The Federal Appeals Court has upheld the National Security Agency’s decision not to release information confirming or denying if they have a relationship with Google. This particular ruling has to deal with encryption and cybersecurity in a 2010 cyberattack on Google users in China.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) wanted to know more about Google’s relationship with NSA. NSA refused to confirm or deny a relationship between the two, arguing that this could make the U.S. government and its information systems potentially vulnerable to attacks.
The three judges sided with the NSA last year on the same ruling and last Friday the ruling was upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia.
This all started back in 2010 when Google was cyberattacked by Chinese hackers. This attack was focused on Gmail accounts. Specifically Gmail accounts of human rights activists.
It was suggested that the Chinese government may have instigated them although they deny this and deny any involvement with this incident. Soon after, reports surfaced that Google and the NSA had teamed up to prevent similar attacks in the future.
Soon after this happened EPIC sought after all the documents and information that was passed between the two. In response the NSA invoked the “Glomar” response, which refers to a 1970s case in which the agency neither confirmed nor denied the existence of records for the particular topic they were discussing.
Wired reported that Judge Janice Rogers Brown, in a 3-0 opinion, sided with the government’s contention that acknowledging any records “might reveal whether the NSA investigated the threat,” or “deemed the threat a concern to the security of the U.S. government.”