Tech companies cooperating with NSA, report says

The NSA recruited Facebook's CSO, and Skype has formed a group to explore sharing data, according to the New York Times

The U.S. government is one of the largest customers of data analytics from tech firms, and the National Security Agency has recruited a top security officer from Facebook, according to a report in the New York Times.

The NSA hired Facebook Chief Security Officer Max Kelly when he left the company in 2010, according to the Times report published Thursday.

Intelligence agencies are recruiting top employees from U.S. tech vendors in an effort to help the agencies better collect information about Web users, the story said.

In addition, Skype is cooperating with the NSA through a program exploring the legal and technical issues involved in making customer calls available to intelligence and law enforcement agencies, the Times reported.

The NSA spends an estimated US$8 billion to $10 billion a year in Silicon Valley on activities including investing in tech startups and awarding classified contracts, the Times reported.

Skype representatives didn't respond to a request for comments on the story. Last year, Mark Gillett, corporate vice president in Microsoft's Skype division, denied that Skype had made changes in its architecture at the behest of Microsoft to give law enforcement better access to users' communications.

"Skype's architecture decisions are based on our desire to provide the best possible product to our users," Gillett wrote in a blog post.

A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment on the Times story, but said the company was unaware that Kelly took a job with the NSA after leaving there.

Earlier this month, the Guardian and the Washington Post published information leaked from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who said that nine tech companies, including Facebook and Skype, have given the NSA direct access to their servers. Most of the companies have denied his allegations.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesMark GillettU.S. National Security AgencygovernmentinternetprivacyFacebookskypeMax KellyMicrosoftsecurityEdward Snowden

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?