NSA spying leads to overhaul of major companies’ encryption

December 1, 2013

News that the NSA figured out a way to spy on Google and Yahoo without accessing their data centres has created company-wide encryption updates.

The NSA reportedly spied on these companies not through their data centres but by hacking the links between their data centres; fiber-optic cables provided by internet provider Level 3, according to the New York Times.¬†As the Washington Post put it, “the distinction is between ‘data at rest’ and ‘data on the fly'”.

This has caused these companies to almost-immediately upgrade their data encryption. Within the last fortnight, both Google and Yahoo have announced plans to encrypt data flowing between centres. Even Microsoft has jumped on the bandwagon.

The case demonstrates how easily it was for organisations like the NSA to spy on even technological giants like Google. Information is shared online through so many systems that I can’t imagine the NSA will have much trouble bypassing these new encryptions.

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