Tech Companies Push Back Against Alleged NSA Surveillance

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Amid reports this summer of the National Security Agency’s accessing troves of private communications, technology companies have sought to distance themselves from allegations of cooperation with government authorities, while reassuring users that their information is safe.

The latest chapter in the face-off between the government intelligence apparatus and technology companies emerged last week with reports that the NSA was working, often successfully, to undermine encryption technology. Encryption is a security feature that muddles digital information to the point that it is unintelligible.

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Tech companies were stepping up encryption after reports of NSA surveillance.

News surfaced Friday that when NSA surveillance activity made waves in June, Google accelerated plans to encrypt information flowing among its various data centers, covering up a hole in its security strategy, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Also Friday, Yahoo Inc. released its first  “transparency report,” summarizing the number of government requests for user data during the last six months, while breaking down which requests the company fulfilled and denied. Google has posted similar transparency reports for years.

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