What’s More Secure–Trade Secrets or State Secrets?

At a hearing last month on the proposed Google-Yahoo joint venture, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers complained that neither he nor other committee members were allowed to inspect the terms of the deal in a practicable manner. Members of the Committee were only permitted to inspect the deal if they viewed its terms “at a law firm, with no notes allowed.” By contrast, the Committee was given “more ready access to documents surrounding the President’s terrorist surveillance program.” Here’s the full clip:

There are sometimes good reasons to suspect government secrecy more than corporate privacy. But few could likely envision a day when a private company’s proposed business arrangements were treated as more sacrosanct than data critical to national security.

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