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Google’s NSA outrage: Correct and hypocritical

Google CEO Eric Schmidt is more than justified in his criticism this week of NSA surveillance. An explosive report in the Washington Post last week revealed that the spy agency, as well as demanding data on millions of online communications from tech firms through FISA court approved processes, has also reportedly been hacking the links between Google and Yahoo's data centers around the world, to gain secret backdoor access to many millions of users' emails and data.

"It's really outrageous that the NSA was looking between the Google data centers, if that's true," Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal, noting. "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, I couldn't agree with you more. However, please don't take this as a pat on the back. Google's position since the slew of NSA revelations began being published has been at best a P.R. scramble, at worst an exercise in gross hypocrisy. It was, after all, Schmidt who in 2009 said “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

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