WASHINGTON – Internet search firm Google Inc. is finalizing a deal that would let the U.S. National Security Agency help it investigate a corporate espionage attack that may have originated in China, the Washington Post reported yesterday.
The aim of the investigation is to better defend Google, the world’s largest Internet search company, and its users from future attacks, the Post said, citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the arrangement.
The sources said Google’s alliance with the NSA — the intelligence agency is the world’s most powerful electronic surveillance organization — would be aimed at letting them share critical information without violating Google’s policies or laws that protect the privacy of online communications.
“NSA is not able to comment on specific relationships we may or may not have with U.S. companies,” the agency said in a statement.
As a general matter, “NSA works with a broad range of commercial partners and research associates” on security solutions for the U.S. Defense Department and other customers and on ” cutting-edge technologies that will secure the information systems of tomorrow,” the statement said.
Under the arrangement, the NSA would not be viewing user searches or email accounts, the Post said. Google also would not be sharing proprietary data with the NSA, the newspaper’s sources said.
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