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New reports suggest that Level 3 Communications, the company that controls many of the fiber optic cables that enable the Internet, may have worked with the NSA to tap Google and Yahoo’s data, according to the New York Times.

The two major tech companies were recently angered when a new surveillance leak revealed the U.S. National Security Agency had tapped their fiber optic cables to gather this data. Both companies use Level 3’s fiber optic cables to connect their various data centers. However, trusting the connection, this data was sent between the data centers unencrypted.

Both Google and Yahoo say they will start encrypting this data with 2048-bit key encryption as soon as possible. Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond released a statement at the time saying that the company was “outraged at the lengths to which the governments seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks.”

Level 3 released a statement saying, “It is our policy and our practice to comply with laws in every country where we operate, and to provide government agencies access to customer data only when we are compelled to do so by the laws in the country where the data is located.”


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Google and Yahoo were likely so outraged because they have been fighting off criticism ever since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden released documents detailing PRISM — a relationship between the NSA and a number of tech giants to provide data to the intelligence community.

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