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NSA reportedly infiltrated Yahoo!, Google data center links, collected hundreds of millions of user accounts

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has reportedly been infiltrating the main communications links to data centers operated by Google and Yahoo!, and collected hundreds of millions of user accounts, including those of American citizens. Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani writing for the Washington Post:

According to a top secret accounting dated Jan. 9, 2013, NSA’s acquisitions directorate sends millions of records every day from Yahoo and Google internal networks to data warehouses at the agency’s Fort Meade headquarters. In the preceding 30 days, the report said, field collectors had processed and sent back 181,280,466 new records — ranging from “metadata,” which would indicate who sent or received e-mails and when, to content such as text, audio and video.

I’m sure this is a nuanced issue far beyond the understanding of a simple tech blogger like me, but if the accusations are true, it feels like a violation so deep, so profound, that I lack sufficient literary skills to express it. I can only hope and wish that, 20 years from now, we look back at this as the dark ages of privacy rights. The alternative is simply too terrifyingly palling to even contemplate.

Source: Washington Post