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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2010-12-07 11:27
Julian Assange's reprehensible Wikileaks data breaches of secret, private and proprietary information to the web, endangering lives, diplomacy and peace, has thrust to the forefront of public debate: what are the responsible boundaries of an "Open Internet?"
It is instructive that the term "open Internet" is found nowhere in law.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2010-12-06 19:19
Julian Assange's likely-criminal dissemination of many nations' secret national security information via Wikileaks -- in posting secret, proprietary, and private information that clearly endangers lives, diplomacy and peace -- has exposed one of the darkest sides of the broad open Internet movement, which pushes radical transparency, and general disrespect for secrets, confidentiality, privacy, and intellectual property -- to varying degrees.
It ironic that the Open Internet Coalition is lobbying the FCC hard now to have the Government force Title II telecom utility regulation on private competitive broadband companies in the name of "openness" -- when there is no identifiable or proven problem to solve.
It is especially ironic that leading corporate proponents of the Open Internet Coalition have been so slow to condemn the obvious harm and criminality of Assange's destructive "open" Wikileaks, but are so quick to condemn competitive broadband companies for not being "open" enough -- when the coalition's definition of "open" is fluid, and when the coalition has no evidence that broadband providers are not being "open."
If it is now so clear that Assange's Wikileaks are a serious problem, why did it take three massive wikileaks over a period of several months for Open Internet member:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2010-11-12 10:40
Hackers have discovered a new serious security vulnerability in certain Android smartphones that is not easily or quickly patched because of Android's open and fragmented platform -- per Joseph Menn's report in the FT.
The potential security implications of this are even more serious than they first appear.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2010-11-11 11:03
Google's latest privacy controls are a bad joke, certainly not sufficient to warrant the FTC completely absolving serial privacy violator Google from all responsibility in the Google WiSpy Affair, especially given that other law enforcement bodies have found misrepresentation of facts and violation of users' privacy.
Why are Google's latest privacy controls insufficient?
First, Google's leadership is clearly not publicly supportive of more privacy controls, but openly skeptical and defiant that Google does not need to alter its approach to innovation to better protect privacy and security.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2010-11-01 11:56
Google won't allow you to opt-out of their location tracking for search, we learn from CNET's Chris Matyszczyk's outstanding post "How Google stops you hiding your location."
What does this mean?
First, it means that Google has not learned much from its serial privacy problems, like Google setting a default that everyone's house should be included in StreetView photographing and Spi-Fi signal recording, and everyone that signed up for Google Buzz by default should share their Gmail addresses with the public.
Second, it means that Google profiles and tracks your location by default and that you can't opt out from Google knowing where you are, you can only select what local setting Google will use to customize your search results.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2010-10-27 22:45
Congress needs to conduct oversight hearings to learn why the FTC is apparently giving Google special treatment, and more specifically why the FTC inexplicably dropped its Google StreetView spi-fi privacy probe without any charges, before it even learned all the facts, and without any accountability mechanism in place to protect consumers or prevent repeat violations.
Google's wanton wardriving in 33 countries for over three years secretly recording people's WiFi transmissions, including full emails and passwords, arguably is the single broadest privacy breach in the Internet era. And the FTC did nothing. And the FTC sees no need for any further action. Amazing.
What's wrong with this picture? A lot. A better question might be what's right with the FTC-Google privacy enforcement picture?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2010-09-21 10:53
In another Google fit of no-self-awareness, Google has launched a new web tool that they call the "transparency report" in order to promote transparency as "a deterrent to censorship," per a Google spokeswoman in the NYT's Bits Blog.
While I applaud the tool and Google's effort to promote transparency as a deterrent to censorship, the effort appears disingenuous because of Google's double standard that others must submit to transparency, but not Google.
Google's tool will have "a map that shows every time a government has asked Google to take down or hand over information, and what percentage of the time Google has complied," per the NYT's Bits Blog."
If transparency is good:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2010-08-25 14:44
The top U.S. spy agency for mapping announced a no-bid digital mapping contract with Google on August 19th. However, after media inquiries, the agency modified the contract's no-bid format, but made clear "the agency's intention to award the contract to Google without entertaining competitive bids" -- per a Fox News story by James Rosen.
Has anyone in a position of authority or oversight even begun to think through the irony and stupidity of contracting out the Nation's most sensitive intelligence gathering and analysis function to a company that has:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2010-07-22 16:25
The fateful policy decision by the FTC/DOJ to exclude privacy as a factor in antitrust enforcement has fostered a perverse market dynamic where many online advertising companies now effectively compete on the basis of who can most take advantage of consumer privacy fastest, rather than compete on the basis of who can best protect consumer privacy.
This analysis will show:
I. Implications of exempting privacy from antitrust enforcement.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2010-07-21 13:12
37 States are now involved in a "powerful multi-state investigation" of "Google's Streetview snooping" per a press release from investigation leader, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who released a new follow-up letter to Google asking for more information and clarification of its representations to date.
The letter shows the investigation is very serious. Its prosecutorial exactness strongly suggests that investigators believe Google has not been forthright in its answers to date and that it could be covering up material information to the investigation.
What appears to be the most problematic line of inquiry is whether or not Google tested this software before it was used in public to collect private information on consumers.