Google “goes to great lengths to protect the data and intellectual property in these centers,” according to one of the company’s blog posts, with tightly audited access controls, heat-sensitive cameras, round-the-clock guards and biometric verification of identities.
Google and Yahoo also pay for premium data links, designed to be faster, more reliable and more secure.
Intercepting communications overseas has clear advantages for the NSA, with looser restrictions and less oversight.
NSA documents about the effort refer directly to “full take,” “bulk access” and “high volume” operations on Yahoo and Google networks. territory, statutory restrictions on surveillance seldom apply and the FISC has no jurisdiction.
The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials.