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Online Privacy

Google-Spy

Google is the spy tool of choice, the one stop-shop for spying, and the spymaster’s dream.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s famously quipped: “if you have something you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.” Given recent spying revelations, what Mr. Schmidt apparently means is: “if you don’t want to be spied upon, don’t use Google’s products and services.”

Why is that true? Let’s examine the top ten reasons.  

Summary

Is this the record of a trustworthy company? Check Out Google’s Consolidated Rap Sheet

Google Inc. has a rap sheet longer than any Googler’s arm. See it hereIt shows:

  • 142 incidents in 13 countries and the EU, involving 6 continents;
  • 34 official actions against Google: 1 criminal, 7 fraud, 4 theft, 11 antitrust, and 11 privacy;
  • 6 near-record fines in 3 countries;
  • 11 nations and the EU have Google under antitrust investigation;
  • 11 official privacy sanctions in multiple countries;
  • 12 different industries have sued Google for theft; and
  • 20+ cyber-security lapses have surfaced in the last 2 years.

This evidence shows Google to be the worst corporate scofflaw in modern American history.

It is timely and relevant given that America’s Attorneys General are meeting in Boston June 18th to discuss Google’s alleged aiding and abetting of criminal activity broadly. Google CEO Larry Page and General Counsel Kent Walker have been invited to the closed meeting to discuss the matter.

Why Google is Big Brother Inc. – A One-Page Graphic -- Part 33 Google Disrespect for Privacy Series

Google is the only company with a mission to organize the world’s public and private information, and it is also unique in having developed more ways, to monitor more people’s behavior, more intimately than any entity ever.

Please see this one page graphic summary to get a big picture view of the almost unimaginable scale and scope of the intimate private information that Google routinely records and analyzes. 

Since all other companies have much more narrow and focused businesses and missions than Google’s unbounded ambitions, they represent a fraction or slice of the whole public and private data pie that Google collects, stores, and analyzes.

Other than Google, only an Orwellian “Big Brother” state would aspire to collect and store indefinitely all private, intimate information on everyone online like Google is doing.

We know information is power.

The problem with Google becoming Big Brother Inc., is that if a state were to combine its state powers with Google’s unique information monopoly, unaccountability, and surveillance powers, it creates huge natural temptations for corruption and abuse in the absence of meaningful competition, strong checks and balances, and real public accountability.

Why Google is America’s Cybersecurity Achilles Heel -- Part 14 Security is Google’s Achilles Heel Series

Every system has a most vulnerable point, an Achilles heel. The overwhelming evidence below indicates that Google is America’s cybersecurity Achilles heel.

While America faces a plethora of serious cybersecurity vulnerabilities, Google’s unique scale, scope, tracking, and centralization puts Google alone at the pinnacle of America’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities, in a class all by itself.

Simply, hackers understand Google is by far the world’s single most-comprehensive source of intimate surveillance information on people and their behaviors, while also being the major entity that is least-committed culturally to protecting people’s security, privacy, and property.

DOJ & FTC Report Cards -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

In advance of the Senate Antitrust oversight hearing for the DOJ and FTC Tuesday, please see my Daily Caller op-ed "DOJ & FTC Antitrust Report Cards" -- here -- to learn two of the big oversight questions for the hearing.

This is Part 20 in the Google Unaccountability Research Series.

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Google Unaccountability Research Series:

Part 0: Google's Poor and Defiant Settlement Record

Part 1: Why Google Thinks It Is Above the Law

Part 2: Top Ten Untrue Google Stories

Part 3: Google's Growing Record of Obstruction of Justice

More Government Special Treatment for Big Internet Companies – Part 8 Internet as Oz Series

More evidence continues to surface that Big Internet companies expect and seek exceptional special treatment from Government that other companies simply do not expect or seek.

Six EU Nations Revolt against Google’s Virtual Colonialization of their Private Data – Part 32 Google’s Disrespect of Privacy Research Series

Ironically six of the original European colonial powers of yesteryear, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, have aligned  to resist the new virtual-colonial-power -- Google’s hegemony over online private data.

These six leading EU members, which comprise 75% of the EU economy, have jointly launched national investigations of Google’s privacy actions. That’s because Google has paternalistically rebuffed and ignored the EU belief that Google’s 2012 unification of its sixty privacy policies is a serious violation of European data protection law, because it does not allow any meaningful use transparency or user choice to opt-out of Google’s private data collection.

My video explanation of Google Glass' upcoming privacy problems given that 8,000 people soon will be testing them in public

Google is notifying 8,000 people that they can now buy and use a prototype of Google Glass as part of a real-world Google marketing experiment of this controversial new product.

To learn why I think Google Glass will encounter big privacy problems over time, see my video explanation here -- thanks to Mike Wendy of MediaFreedom.org for the video.

Expect this first wave of Google Glass-arazzi and storm-snoopers to run into significant privacy problems to the extent they film/record people's private conversations/activities without their knowledge or permission.

What we don't know yet is if Google will:

Movie Review of “Google and the World Brain”

Google and the World Brain” -- Presented by Polar Star Films; Directed by Ben Lewis; An Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. See the movie's website here, and facebook page here. To view the two minute trailer – click here.

Review: Four stars out of four. 

In telling the important untold story of Google’s Herculean and controversial efforts to digitize all the world’s books, Director Ben Lewis’ genius insight was unearthing the fascinating “why?” behind it all – which is Google CEO Larry Page’s deep passion for Artificial Intelligence or “AI.”

Google’s many innovations are well known. What has not been appreciated until the debut of this outstanding documentary film is how Google’s frenetic innovation machine fits together. Ben Lewis effectively offers us a new organizing principle to understand why Google alone has a mission to organize the world’s information – Larry Page’s quest to create an Artificial Intelligence.

The Creepy Google-Glass-arazzi? -- Part 31 Google’s Disrespect for Privacy Research Series

The big problem with Google Glass is that it disrespects others’ privacy in the real world.

In creating an innovative form-factor for Google users to use most all of Google’s services in the real-world on-the-go and hands-free, Google Glass would fundamentally change how Google users socially interact and affect others in society.

In the virtual world, Google is a champion of users having the freedom to do most whatever they want online. In the real physical world, people’s freedoms begin to end when they begin to seriously infringe upon the freedoms of others – like the freedom of reasonable privacy.  

The greatest Google privacy outcries have been when Google products disregarded and disrespected non-Google users’ or others’ privacy. Gmail users may have assented to Google scanning their emails to target personal ads to get free email, but the billion or so non-Gmail users that happen to trade emails with Gmail never agreed to Google’s privacy-invading deal.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths