[Cryptography] How the CIA Made Google

ianG iang at iang.org
Thu Jan 29 17:58:09 EST 2015

On 29/01/2015 20:11 pm, John Ioannidis wrote:
> [I got this through cryptography@, so I'm removing the rest]
> On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 9:30 AM, John Young <jya at pipeline.com
> <mailto:jya at pipeline.com>> wrote:
>     https://medium.com/@__NafeezAhmed/how-the-cia-made-__google-e836451a959e
>     <https://medium.com/@NafeezAhmed/how-the-cia-made-google-e836451a959e>
>     Fascinating research, with gobs of suspects besides TLAs, Brin and Page,
>     some here now, some here back then, as suspected then and now. Not
>     that there is anything wrong with suspecting cpunks was made similarly.
> Lots of tin-foil-hattery in there.

There's no smoking gun.  The business about pre-google funding was 
ho-hum.  All funding is tied, I'm even happy that this funding looks 
like it did some good, whereas most funding is so damned skewed and 
corrupted, it does harm.  Yes, GF I'm talking to you.

What is significant in the article is enough linkage to see the 
revolving doors -- jobs -- going on between these organisations.  It 
wasn't clear to me just how many people were in common across these 
orgs, and that only happens when they're all part of the same tribe; 
same agenda, same team, same interests.

What it paints is a picture that google and others like it (recall that 
list of 8 or 9 big names in the original Snowden slide, many of them 
mentioned) are as much a part of the team as not.  What to make of that 
.. depends.

> If there is one thing Google takes
> seriously, it's protecting their users' data against everyone (everyone
> outside Google, that is), often at great expense.
> It pains me to defend Google, but that is the truth.

I'd say that point is starting to shift.  Pre-Snowden, people believed 
that google defended their users' privacy, and google was given 
significant respect in just stating it.  Post-Snowden, I suspect they 
are going to have to prove every point they want to claim.

They aren't handing data to NSA?  Show us, how?  The executive doesn't 
take their agenda from 'Highlands Forum' ?  Show us, that you don't. 
The pipes between data centers are encrypted by keys that aren't being 
leaked -- where's the evidence?  Your CSO doesn't have a phone in his 
shoe?  Let's see!

This question is bigger than this group.  Nobody pays a blind bit of 
attention to this group, so it matters not what is said here.  But, 
elsewhere, the hallowed name of google and its "don't be evil" mantra 
has somewhat morphed over time, bit by bit.  The ordinary people are 
starting to be negative.  Now it's more like "trust but verify" perhaps.

What's that worth?  IDK.  Cash cow economics are a fearful thing, ask 
any new-normal-insolvent-bank.  Ask Skype, who still are an unparalleled 
milking machine, even after the clear and undeniable evidence that they 
breached their commitment to users privacy by shipping it all across to 
the NSA.

If one is a shareholder of google, this is a remote possibility, not 
scary at all.

On the other hand, if USA companies depend on foreign sales, this could 
get a bit nasty.  Has anyone been tracking the blockback from 
international sales post-Snowden?  Hopefully with more depth than 
"industry associations" lobbyists or journos...


More information about the cryptography mailing list