(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – With a program called “MUSCULAR,” the NSA allegedly infiltrated and spied on data processed through data centers from the likes of Google and Yahoo.
The source of the new information was none other than documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and “interviews with knowledgeable offices,” according to a report from The Washington Post.
MUSCULAR was also reportedly run in coordination with the NSA’s British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters.
The project removed “metadata” from the data centers, collecting and forwarding it to NSA data facilities in Fort Mead, Maryland.
Metadata includes things like text, audio and video content in addition to information on emails such as when messages are sent and whom they are delivered to.
NSA Director Keith Alexander defended the NSA. When asked about the allegation, he responded, “Not to my knowledge, that’s never happened,” according to a report from Politico.
Meanwhile, Google chief legal officer David Drummond took the allegations very seriously, telling The Washington Post, “We are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks, and it underscores the need for urgent reform.”
In the recent past, Google has taken steps to further encrypt its data to ensure higher privacy standards.