U.S. companies that are cooperating with government national security services have, in return, received benefits such as access to classified intelligence, according to a report published late Thursday.
Bloomberg News, citing four people familiar with the process, reported that thousands of firms -- including tech, financial and manufacturing companies -- that cooperate with the government receive such benefits.
The report said the cooperation consists of providing intelligence on customers' communications and personal data as well as things things like equipment specifications that could help the U.S. snoop and infiltrate adversaries' networks.
Bloomberg cited an interesting example of the policy, describing a connection between Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and the U.S. government.
The report noted: "Following an attack on his company by Chinese hackers in 2010, Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, was provided with highly sensitive government intelligence linking the attack to a specific unit of the People’s Liberation Army, China's military, according to one of the people, who is familiar with the government’s investigation. Brin was given a temporary classified clearance to sit in on the briefing, the person said."