It was bad enough to find out about the NSA's PRISM program
and all the companies that are involved, but in another blow to privacy, it was recently revealed
that the NSA has cracked key encryption algorithms that formerly protected the Internet at large. It's part of the reason why Google
is busy building better encryption methods.
Google's proposed plan to better encrypt your data was approved last year, and then accelerated in June to protect its reputation as a reliable and responsible company amid all the PRISM hoopla, The Washington Post
reports. At the same time, it's best to temper your expectations of what this means.
Even with improved encryption, it won't be impossible for the NSA to spy on individual users of Google's services, nor will it prevent Google from having to comply with court orders or national security requests for data. What it will do, however, is make it a little more difficult for the NSA and hackers at large to snoop on large groups all at once, thereby forcing them to narrow their focus on high-priority targets.
"It’s an arms race," said Eric Grosse, vice president for security engineering at Google. "We see these government agencies as among the most skilled players in this game."