China has been a thorn in the cyberdefense of the United States for quite some time – (refer to various leaks about Titan Rain case studies). While the tit for tat between the governments has been going on for years, public companies like Google are now beginning to feel the heat from Chinese hackers. The mega-giant search engine has already announced plans to change their policies towards business with China; it’s their latest move that has watchdogs scratching their heads over the lesser evil. If Google had done nothing and maintained business as usual with China, people would cry foul over violating their “do no evil” policy. However, in taking a stand against China, Google tempts privacy advocates by partnering with the National Security Agency to use their computing professionals to improve security for the company and its users. This wouldn’t be the NSA’s first partnership with the search and email datacenters of a software giant. In The Shadow Factory, author James Bamford outlines a facility partnership between the NSA and Microsoft for information awareness programs, an arrangement Google was hesitant to enter into before without safeguards.
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