Google and Yahoo, two of the world’s biggest tech companies, reacted angrily to a report on Wednesday that the National Security Agency has secretly intercepted the main communication links that carry their users’ data around the world.
Citing documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with officials, the Washington Post claimed the agency could collect information “at will” from among hundreds of millions of user accounts.
The documents suggest that the NSA, in partnership with its British counterpart GCHQ, is copying large amounts of data as it flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information between the worldwide data centers of the Silicon Valley giants. The intelligence activities of the NSA outside the US are subject to fewer legal constraints than its domestic actions.
The story is likely to put further strain on the already difficult relations between the tech firms and Washington. The internet giants are furious about the damage done to their reputation in the wake of Snowden’s revelations.
In a statement, Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, said the company was “outraged” by the latest revelations.
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