February 04, 2010, 1:08 AM — The Washington Post will report in today's edition of the newspaper that the National Security Agency (NSA) and Google are finalizing an agreement whereby the NSA would analyze the now-famous hack attack in China that prompted a threat by Google to leave China. The agency would also advise Google on how to protect itself from future attacks.
The negotiations are centered around how to share data without compromising user privacy.
The deal is likely to raise questions about the proper role of government spy agencies in investigating hack attacks, because it's very difficult to conduct such investigations without learning who said what to whom, and that's a privacy issue.
Any deal would be a first for Google, which to date has never had an information sharing relationship with the NSA. However, other tech companies have worked with the agency for help in protecting their networks, according to the Post.
The whole deal raises other questions as well. The NSA's primary functions are to intercept the communications of rival national governments -- OK, to spy on other governments and steal their secrets -- and to break codes. The NSA is extraordinarily secret and advanced.
How do you feel about the NSA mucking about in Google's servers?