DHAKA: Former CIA and NSA chief Micheal Hayden has said Gmail is the most preferred email service for communication among terrorist outfits.
According to a Washington Post report, while defending the alleged snooping programmes sanctioned by the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA), Hayden said that Gmail is used by terrorists worldwide.
Hayden also suggested that the origins of internet in the US partially justifies the NSA`s conduct as much of the web traffic goes through American servers and the government takes a picture of it for intelligence purposes.
The response of the former NSA chief may not go down too well with the tech companies who maintain the NSA`s snooping is costing them their customers abroad. Earlier this year, a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) predicted US cloud service providers would lose out on $21.5 to $35 billion over the next three years due to recent revelations.
Hayden was quoted as saying that US could be fairly charged with the militarization of the World Wide Web as the NSA`s Tactical Access Operations (TAO) is mandated with hacking foreign targets to steal data and monitor communications. It also develops programmes that can damage foreign computers and networks using cyberattacks.
The US government`s surveillance programmes have been severely criticized after whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the methods and the extent to which the alleged snooping is done on citizens.
The US government is known to intercept citizens` web and phone data and the tech giants, including Yahoo, Google and Microsoft among others, have been continuously petitioning the government to allow release of NSA data requests publicly.
BDST: 2135 HRS, SEP 16, 2013