It's widely assumed that if the National Security Agency wants access to your data — you, being a normal web user who isn't armed to the teeth with all sorts of funky security setups and encryption mechanisms — it stands a good chance of getting it.
However, that doesn't mean that big corporations that are themselves forced to comply with legal, government-driven requests for data are planning to make it easy.
A new report from the Washington Post indicates that Google has accelerated its plans to encrypt the data flowing between the company's various datacentres. According to security pundits, this was allegedly one of the company's weaker links within its overall architecture – giving governmental agencies an easy way to retrieve user information like emails, search queries, and what-have-you.
Google isn't commenting on the specifics of what it's up to on the back end, so it's currently unclear just how many datacentres the company is hurriedly working to secure or just how much Google is spending to do so.
However, the company is allegedly working to complete a project months ahead of schedule that would finally integrate "end-to-end" encryption within its datacentres: both the information on Google's servers will be protected, as will the data passing through the high-speed fibre-optic lines that connect said datacentres to one another.
Google's efforts aren't foolproof, however. Rather, it's likely that the encryption efforts will simply prevent government agencies like the NSA from having an easier ride finding the information it seeks.
As the Post reports, encryption merely "complicates government surveillance efforts." Instead of being able to pull in a wide amount of information about a variety of users in a massive fishing expedition of sorts, agencies like the NSA will be forced to spend resources to otherwise overcome specific encryption systems. This, in effect, both slows them down and forces them to reprioritise limited resources toward specific users they're interested in finding more information about.
According to reports unveiled last week, the NSA has managed to get a leg up on encryption using a variety of methods: brute force decryption, persuading technology companies to put backdoors into their products for NSA use and, in some cases, lobbying for weaker encryption standards in general.