when they didn’t know something.

      It’s a balancing act to be sure, but in this age of cross border crime, war and terrorism, I’ll err in favor of the government.

      Besides, I’m not so egotistical as to think there is anything in my life that would be of interest to any government agency. It may seem like the government has unlimited resources to track everyone and everything, but even in obvious police states (N Korea, Iran, Syria) they do not, as evidenced by the popular revolutions that over threw the dictatorships in Libya and Egypt, and looks to be happening in Syria.

    1. “…would allow private firms like Google to share a wide range of information with government agencies like the NSA for cybersecurity reasons, as well as other vague purposes like computer ‘crime’…”

      Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

      This country is fscked.

      1. The NSA’s position might be…

        It says, “persons, houses, papers, and effects”

        What part of your person do you send over the Internet. To our knowledge no Internet teleportation has been developed as of yet. It’s a non issue.

        Similarly, what part of your house do you send over the internet? It’s a non issue.

        You emails and other electronic transmissions are not paper. You don’t send your physical papers over the Internet. It’s a non issue.

        What personal effects do you send over the Internet? It’s a non issue.

        What’s you’re point?


        And so it goes.

        1. papers & effects you idiot. ANY correspondence, records and/or documents, doesnt make a goddamn if they’re written with a quill, typed on a typewriter, recorded on magnetic tape OR digital. It’s ANY private communication. What the FUCK is wrong with you?

          1. Why is it that you can’t seem to post without being foul and angry all of the time. Don’t you take your meds regularly? When you are angry, keep you fingers off the keyboard and leave us in peace.

  2. Vindicated!

    Since Google a private company made Maps and go photos Wifi data and access to personal Wifi accidently by a droog from sector E4g in Germany and every other country in the free world, it was easy for google to go to bed with the spooks.
    The beauty is deniablilty by Feds and Privacy by a Private Corporation — The perfect combination to spy on EVERYONE!


    1. Fascism: government and corporations working together
      Welkome to the new Amerika, comrades
      (Better do search using Startpage from now on, instead of Google)

  3. About a year ago, my friends once came across a website called “Google Live” made by google. You could track people via a live video feed. It was just like google maps, but live.

    My friends called me up saying how I just got home. I asked them how they knew it (freaked me out) and they said they seen me pull my car into the garage through “Google Live”. They also followed someone’s brother (this is with their computer via Google LIve) throughout town in real time. The video resolution was impressive (I shot over to their house when they told me about it.)

    It’s odd because it only worked that day. I don’t think we were supposed to see that stuff, lol! Some glitch? When I do a Google search for “google live”, there’s no mention of it at all. Is this a part of what NSA doesn’t want to disclose? Did anyone else stumble upon this Google Live for the brief time it was up? Is it still around, and I’m just ignorant of it being renamed or something? I doubt it because I never hear people talk about it. Some amazing (and frighteningly big brother) tech.

    (I hope they don’t come get me now, lol! I’ll shut up now.)

      1. Yeah I figured that some wouldn’t believe it. But, everything I stated was true. Maybe the NSA doesn’t need to hide it’s secrets. Because whenever someone states facts they look like a conspiracy tard.

        What I wrote above in my first post is ABSOLUTELY true. I seen “Google Live” myself. The important part of this is to realize this technology is out there and understand how it affects you.

    1. If you use Chrome and set it to use the ‘secret handshake’ after activating the Debug menu, you can still access that page via

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