Why you should care
Google’s top lawyer addresses the charge that the tech giant was “in cahoots” with the NSA, and describes how waning trust hurts the bottom line.
Just a week before Google’s David Drummond sat down with OZY, Google joined Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and LinkedIn in a release of “transparency” reports that disclosed the number of times the NSA requested data about Internet users. To give you a sense of scale, in 2009 there were 2,000 to 3,000 such requests; by 2012 it was 12,000 to 13,000. Critics argue that the reports reveal little and are nothing more than PR stunts.
But after suing the government for months to get this far, Google and other tech companies are continuing to press for further disclosures. In fact, not only did they jointly hire an anti-NSA lobbyist (the first ever in Washington), but Google sent personal emails to implore some of its users to contact its congressional representatives on the issue.
We asked Drummond to respond to the way Google has been criticized for enabling government spying on its users.