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Google: NSA spying on data centers is ‘outrageous’

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Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.Reuters

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt called reports of the U.S. government spying on the company's data centers "outrageous" and if proven true, potentially illegal.

"It's really outrageous that the National Security Agency (NSA) was looking between the Google data centers, if that's true," Schmidt told The Wall Street Journal. "The steps that the organization was willing to do without good judgment to pursue its mission and potentially violate people's privacy, it's not OK."

According to Schmidt, Google has registered complaints against President Obama, the NSA and members of Congress.

"The National Security Agency allegedly collected the phone records of every phone call of 320 million people in order to identify roughly 300 people who might be a risk. That's just bad public policy…and perhaps illegal," he said.

When contact by The Wall Street Journal for comment, the NSA referred to its statement released last week addressing what the agency called misstated facts about the NSA's activities.

"NSA conducts all of its activities in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies—and assertions to the contrary do a grave disservice to the nation, its allies and partners, and the men and women who make up the National Security Agency," the NSA said in a statement last week.

Schmidt told The Wall Street Journal that there needs to be the right balance between security and privacy.

"There clearly are cases where evil people exist, but you don't have to violate the privacy of every single citizen of America to find them."