Following reports that US government officials have tapped into Google servers to access data in email accounts, Google’s chief executive has labelled the claims “outrageous” and “illegal if true”.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Schmidt said: “It’s really outrageous that the NSA was looking between the Google data centres, if that’s true.”
Adding: “The steps that the organisation was willing to do without good judgement to pursue its mission and potentially violate people’s privacy, it’s not OK…it’s just bad public policy and perhaps illegal.”
As a result Google has registered complaints with the NSA, President Obama and Congress members.
The NSA has denied the reports with NSA director general Keith Alexander revealing at a conference last week that the NSA does “not have access to Google servers, Yahoo servers” and that to collect information from them they would need to “go through a court order”.
In order to regain the trust of the international community and businesses such as Google and Yahoo following spying claims the US Senate Intelligence Committee approved legislation on Thursday (31 October) that would tighten control on the government’s sweeping electronic eavesdropping programmes.