Google mocks the NSA with an Easter egg found in email encryption plugin

Last October, the Washington Post reported that leaked slides from the NSA's top secret MUSCULAR data interception program detailed how the agency could potentially intercept data from Google's cloud servers by exploiting an SSL gap. The slide, shown below, proved very controversial -- especially amongst Google employees, who the Washington Post said "exploded in profanity" when they saw it.

The snide "SSL added and removed here :)" comment didn't sit well with Google employees (via Washington Post)

Although the slides were leaked over six months ago, Google still remembers them fondly. A keen user on Twitter discovered that the recently-released source code for Google's new End-To-End email encryption plugin, which heightens encryption for emails sent and received on the Chrome browser, contained a small dig directed towards the NSA for their attempts to infiltrate Google's servers.

See the similarity? (via @zenalbatross)

We don't expect the NSA to comment on Google's Easter egg any time soon, but the hidden message confirms that Google has been paying attention to (and possibly working to counteract) the NSA's attempts to access their infrastructure.

Source: @zenalbatross via TechCrunch | Top image via Shutterstock - Google Mountain View complex

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The U.S. Constitution is as ENTIRELY RELEVANT today as it has ever been. It codifies the concepts & principals of representational self governance,& does so through language that is timeless & is
expressly NOT dependent upon or limited by technology in any form.

Enron said,
I like the NSA. They've made a lot of things possible through the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.

Wrong company, NSA is the company behind MOSAIC (the first browser).

Enron said,
I like the NSA. They've made a lot of things possible through the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.

*face palm* you are missing an A

Enron said,
I like the NSA. They've made a lot of things possible through the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.

I swear I have read a comment just like this before...

Askew_ said,

I swear I have read a comment just like this before...

Copy pasta! Welcome to the internet. Where hardly anything is original. And all the jokes are so overused, they aren't even funny anymore.

The surveillance activities conducted by the NSA & other 3-letter dark ops agencies are executed, routinely & repeatedly in violation of federal statutes & state laws. As if disregard of state & federal law were somehow not egregious enough, much of their activity is in direct violation of prohibitions set forth in the U.S. Constitution.

This pattern of unapologetic disdain for the rule of law is made all the more reprehensible by the agencies representatives who, time & again in sworn public testimony, perjured themselves. Once this pattern of lies & obfuscation has been shown as fully intentional attempts to deceive, they have always been followed by even more brazen falsehoods.

Freedom Of Information Act requests have revealed that FISA courts, on multiple occasions, have been pushed to the brink of suspending NSA programs, simply because the agency routinely violated those operational guidelines & safeguards that they themselves authored & committed to uphold.

Such thoroughly blatant disregard of the constitution, disdain for any applicable jurisdictional statutes, & disrespect for the principles of accountability & honesty, simply cannot be excused or justified in any context. These are high crimes committed against all of America's citizenry, carried out with full intentionality & without any sense proportionality or ethical regard.

Such violations must not be allowed to stand.

Bobs Your Uncle said,
The surveillance activities conducted by the NSA & other 3-letter dark ops agencies are executed, routinely & repeatedly in violation of federal statutes & state laws. As if disregard of state & federal law were somehow not egregious enough, much of their activity is in direct violation of prohibitions set forth in the U.S. Constitution.

This pattern of unapologetic disdain for the rule of law is made all the more reprehensible by the agencies representatives who, time & again in sworn public testimony, perjured themselves. Once this pattern of lies & obfuscation has been shown as fully intentional attempts to deceive, they have always been followed by even more brazen falsehoods.

Freedom Of Information Act requests have revealed that FISA courts, on multiple occasions, have been pushed to the brink of suspending NSA programs, simply because the agency routinely violated those operational guidelines & safeguards that they themselves authored & committed to uphold.

Such thoroughly blatant disregard of the constitution, disdain for any applicable jurisdictional statutes, & disrespect for the principles of accountability & honesty, simply cannot be excused or justified in any context. These are high crimes committed against all of America's citizenry, carried out with full intentionality & without any sense proportionality or ethical regard.

Such violations must not be allowed to stand.

The US constitution is nothing more than an excuse for people to whinge. It is so outdated that it's not relevant to this day and age.

Nashy said,

The US constitution is nothing more than an excuse for people to whinge. It is so outdated that it's not relevant to this day and age.

Because of comments like that. Sorry, the basic principles should still stand.

Nik L said,

Because of comments like that. Sorry, the basic principles should still stand.

You're right. But some common sense should be added. The founding fathers clearly weren't well versed on the ins and outs of the Internet and how it could be used against their own country...

Stupid marketing / PR move for gullible people. The media will pick it up, and Averege Joe will calm down that his emails are safe again. While in fact nothing changed. Nothing. Really.

Why are we so concerned with an organisation reading our emails while in the process of protecting its citizens. I can understand that businesses are concerned but we as private individuals, do we have so much to hide?

Erikas said,
Why are we so concerned with an organisation reading our emails while in the process of protecting its citizens. I can understand that businesses are concerned but we as private individuals, do we have so much to hide?

Because it's done illegally with a warrant most of the time.

Don't tell me you have been drinking the ###### "terrorism" punch?!

Erikas said,
Why are we so concerned with an organisation reading our emails while in the process of protecting its citizens. I can understand that businesses are concerned but we as private individuals, do we have so much to hide?

Because i dont believe an organization will protect people if they dont give a ###### to their people's privacy.

Alansweeney said,

Because i dont believe an organization will protect people if they dont give a ###### to their people's privacy.

You're still alive and living a good life. They're doing alright so far.

Nashy said,

You're still alive and living a good life. They're doing alright so far.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin

And you will end up with none of them.

Its a trade off. You can't have it both ways, but people always want that. They want the government to protect and secure them in anyway possible, but without doing anything at all that might infringe on anyone's privacy.

I can guarantee you the next time there's anything sort of attack or event, the first thing everyone will ask is "What could we have done to prevent this and why wasn't the government doing that?".

Should there be checks and balances? Of course. However people are in the current mentality of "fight them off anyway" and that's heavily slanted in one direction.

so how many of these school shooting where the people posted their intentions online on social media beforehand have been thwarted? If it actually did anythign to help, then okay, but it doesnt seem like thats the case.

CJ33 said,
so how many of these school shooting where the people posted their intentions online on social media beforehand have been thwarted? If it actually did anythign to help, then okay, but it doesnt seem like thats the case.

If you're referring to Elliot Rodgers, he posted his video minutes before his actions.

NSA isn't Minority Report.

Dinggus said,

If you're referring to Elliot Rodgers, he posted his video minutes before his actions.

NSA isn't Minority Report.

You're fooling yourself if you think he's talking about just one incident. There have been dozens of cases where people talk about future murders and other crimes on their blogs and mails. And by future I mean "days", sometimes "weeks".

sanctified said,

You're fooling yourself if you think he's talking about just one incident. There have been dozens of cases where people talk about future murders and other crimes on their blogs and mails. And by future I mean "days", sometimes "weeks".

Can you cite some, please?

Erikas said,
Why are we so concerned with an organisation reading our emails while in the process of protecting its citizens. I can understand that businesses are concerned but we as private individuals, do we have so much to hide?

The only reason people say this is because the government isn't against anything they like/want. YET!

Buttus said,

The only reason people say this is because the government isn't against anything they like/want. YET!

I want $1 million, are they going to be against it?

Come on, it has been proven that NSA has stopped attacks. Everyone acts like this hasn't been going on for years, until it's actually broadcasted like this.

Dinggus said,

Can you cite some, please?

I'm gonna cite one, one of the most known and obvious. Read in chronological order:

http://fifthnail.blogspot.com/

Blog of the serial killer Joseph Duncan III.

But, if you search, from the whinny kid Elliott Roger to Sandy Hook's Adam Lanza left clues about their intentions -and sometimes straight pre-confessions- days or weeks or even months before. So, yeah, that's your security right there.

sanctified said,

I'm gonna cite one, one of the most known and obvious. Read in chronological order:

http://fifthnail.blogspot.com/

Blog of the serial killer Joseph Duncan III.

But, if you search, from the whinny kid Elliott Roger to Sandy Hook's Adam Lanza left clues about their intentions -and sometimes straight pre-confessions- days or weeks or even months before. So, yeah, that's your security right there.

Honestly, just reading these seems like a short horror stories. What do you expect?

---

Homegrown jihadist extremists have mounted 42 plots to conduct attacks within the United States since 2001. Of those plots, nine involved an actual terrorist act that was not prevented by any type of government action, such as the failed attempt by Faisal Shahzad to blow up a car bomb in Times Square on May 1, 2010.

Of the remaining 33 plots, the public record shows that at least 29 were uncovered by traditional law enforcement methods, such as the use of informants, reliance on community tips about suspicious activity and other standard policing practices.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/17/opinion/bergen-nsa-spying/

sanctified said,
So what do you expect? Pragmatism? Something like "oh yeah, btw, I'm gonna kill lots of people tomorrow, lol, brb!"

So, since you said that comment, do you expect NSA to be contacting the authorities?

You know how many people post stupid crap on the internet just to get attention? Of course not every threat can be stopped.

Dinggus said,

So, since you said that comment, do you expect NSA to be contacting the authorities?

You know how many people post stupid crap on the internet just to get attention? Of course not every threat can be stopped.

Agreed, but then tell me: what's is the point?

Dinggus said,

Trying is better than nothing, do you not think so?

can you send me your credit card statements and cell phone bill each month? I'd like to help you track any fraud. Who cares about your privacy right? At least I'm trying.

CJ33 said,

can you send me your credit card statements and cell phone bill each month? I'd like to help you track any fraud. Who cares about your privacy right? At least I'm trying.

Thanks, but my bank and financial services that I use already assist me with that.

But, once again this is about terrorist attacks, not tracking people's finance. Unless you're already being watched by the NSA.

Why does everyone think they are watching every single thing? If you type in keywords, communicate with someone who is possibly a terrorist, etc. You will be looked at to determine if you're a threat as well.

Like I tell people, don't like it? You're welcome to go to a country that doesn't "spy" on their people.

Dinggus said,

Like I tell people, don't like it? You're welcome to go to a country that doesn't "spy" on their people.

This reply falls on its face since it's been proved that the NSA spy even other countries. How's this even ethical?

Alansweeney said,

terrorists must be satisfied for being justified in neowin:)
And how successful has the NSA been in stopping terrorist threats so far? Where were they when the Tsarnaevs brothers were Googling ways to create home made bombs using pressure cooker and ball bearings? Anybody with an ounce of brain knows the only function NSA serves is enabling the US to carry out its terrorist practices around the world.

Edited by AsherGZ, Jun 5 2014, 7:20am :

AsherGZ said,
And how successful has the NSA been in stopping terrorist threats so far?.

There's a lot more going on that you (or anyone) don't know about.

And you are privy to the details of these other happenings ? Or are you taking what the NSA say about supposed terror threats without any further questioning ?

NSA - "Oh look there are bad people in the world who want to harm us. We cant show you the evidence of this (as it would compromise 'national security' but trust us they are there"

US People "Ok what do you need?"

NSA - "Well we need to set up a massive (and illegal) data gathering campaign of everything that moves. We'll store and catalog it forever, in case we need it, we also need laws written to ensure this is all secret and requires full compliance from companies we wish to extract data from"

US People - "Oh sure that seems fine, all I do is browse Facebook and mess around online, I've nothing to hide, and will gladly berate anyone who decides that your actions are a massive invasion of privacy. Please defend us from the scary terrorists and take whatever steps you need to. I'm sure you're so very trust worthy and will never use that data in other nefarious ways or draw false conclusions from it".

NSA - "No we promise (*fingers crossed*), and thanks for being a sport about this"

dont feed the troll its ok ;)

we need to take our own steps to ensure privacy... I prefer offline storage and encrypting emails... I have nothing to hide, but i have the right to privacy

SPEhosting said,
dont feed the troll its ok ;)

we need to take our own steps to ensure privacy... I prefer offline storage and encrypting emails... I have nothing to hide, but i have the right to privacy

privacy? what is that?

MikeChipshop said,

There's a lot more going on that you (or anyone) don't know about.


This is true. I get the idea that you're applying this thought purely to stopping terrorist threats, though, without realizing that it also applies to domestic abuses.

Ledgem said,

This is true. I get the idea that you're applying this thought purely to stopping terrorist threats, though, without realizing that it also applies to domestic abuses.

Nah. There's a lot of crap in our various countries being stopped that we have no knowledge of, you just have to read any newly released files from any older case to know that.

People seem to think one bad incident means our protection is rubbish when there called be 10 stopped incidents for every one that gets through.

AsherGZ said,
And how successful has the NSA been in stopping terrorist threats so far? Where were they when the Tsarnaevs brothers were Googling ways to create home made bombs using pressure cooker and ball bearings? Anybody with an ounce of brain knows the only function NSA serves is enabling the US to carry out its terrorist practices around the world.

This is completely stupid and false. Actually all the stupid hypocrisy against the NSA is one big argument from ignorance.