Via the CNET News.com, Google now encrypts all its cloud storage customer data. The company announced on August 15, 2013 that all cloud storage data will be automatically encrypted at no charge to its customers in order to provide additional security in light of the recent NSA surveillance scandal.
The encryption has “no visible performance impact,” Google Cloud Storage’s product manager, Dave Barth, wrote in a blog post. “If you require encryption for your data, this functionality frees you from the hassle and risk of managing your own encryption and decryption keys,” he said.
Customers are free to additionally encrypt their data in the cloud should they choose to. Google assured its customers that it does not provide its encryption key to any government. Web firms use encryption key to secure any online communication, which often is demonstrated by the https:// url. Providing a third party with the master encryption key would essentially allow that third party to intercept and decrypt the contents of communication obtained through wiretap. Hmmm … “slippery slope?”
- Declan McCullagh, Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords (CNET News.com, July 25, 2013).
- Declan McCullagh, Feds put heat on Web firms to turn over master encryption keys (CNET News.com, July 24, 2013).
- Seth Rosenblatt, Lavabit chief predicts ‘long fight’ with feds (Q&A) (CNET News.com, August 9, 2013).
- Steven Musil, Silent Circle follows Lavabit in shuttering encrypted emails (CNET News.com, August 8, 2013).
- Paul Rosenzweig, Encryption Keys and Surveillance (Lawfare, August 5, 2013).
- Ken Hanly, Op-Ed: NSA wants encryption keys from Internet providers (Digital Journal, July 25, 2013).