The Google/NSA Web Gets More Tangled

The Daily Caller reports that Google is getting more deeply involved in serving the military. The headline says, “Google’s robots and creeping militarization,” but the story describes something more like a “rush” than mere “creeping.”

Google CEO Larry Page has rapidly positioned Google to become an indispensable U.S. military contractor.

Google recently purchased Boston Dynamics, a robotics pioneer that produces amazing humanoid robots for the U.S. Defense Department.

This development invites attention to Google’s broader military contracting ambitions — especially since Boston Dynamics is the eighth robotics company that Google has bought in the last six months.

Just like drones are the future of air warfare, humanoid robots and self-driving vehicles will be the future of ground warfare according to U.S. defense plans.

There are many other reasons why the U.S. military is on path to become Google’s single largest customer. Likewise these reasons indicate Google has a closer working relationship with the NSA than it acknowledges publicly.

The story points to several developments that Google has made that have military applications. It also points out the hiring of Regina Dugan. She was the head of the Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Google’s spokesperson explained, ““Regina is a technical pioneer who brought the future of technology to the military during her time at DARPA.  She will be a real asset to Google.” Yes she will, not only for her own projects but also because she will know what the military command believes that it needs for the future. Google’s hiring of Dugan give the company access to inside information about the Defense Department.


Google has a long history of working for, and with, the NSA and the other U.S. intelligence services.

In 2004, Google purchased satellite mapping company Keyhole, which was strategically important enough to be funded by the CIA’s investment fund In-Q-Tel.

Google turned the aptly-named “Keyhole” surveillance capability into the wildly popular Google Earth and Google Maps service used by over a billion people and over one million websites.

In 2008, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that U.S. spy agencies use “Google equipment as the backbone of Intellipedia, a network aimed at helping agents share intelligence.” The article also reported that Google had a support contract with the NSA.

In 2010, the Washington Post reported that Google worked with the NSA to figure out how Chinese hackers broke into Google. The New York Times later reported that those Chinese hackers stole Google’s entire password system called Gaia.

Finally, it is simply a fact that Google has a great deal of information (specifically, metadata) that we know the NSA wants to possess and track. Google is strategically placed in the internet with all its free services to track the behavior of many internet users. Its free email service is wildly popular. According to ex-NSA Director Michael Hayden, this popularity extends to terrorists all over the world.

Google’s capabilities and the NSA’s known desire for more information about internet users, mean that we need to be concerned about these movements by Google that embed it more closely into the military-industrial complex.

If this sounds paranoid, I can only refer the wise words of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower: “We should take nothing for granted.”