It’s been revealed that National Security Agency (NSA) director and Google execs have been exchanging emails between one another directly regarding work on key security issues.

Al Jazeera America obtained two sets of emails under a Freedom of Information Act, which show conversations between then-NSA head General Keith Alexander and Google bigwigs, Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin.

The first batch of email exchanges published by Al Jazeera date back to June 2012, and refer to previous meetings between NSA and Google officials regarding two government cybersecurity efforts. These include the Enduring Security Framework and the Defense Industrial Base program, both of which launched by the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Defense.

Alexander mentioned ESF participation by tech companies Apple, AMD, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Intel, and invited Schmidt to the four-hour “topic-specific and decision-oriented” meeting discussion in San Jose, Calif on the topic of mobile threats and security.

“Google’s participation in refinement, engineering and deployment of the solutions will be essential,” Alexander wrote in an email to Schmidt.

Schmidt responded positively, saying: “General Keith.. so great to see you.. !”

However, he explains he’ll be unavailable for the briefing because of a prior engagement in California (east coast) that week. “Would love to see you another time,” Schmidt says in an email.

In the second exchange, from December 2011 and January 2012, Alexander addresses to Brin appreciating him and his team, including Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf and and Vice President of Security Engineering Eric Grosse, for their participation in ESF. He then invites Brin to attend the ESF Executive Steering Group meeting.

“Your insights, as a key member of the Defense Industrial Base, are valuable to ensure that ESF’s efforts have a measurable impact,” Alexander said.

In response, Brin wrote: “Looking forward to seeing you next week.”

When asked for comment on this, Google spokeswoman said, “We work really hard to protect our users from cyber attacks, and we always talk to experts – including in the US government – so we stay ahead of the game… It’s why Sergey attended this NSA conference.”

NSA also spoke about the matter, and told The Washington Post: “We continue to work with, as appropriate, federal organizations, academia, and the private sector to enhance cybersecurity for the good of the nation. No one organization has the resources to do the job alone.”

Remember the top secret NSA document leaked last summer by former agency contractor Edward Snowden which revealed that Google was one of the companies that concerned agency’s surveillance program involving the Prism system. Initial reports told that NSA had secretly got “direct access” to company servers, allowing it to spy the user data.

Though that claim was later called into question, Google has since tried to keep itself distant from the NSA and PRISM stories, and shaking the perception of its so-called chummy dealing with the NSA.

The post Email Chats between NSA and Google Suggest Cooperation on Data Security appeared first on TechFrag.

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