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Questions for Google’s Privacy Policy Counsel at Cato’s NSA Surveillance Conference – Part 16 Google Spying Series

Given that Google’s Privacy Policy Counsel, David Lieber, is the only corporate representative speaking at Cato’s impressive conference tomorrow in D.C. on: NSA Surveillance: What We Know and What to Do about It, let me suggest some questions to ask Mr. Lieber about Google’s views on surveillance and spying in general. 

  1. Does Google’s unique missionto organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” (including the recording of most every type of private information), make Google the natural “one-stop spy-shop” for the NSA and other surveillance interests, domestic and foreign?   
  2. Does the recent U.S. Federal court decision – that Google’s scanning of emails for targeted advertising is wiretapping -- indicate Google may have illegally recorded Americans’ private (international) conversations for almost a decade, private conversations that could be accessible to the NSA , law enforcement, and foreign authorities? 
  3. Does the recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision -- that Google Street View’s collection of WIFi emissions from tens of millions of American homes was wiretapping -- indicate that Google also may have collected millions of (international) passwords, emails, etc. that would be uniquely useful to the NSA, law enforcement, and foreign authorities?
  4. Is Google’s support for new Fourth Amendment legislation to constrain the government’s ability to access Google’s unique private information data trove on everyone essentially meaningless, if there are no consumer privacy protection laws applicable to Google that limit the type and amount of private information collected on them without a consumer’s reasonable permission?
  5. Does the fact that a U.S. spy agency reportedly offered Google an exclusive no-bid contract for its mapping intelligence service suggest that Google has a unique special relationship with U.S. spy agencies?  Specifically, was that contract related to Google’s 2004 purchase of CIA/In-Q-Tel-funded  Keyhole acquisition that enabled Google Earth? Or Google’s sale of servers to U.S. intelligence services in 2008? Or Google Venture’s co-investment in Recorded Future with the CIA’s investment fund In-Q-Tel in 2010?  
  6. Does Google’s unique relationship with NASA that allows Google (and only Google) to house Google’s  fleet of planes and to get taxpayer-subsidized fuel, present the appearance of a quid pro quo for secret services provided to the Government, because there have been no public disclosures explaining why no other American company can enjoy the intimate and lucrative special NASA benefits that Google enjoys?  
  7. Post Snowden, does Google still plan to sell Google Glass overseas, given that some foreign governments could view it as Google Spy-Glass and wearers as American spies that could surreptitiously video sensitive places/activities and immediately transmit them back to Google’s servers and then potentially to NSA analysts?


Google Spying Series

Part 1: All the Blackmail-able Info that “J. Edgar Google” Collects on You [7-17-08]  

Part 2: Google’s Interventional Targeting: Get into People’s Heads? [5-19-09]

Part 3: Big Brother NSA: Google-NSA Through a Foreigners Eyes [3-9-10]

Part 4: What Else Does Google Secretly Track? [6-2-10]

Part 5: Google’s Total Information Awareness – One-Page Graphic of All the Info Google Has [6-4-10]

Part 6: Google China License: What’s the Rest of the Story? [7-9-10]

Part 7: Big Brother Inc. Implications of Google Getting No-Bid Spying Contract [8-25-10]

Part 8: Google’s Deep Tracking Inspection [8-31-10]

Part 9: Google’s Mandatory Location Profiling/Tracking [11-1-10]

Part 10: Google’s Deep Aversion to Permission [3-10-11]

Part 11: Google’s No Privacy by Design Business Model [3-17-11]

Part 12: Google’s Rogue WiSpy Invasive Behavior Proliferates [6-17-11]

Part 13: Why Google is Big Brother Inc. – One-Page Graphic [6-10-13]

Part 14: Google Spy [7-8-13]

Part 15: Google Spy-Glass – Google’s Big Rest of World Trust Problem [9-8-13]