Yes. They could certainly do that.
"The Americans will not use Canadians to collect data on U.S. persons, nor will any of the other Five Eyes countries," Skillicorn says.
"In fact, in practice, it’s as if the five countries’ citizens were one large, collective group, and their mutual communications are not intercepted by any in the Five Eyes community."
Google and Yahoo also pay for premium data links, designed to be faster, more reliable and more secure. In recent years, each of them is said to have bought or leased thousands of miles of fiber optic cables for their own exclusive use. They had reason to think, insiders said, that their private, internal networks were safe from prying eyes.
In an NSA presentation slide on “Google Cloud Exploitation,” however, a sketch shows where the “Public Internet” meets the internal “Google Cloud” where their data resides. In hand-printed letters, the drawing notes that encryption is “added and removed here!” The artist adds a smiley face, a cheeky celebration of victory over Google security.
Two engineers with close ties to Google exploded in profanity when they saw the drawing. “I hope you publish this,” one of them said.
If you’re searching for privacy heroes, I think you’d better scratch Google off your list. Per Gellman:
“Look, NSA has platoons of lawyers and their entire job is figuring out how to stay within the law and maximize collection by exploiting every loophole,” he said. “It’s fair to say the rules are less restrictive under Executive Order 12333 than they are under FISA.”
But what about that "honesty" elixir you were peddling to the NSA in that smarmy open letter that appeared the same day Gellman's piece came out?
[H]ey, I’m fine with secrecy in principle – intelligence is conducted in secret by its very nature. But the current crisis has exposed the Agency to scrutiny based on falsehoods proffered by Kremlin-backed scoundrels and their useful idiots among activists masquerading as journalists. Time to beat that back with some honesty, what might seem scarily radical honesty to old SIGINT hands.
Rebrand now while you still can and regain the public’s trust. I’m confident that, once they understand what NSA really does, the vast majority of Americans will be glad the Agency is on watch.
Good luck with that rebranding, "Dash":