The recent PRISM leaks show that the U.S. government has been working closely with certain companies in order to get its hands on users’ data. Google categorically denied any such collaboration with the authorities and the company is now testing the encryption of Google Drive files in order to thwart any government surveillance attempts.
Typically, when data is transmitted over the web, it is encrypted. That also stands true for files when they are moved to or from Google Drive. However, when these files reside in the cloud-storage service, they are not encrypted, which essentially means that the likes of NSA may be able to access them and discern their contents.
Google is now testing out encryption of the files stored on Drive in order to ensure their security. For now, only a small percentage of Google Drive files are encrypted and the feature is in the beta phase. Such a feature also helps Google put up with the plethora of FISA court orders that NSA is able to generate whenever it wants.
Once user files are encrypted, Google will no longer be able to reveal the details of these files, even when asked by the authorities. It must be noted here that a number of smaller companies already offer the feature of encrypted file storage in the cloud. However, now that Google has jumped into the bandwagon, one can hope that other tech companies` would also follow suit. In fact, Microsoft may have a chance of exonerating itself of the charge of blatant collaboration with NSA by offering similar encryption of files on Sky Drive.