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Fraud

Google is not warning its users of its role in one of largest cyber-security breaches ever on the Net

USA Today broke a much under-appreciated and potentially blockbuster Internet security breach story: "Google searchers could end up with a new type of bug." Kudos to Byron Acohido and Jon Swartz, who reported it in USA Today, and also blogged on it at ZeroDayThreat.com, a site for their book "Zero Day Threat" which defines a Zero day Threat as "a threat so new that no viable protections against it exists." 

  • In a nutshell, the article and blog post explain how cybercrook hackers have figured out how to use and leverage Google's search engine results "to spread spam, and carry out scams. Typically it also lets the attacker embed a keystroke logger, which collects and transmits your passwords and any other sensitive data you type online."
  • This new cyber scam ring is expected to spread rapidly, increasing from a "few dozen major websites" today, to  "hundreds of high-profile websites" in the next few weeks.
  • "...in March alone... security researchers found several hundred thousand corrupted Web pages returned in common Google search queries."

Why this is a big deal:

Hackers exploiting Google's "open" platform to endanger users' privacy/security with new Goolag tool

In crusading for an "open Internet" Google is irresponsibly silent on how Google's bias for "open" innovation over user security and privacy makes tens of millions of Americans much more open and vulnerable to hackers seeking to steal their identities or to fraudsters and predators seeking to do them harm.

PC World and AP are reporting on a scary new "open source" hacker tool called Goolag produced by Cult of the Dead Cow, that exploits and leverages Google's search engine platform to make cyber-crime super-efficient.  

Google's Regulatory Outlook 2008

The big question for investors is why?

  • Why has Google felt the need to rapidly build up a new lobbying operation in D.C. (rivaling Microsoft's in size) and why did Google just unveil, with great fanfare, its new cutting-edge office space in DC with a party that attracted 650 people and many VIPs?
    • What does Google know that investors may not?

Google's Regulatory Outlook:

Federal Trade Commission

Antitrust:

Has Tim Wu lost his credibility? in his tunnel-vision piece: "Has AT&T lost its mind?"

Tim Wu is losing credibility fast. 

  • His new piece in Slate: "Has AT&T lost its mind? A baffling proposal to filter the Internet" is myopic, uniformed, and borderline hysterical.

Mr. Wu please calm down. Put away any sharp objects and please listen to some reason. 

Google jet's special NASA parking privileges -- Where's NASA's Inspector General on this?

NBC11.com of San Jose posted an interesting reminder about Google's unique, highly suspect, and special deal with NASA, in which Google's founders get special parking privileges for their 767 "party plane" at NASA's Moffet Field, which is conveniently located just seven miles from Google's Silicon Valley headquarters.

Where is NASA's Inspector General on this?

Is Google recording you without your permission? Google's clandestine voiceprint database...

Just when I have thought I have heard it all about Google thinking that the normal rules of ethical behavior simply don't apply to Google -- they come up with another of their heralded "innovations without permission" that just leaves me shaking my head in disbelief.

ParisLemon.com has a great post: "Goog-411 is the Ultimate in Ulterior Motives: its really about getting voice samples from you."

  • "They've hyped up a service, GOOG-411, making people think it for the betterment of man to have a free 411 service - when in actuality it was always all about getting vocal samples from people to perfect speech-to-text technology!"

Aren't we all familiar with the phone disclosure recording when we call a company that informs us that "this phone call is being recorded for training or quality assurance purposes"?

  • Otherwise, isn't it illegal to record people's conversations (voices) without their knowledge -- unless its disclosed or you have their permission?    

It only confirms a Google trait that I have driven home before that Google has no adult supervision or internal controls to speak of.

Weekly Standard: "Google and its Enemies" -- a great article on Google's Kleptomania in Digital Books

The Weekly Standard's cover story this week is "Google and its enemies -- the much hyped project to digitize 32 million books sounds good. why are so many people taking shots at it?"

  • It's a very good in-depth look at one ambitious aspect of Google's legendary kleptomania of intellectual property.
  • It also has some very insightful commentary about what this all means for Google's business model.

The article explains that Google is currently undertaking the most ambitious book copying project in human history, looking to scan 32 million books over ten years at an estimated cost of $800m.

Busted again! Google ranked worst in "One World Trust" survey on openness and transparency

The Financial Times reported that One World Trust is publishing the results of a new world survey that ranks Google worst in the world on openness and transparency.

  • This worst in the world ranking comes on the heels of a recent Privacy International survey that also found that Google was worst in the world on privacy.
  • Now two independent and respected non-governmental groups have independently found that Google is worst in the world on the values that the Google claims are very important to Google: openness and privacy.

One World Trust "conducts research on practical ways to make global organisations more responsive to the people they affect, and on how the rule of law can be applied equally to all.  It educates political leaders and opinion-formers about the findings of its research." 

  •  Out of a possible score of 100 Google got a 17. Ouch. Even the math whizes at Google can see that is not a good score.
    • And sense the top performer, UNDP, got an 88, their is no grading curve that will save Google's bacon on this one.

It is good to get additional third party confirmation of many of the themes I have been blogging about for over a year and a half on Google.

Googlers -- the new nobility -- taking elitism to new heights

I thought you might enjoy the latest evidence that Googlers think of themselves as special, better than the rest of us, a form of American nobility, the elite of the elite. 

From the recent Newsweek article: "Google goes globe-trotting":

  • "Google is like Fantasy Land," says APM David Hammer, 24, who hails from Newton, Mass. "You're one of the chosen people." (bold added)
    • "the chosen people."  ...in a Googlers own words.  Hmmmm. I thought that moniker was already taken, and as I remember, it was not self-granted.  
  • The Newsweek article continues: "Actually, it's like being one of the Lost Boys from "Peter Pan.""
    • For those of you who didn't remember them like me, the lost boys were immortals who lived in Neverland with Peter Pan... By the way, isn't Michael Jackson's estate called Neverland? 
  • The article then described: "At headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Google has 17 no-cost dining areas, each focused on a specific cuisine, including Asian fusion vegan and tapas. There are swimming pools, health clinics, beach-volleyball courts and massage rooms."

This Newsweek article preceded the precious front page New York Times story of today: "Google Options Make Masseusse a Multi-Millionaire."

Father of net neutrality admits "the whole net neutrality issue is really about a power struggle"

Tim Wu, the "father of net neutrality" because he made up the term a few years back, was surprisingly candid in a CNET article that: "the whole net neutrality issue is really about a power struggle."

  • Well we now know net neutrality is not about:
    • A supposedly longstanding non-discrimination "principle" of the Internet;
    • all bits being equal; or
    • freedom of speech.
  • It's about "power."
    • We knew it all along. 
      • It's really about the "power struggle" over corporate welfare for the dotcom billionaires at Google and eBay who want the consumer to subsidize their piggish bandwith demands in order to maintain their 90% gross profit margins.  

I also found another candid quote by the Moveon.org/FreePress folks that also tells us what they are up to:

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