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Google mulling using encryption for Google Drive data

July 19, 2013 at 4:23 PM   |   Comments

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 19 (UPI) -- Google may begin encrypting Google Drive files, a move that could curb attempts by the U.S. government to gain access to users' stored data, sources told CNET.

The Internet technology website reported two sources have said Google is actively testing encryption to protect files on its cloud-based file storage and synchronization service.

A number of Internet companies have been the subject of scrutiny after revelations of a National Security Agency program called PRISM, that examined data those companies have been compelled to provide under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

While most Web companies routinely use encryption to protect the confidentiality of users' communications while they're being transmitted to the cloud, it's less common to see files encrypted while stored in the cloud, CNET said.

Such encryption brings additional computing expense and complexity, experts said, but many users may respond to the availability of such services given recent events.

"Mechanisms like this could give people more confidence and allow them to start backing up potentially their whole device," said Seth Schoen, senior staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco.

Google has declined to comment about possible Google Drive encryption plans, CNET said.

Topics: Google
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