Google tells NSA to step off, announces it is encrypting Gmail

"Starting today, Gmail will always use an encrypted HTTPS connection when you check or send email"

Topics: Google, NSA, encryption, web sur, technology, ,

Google tells NSA to step off, announces it is encrypting GmailThe campus-network room at a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. With the cooperation of foreign allies, the NSA is potentially gaining access to every email sent or received abroad, or between people abroad, from Google and Yahoo'­s email services, as well as anything in Google Docs, Maps or Voice, according to a series of articles in the Washington Post. (Credit: AP/Google/Connie Zhou)

Though it’ll take a lot for big tech companies to thwart the NSA, according to Edward Snowden, encryption is a good start. The NSA whistle-blower harped on this when he appeared via video at SXSW.

Today Google announced on its official Gmail blog (yes, it does use blogspot) that as of today, “Gmail will always use an encrypted HTTPS connection when you check or send email.”

What does this announcement mean for the safety of users’ email? It means that no other entity can listen in on emails as they go back and forth between users and Gmail servers. Gmail will also be encrypting emails — “100% of them” — when they move internally between Google servers.

Recently tech companies, somewhat worthlessly, revealed how much data they give the NSA. And though this won’t put a definitive end to mass surveillance, Google’s announcement does matter.

In documents leaked from Snowden, it was revealed that the NSA had tapped into communication between Yahoo and Google. According to TechCrunch, “Both Google and Yahoo maintain expensive fiber-optic data linkages in strategic data centers around the world to optimize the flow of information.”



Encrypting data as it moves internally between servers is important in terms of protecting information when it travels abroad, and doesn’t need a court order to obtain. This according to Google was a “top priority after last summer’s revelations.”

The NSA’s mass surveillance can still sweep up large amounts of data, but if it is encrypted, who knows if they’ll be able to read it?

h/t TechCrunch

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...