Leaked Emails Show Google Execs Met With NSA

Tuesday, 06 May 2014 03:09 PM

By Lisa Degnen

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Google top executives Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt secretly met with the National Security Agency, according to newly leaked email exchanges.

Al Jazeera America
reports that the head of the NSA and the Google bigwigs have even coordinated with each other during high-level policy meetings.

NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander apparently had a closer relationship with Silicon Valley that the directors of those companies implied when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked info that the agency had a vast spying operation. At that time, many high-tech firms said they only cooperated with the NSA to turn over information on Americans to the extent that they had to by law.

But Al Jazeera uncovered a correspondence through a Freedom of Information Act request dated June 28, 2012, in which the director invited Google's Schmidt to attend a "classified threat briefing" on Aug. 8 at a "secure facility in proximity to the San Jose, CA airport."

"The meeting discussion will be topic-specific, and decision-oriented, with a focus on Mobility Threats and Security," Alexander wrote.

Business Insider says the emails don’t reveal anything particularly scandalous but do raise the question of how the NSA, which collected data through Yahoo and Google, used this and other information it may have garnered from tech companies.

Google initially claimed it was "outraged" by Snowden's snooping claims.

"It's really outrageous that the NSA was looking between the Google data centers, if that's true," Business Insider reports Schmidt as saying.

The briefing Alexander mentions was reportedly part of a secret operation known as the Enduring Security Framework. Schmidt apparently had to beg off a second scheduled meeting.

"General Keith ... so great to see you ... !" Schmidt wrote. "I'm unlikely to be in California that week so I’m sorry I can’t attend (will be on the East Coast). Would love to see you another time. Thank you!"

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