Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is the latest to admit he is shocked, shocked, to learn there was spying going on in here. In an interview with the WSJ "bristled" at the recent report that the U.S. government has spied on the company's data centers, describing such an act as "outrageous" and potentially illegal if proven. Then again, since the NSA's domestic espionage is effectively unchecked expect by a secret FISA court which approves virtually every spying request, the legality of the NSA's activity has little relevance but merely confirms what Snowden wrote in his "manifesto", in which he correctely noted that he has opened a long overdue debate over the meaning of civil liberties and lack thereof in the age of the authoritarian superspying big brother state.
From the WSJ:
"It's really outrageous that the National Security Agency was looking between the Google data centers, if that's true. The steps that the organization was willing to do without good judgment to pursue its mission and potentially violate people's privacy, it's not OK," Mr. Schmidt told The Wall Street Journal in an interview on Sunday. "The Snowden revelations have assisted us in understanding that it's perfectly possible that there are more revelations to come."
"The National Security Agency allegedly collected the phone records of every phone call of 320 million people in order to identify roughly 300 people who might be a risk. That's just bad public policy…and perhaps illegal," he said.
The NSA, as usual, played so dumb one would think instead of math and code breaking geniuses it employed economists:
When contacted Monday, the NSA referred to its statement last week that said recent press articles about the NSA's collection had misstated facts and mischaracterized the NSA's activities.
"NSA conducts all of its activities in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies—and assertions to the contrary do a grave disservice to the nation, its allies and partners, and the men and women who make up the National Security Agency," it said in a statement last week.
As for Google, while it may be disgusted, it was in no hurry to change operating practices:
Mr. Schmidt said in the interview that the right balance of security and privacy starts with finding the appropriate level of oversight.
"There clearly are cases where evil people exist, but you don't have to violate the privacy of every single citizen of America to find them," he said.
Sadly, finding the "evil people" is the least of the NSA's motives in a time when even the vaguest thoughts against the "greater good" have to be preemptively crushed in their embryonic stage with Kafkaesque laser guided pre-crime precision.
Full Schmidt interview below.