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Potential links between Google and the NSA stay locked

EPIC request for information is denied
Mon May 14 2012, 17:15
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INFORMATION ON ANY LINKS BETWEEN the US National Security Agency (NSA) and internet search and services outfit Google is staying locked up.

The Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) had requested information, which was denied, and was heard at a US court of appeal on Friday.

EPIC said that it had failed in its attempt, explaining that the Federal Appeals Court has sided with the NSA position that it does not need to either confirm or deny whether it even has any documents about links between it and Google.

"The DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today the National Security need neither 'confirm nor deny' the existence of any records about the agency's relationship with Google, even after such a collaboration was widely reported in the national media," it said in a statement.

"EPIC filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the NSA following a cyber attack in January 2010 that led Google to contact the NSA. The NSA refused to either confirm or deny the existence of responsive records, claiming that such information is exempt from disclosure under the NSA Act."

EPIC challenged this and ended up in court on Friday. Although it failed there, it said that it has a number of other freedom of information requests aimed at the NSA and its practices.

The links between the NSA and Google date back to the time when the internet search firm fell out with China after Chinese attackers allegedly hacked accounts run by it and used by Chinese human rights activists.

EPIC said that at that time the two parties entered into an information sharing arrangement. However, EPIC is frustrated that this information sharing takes a very narrow path. µ


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