Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Tech Giants In Human Rights Deal

CmdrTaco posted about 6 years ago | from the this-can't-hurt-right dept.

Businesses 97

Ostracus writes "Microsoft, Google and Yahoo have signed a global a code of conduct promising to offer better protection for online free speech and against official intrusion." Anyone want to know what this means for China & Australia? I bet it means even less to all of us in America where every major data center has a secret room where the government sniffs our packets.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Talk is cheap (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25553403)

Unless these companies are willing to stand up and pull out of countries like China if their governments refuse to back down, then this agreement is as worthless as the paper it's written on. The same advice applies to business PR spin as applies to political PR spin: "Look at actions, not words, for the REAL story."

And yes, this privacy policy should apply to the U.S. government as well. No special exception should be made just because the U.S. President runs around yelling "9-11!"

Sniffs our packets? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25553509)

Rep. Barney Frank would rather sniff your soiled XXL underwear, you big cuddly teddy bear!

Re:Talk is cheap (1)

Dreen (1349993) | about 6 years ago | (#25553653)

I think we all now what this agreement is: PR. Its disgusting, really. I personally highly doubt they will do anything *significant*. They will probably pull off some minor things (probably agreed beforehand with governments in question) just to be able to say "But hey we're doing things!" and continue the PR.

Re:Talk is cheap (3, Insightful)

MindKata (957167) | about 6 years ago | (#25554573)

"I think we all now what this agreement is: PR "

My first thought on hearing the headline, was at last. Something good? But yeah, reading the details, its just PR. But the more I think about it, the more its likely to be actually worse than just PR.

Without any legal teeth, this near useless agreement is simply to placate and blind the masses, into believing something is being done to maintain freedom and fairness. So if anything, as it stands, its worse than not having an agreement. Because now, every time something bad is added to Big Brother, they will wave this bit of paper and say something like... "but, everyone, we are thinking of all of you. Look we signed this agreement, to say we care." ... Yeah, right, and its not for their own gain, that they data mine us all and then sell us all to their highest bidder, while silencing any attempt for any news organizations to speak out against them. But then how many of the news organizations are also playing along.

Since the start of the whole web 2.0 user generated content idea became popular, some people in power have said many times, how much they hate user generated content. But then, its no wonder they do hate it, as its likely the only way the full truth is getting out these days. Plus in countries like the UK, they want to create literally Big Brother to monitor everything that is said online. While Australia wants to censor the net. ... Oh sorry Big Brother, should I have also said China was bad... yeah, they are bad, but listen to our media, they constantly point only at someone else, and then look away, when its Big Brother aimed at all of us.

No wonder some people in power want to monitor, control and even at times, silence user generated content. People may actually discuss political points of view, rather than be simply spoon feed points of view, by the large news organizations, like Rupert Murdoch's group.

Machiavelli (1)

mfh (56) | about 6 years ago | (#25553785)

This is a nice idea but it won't work. Machiavellian followers agree that treaties are designed to entice your enemies into lowering their guard. The company that abandons this treaty first will gain the most, while the other two are mired in the red tape. And we all know that it is only Machiavellian principles that guide corporations, so I must be right!

Re:Talk is cheap (0, Flamebait)

arekusu_ou (1344373) | about 6 years ago | (#25554027)

These companies aren't willing to stand up to their own government, why should they stand up against other governments?
And if you want to disregard local law over the internet, then free reign to porn in all non-porn allowed states under a certain age. Free reign to online gambling. Age of consent is much lower in foreign countries, that should be applied as well. Who cares about respecting other countries' laws and policies, when we should all follow the lowest denominator in the global community.
Why stop at the internet, if you export goods to countries, ignore their safety regulations. You have your own, why care about others. So what if America test their meat, vegetable, dairies. So what if their cars have to pass safety and emissions standards. Companies should have the right to ignore local laws when they don't like them.

You may not be happy about the way China runs their country, but America is hardly in any position to judge what's appropriate and whats not. Hell America has been tow-tied in following the shoes of UK's oppressive police state, UK, US, and Australia is only wetting themselves thinking of what China has accomplished.
And why should another country follow suit in America's dismay failures all over. If someone is walking off a bridge, are you going to stupidly follow, or are you going to say, hey that's not a good path, let me take a detour.

Try leading a revolt in your own country before walking over to other countries like hypocrits and telling them what to do. Iraq worked out oh so well, don't you think.

Re:Talk is cheap (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25554185)

You're only obligated to abide by a country's laws if you have chosen to business there in the first place. Just because Saudi Arabia has the death penalty for religious blasphemy doesn't mean I have to move my company in there and help the motherfuckers.

Re:Talk is cheap (1)

arekusu_ou (1344373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25620339)

No, of course doing business is a choice. And they could not do business with China. Hell all of America could decide to not do business with China. Would they ever? No, because not only is China a growing superpower, large consumer market, and cheap labor, but their fingers are so deeply embedded into the Global Economy, you'd need to amputee yourself to get them out. America can spite themselves and their hypocritical moral high ground by cutting their wrist during an already hemorrhaging time.

Of course by that token...they are following their home countries' laws to a degree. Assisting the government to combat dissidents and terrorists. Was I dreaming when they rerouted data sniffing to just outside of Langley? Did I somehow get the country mixed up when they were warrentless tapping lines to spy on Americans? Is the UK's sniffing through all emails not prophetic of US's next step in the erosion of civil liberties? Did those poor people imagine suffering at the hands of Gitmo and Abu?

Why don't we just have all the companies move to this magical land where the minority moralist in this country can feel at home and live in an enclosed economic and industrial bubble like the Amish try to.

Why should we demand them to stop doing business at all with China is the point. Or how can we. Shouldn't they stop doing business in America first. Shouldn't the consumers stop buying cheap below standard Asian goods before they start crying foul.

I don't even know where all this indignation with china is going or trying to accomplish or the point of all the companies pulling out of countries with governments America doesn't like, including itself.

Re:Talk is cheap (2, Funny)

probityrules (971026) | about 6 years ago | (#25554601)

Stand up and pull out? No, there's a reason Google's execs are buying fighter jets...

Re:Talk is cheap (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | about 6 years ago | (#25563203)

It's also the reason Google's execs are buying condoms.

Exactly (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 years ago | (#25564787)

If you want us to believe you, Google, then Do Less Evil!

If you want us to believe you, Microsoft, ummmmm... uhhh... well, you have broken your word so consistently and persistently, and for so long, I doubt we will ever believe you again. You really need to work on that.

Yahoo, just straighten up, will you? If you kept your word while the others continued to be hypocrites, you might gain some real market share!

Soliciting /. Wisdom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25566263)

How internet can help fixing Casteism in India?

Slashdot is not gay! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25553415)

Greeting slash dot reader. You are a straight heterosexual who exclusively prefers penis-vagina intercourse between a man and a woman and you are not gay. Stay for updates as events warrant. Your friend in a platonic, non-sexual sense, Linos Torvaldsz!!!!!

but will they protect (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25553421)

my first post?

Good news, but (4, Interesting)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | about 6 years ago | (#25553455)

I'll bet there's something in there 'respecting local laws' or similar, so the code will have no teeth.

As soon as the Chinese say 'this AC is suspected of being Falun Gong', or the French say 'this AC has a SS dagger for sale', or the Australians say 'this AC has offended Family First', each and every signatory to the code will lube up and bend over.

Sorry, but I don't think Google, Microsoft or Yahoo have the balls to stand up for free speech when faced with a lawsuit.

Re:Good news, but (1)

speroni (1258316) | about 6 years ago | (#25553657)

Actually they are pushing search engines to respect the relevant country's laws, but also do a little pushing back. If an official in randomforiegncountry asks for the names of some people the company in question is supposed to push back a little and ask if their request is compliant with their own laws. It was cited that often a local official in China would approach a company and ask for names, but this local official isn't necessarily following China's federal laws.

But otherwise I agree, these companies are going to do what companies do and try to make as much money as possible in the immediate fiscal quarter, not pine over some freedom of speech ideals.

Re:Good news, but (2, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 6 years ago | (#25554481)

The part about laws does make a difference. In China the constitution is not exactly liberal, but it is more liberal than the behaviour of the police against dissidents would imply.

E.g.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_PRC [wikipedia.org]
Article 35 of the 1982 State Constitution proclaims that "citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession, and of demonstration." In the 1978 constitution, these rights were guaranteed, but so were the right to strike and the "four big rights," often called the "four bigs": to speak out freely, air views fully, hold great debates, and write big-character posters. In February 1980, following the Democracy Wall period, the four bigs were abolished in response to a party decision ratified by the National People's Congress. The right to strike was also dropped from the 1982 Constitution. The widespread expression of the four big rights during the student protests of late 1986 elicited the regime's strong censure because of their illegality. The official response cited Article 53 of the 1982 Constitution, which states that citizens must abide by the law and observe labor discipline and public order. Besides being illegal, practicing the four big rights offered the possibility of straying into criticism of the Communist Party of China, which was in fact what appeared in student wall posters. In a new era that strove for political stability and economic development, party leaders considered the four big rights politically destabilizing. Except for the ostentatious six democratic parties, Chinese citizens are prohibited from forming parties.

Of course in practice the political police will limit people's ability to exercise these, particularly freedom of speech. Multinationals refusing to do stuff that is unconstitutional does make a difference. It's also very much in their interests to not be seen to be blindly obedient to the more thuggish elements of the police should the system liberalise in future, which seems quite possible to me.

Re:Good news, but (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25556109)

It's not like we Australians actually have to worry.

The Australian Greens plan to torpedo any Internet censorship bill, and without the Greens, Labour can't pass the bill through senate.

It's really all a big hullabaloo about nothing.

So (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25553499)

Goatse [goatse.cz] , anyone?

Re:So (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25553621)

You ride the FAILGOAT!

Paranoia (0, Troll)

Kamokazi (1080091) | about 6 years ago | (#25553521)

"I bet it means even less to all of us in America where every major data center has a secret room where the government sniffs our packets."

Conspiracy theory much?

Re:Paranoia (3, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 years ago | (#25553549)

Yeah! How can the rooms be secret if you're posting them on Slashdot. Now the secret rooms under the ###### ### #########, they are the true danger.

Re:Paranoia (1)

sledge_hmmer (1179603) | about 6 years ago | (#25556785)

Yeah! How can the rooms be secret if you're posting them on Slashdot. Now the secret rooms under the ###### ### #########, they are the true danger.

I believe you meant, "Now the secret rooms under the {redacted} they are the true danger."

Re:Paranoia (4, Informative)

FourthAge (1377519) | about 6 years ago | (#25553571)

It's not far off reality. There isn't an NSA room in every data centre, but there might as well be, since their placement at major Internet hubs throughout the USA is equivalent. The [gameshout.com] story [theregister.co.uk] is quite well known.

Re:Paranoia (4, Informative)

krappie (172561) | about 6 years ago | (#25553663)

I used to work as a sysadmin for a major datacenter. There was no room as far as I knew. If there was, it was pretty hidden from everyone.

We did have people from the FBI or Secret Service come in every once in a while and ask for a hard drive out of a server. We'd tell the customer he had hardware problems as we mirrored the drive.

Also, it seems obvious that if the government wanted to spy on traffic, they wouldn't do it at endpoints like datacenters. They would do it at major routers.

Re:Paranoia (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 6 years ago | (#25553725)

Same here.

Google and Yahoo are both building major new datacenters within 15 miles of me, and Microsoft is building a new one within 100 miles. I plan on checking out all the new datacenters as well when I apply for jobs there.

Re:Paranoia (1)

doas777 (1138627) | about 6 years ago | (#25553787)

yes that is exactly what they do. DataCenters in general is overbroad, so lets call them Telco CommCenters instead.

They don;t have a tap in my companies server room, they have a tap in my companies ISPs server room.

Re:Paranoia (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 6 years ago | (#25554343)

...and I thought they used ECHELON to spy on all traffic Net, Phone, other ....

Which the likes of US companies could do nothing about ....

Re:Paranoia (5, Insightful)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | about 6 years ago | (#25554817)

We did have people from the FBI or Secret Service come in every once in a while and ask for a hard drive out of a server. We'd tell the customer he had hardware problems as we mirrored the drive.

Did you make sure they had the proper warrants? Did you inform the customers of the real reason for the problems if they didn't have warrants, or if they didn't have gag orders? If you didn't protect your customers from federal agents overstepping their bounds, or informing them of the actions of the federal agents, you are part of the problem.

Now, if they had the proper warrants and court orders, then, by all means, you should help them out. If not, then you should tell them to read the Constitution and get back to you when they have done their job properly.

Re:Paranoia (1)

canajin56 (660655) | about 6 years ago | (#25556025)

If cop shows like CSI are even slightly accurate, if you tell a cop to get a warrant, they get a warrant to search your whole business, then they seize all of your servers and backups to make sure they got the relevant data, and you never get them back due to all the red tape. And since they're the good guys on these shows, I suppose we're all supposed to cheer them on! Just about every time a store owner says "No you can't have my camera tapes without a warrant" good old Jim Brass says "OK, we'll get a warrant to search your whole store since you're acting suspicious and obstructing an investigation. You can reopen some time next year once we're sure we have everything."

Re:Paranoia (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 6 years ago | (#25558361)

If cop shows like CSI are even slightly accurate

Stop there. They're not.

Re:Paranoia (1)

krappie (172561) | about 6 years ago | (#25567801)

Making sure they had the proper warrants wasn't my job. That part was all over my head. My boss would just tell me when someone was coming over to get a drive.

it's not paranoid if they're out to get you (2, Insightful)

Rick Bentley (988595) | about 6 years ago | (#25554929)

We did have people from the FBI or Secret Service come in every once in a while and ask for a hard drive out of a server. We'd tell the customer he had hardware problems as we mirrored the drive.

This might be the scariest thing I've ever read. You wouldn't tell the customer that someone showed up with a court order to see the drive and you had no choice but to comply? Did the FBI or SS at least show up with a court order? Did your legal department always review it first, how long did they have to do that? In what way were you bound to not tell the customer?

It makes me itch in a very major way that the customer's legal department never got engaged. I can't imagine that you guys would defend their rights to privacy as zealously as they might. It's also creepy as hell that the customer didn't know that they were being snooped upon while their trusted service provider inflicts them with downtime and lies about the reason for it.

Do other /.'ers have experience with being forced to turn over 3rd party private data?

Re:it's not paranoid if they're out to get you (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | about 6 years ago | (#25555903)

Do other /.'ers have experience with being forced to turn over 3rd party private data?

Where I used to work (an ISP), I would occasionally have to provide usage logs, etc. on customers. However, the requests *always* came from the ISP's legal department. If ever I received a direct request (IIRC, it happened once or twice), I sent it to legal before replying with the information. I'd *pull* the data as soon as I got a notice, but I absolutely, positively did not divulge it until my legal department ok'd the request. For that matter, as I recall (it's been a while...), I only gave the information to legal, as well.

Re:Paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25555445)

I worked at a major data center about 10 years ago. There was no secret room but there was hidden equipment that belonged to the government. I was fairly high up in the company and I only learned about it years after it was installed. I was never officially told about it, but my boss happened to mention what it was one day. If he hadn't mentioned it, I would never have suspected it was there.

Re:Paranoia (1)

somersault (912633) | about 6 years ago | (#25557513)

I worked at a major data center about 10 years ago. There was no secret room but there was hidden equipment that belonged to the government. I was fairly high up in the company and I only learned about it years after it was installed. I was never officially told about it, but my boss happened to mention what it was one day. If he hadn't mentioned it, I would never have suspected it was there.

"Damn, this toupee itches! My grandfather stole it from Dwight Eisenhower"

Re:Paranoia (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | about 6 years ago | (#25556583)

We did have people from the FBI or Secret Service come in every once in a while and ask for a hard drive out of a server. We'd tell the customer he had hardware problems as we mirrored the drive.

I strongly hope that you asked for the warrant before sending out the "Sorry for the inconvenience" message, and told them to get lost if they couldn't produce it? Otherwise, I'd sure like to know where that is, so I can avoid it.

Re:Paranoia (1)

krappie (172561) | about 6 years ago | (#25567951)

Like I've said here before, knowing about warrants wasn't really my job. I have no clue if they ever had proper warrants.

I probably shouldn't say what company it was, but they had over 20,000 servers when I left. They've grown much more since then. I bet it's the same at any major hosting company. If you have that many servers, you're bound to have some involved in heavy financial crimes or terrorist websites.

Re:Paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25562559)

Did you - or the mods - even read the post you replied to? He said there is *not* a secret room in every data center, that they are at "internet hubs" (a la 611 Folsom). Maybe you were just giving evidence to agree with him, but the tone sounded to me like you thought you were contradicting him.

Re:Paranoia (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 6 years ago | (#25553851)

Perhaps you should clarify, for hyperbole's sake, that there is one NSA room in one major hub. It's well-known now, and the government has gotten quite a lot of crap about it.

Conspiracy theory is when you extend this, sans evidence, to "they must have one in every major hub".

Re:Paranoia (2, Interesting)

element-o.p. (939033) | about 6 years ago | (#25555959)

They don't necessarily have a "secret room", but as I understand, CALEA, etc., requires every telco to have a plan in place to apply a tap to every circuit that they provide.

Yes, I am a network administrator at a telco, and yes, the company I had to work for had to produce a CALEA-compliance plan about a year ago.

Re:Paranoia (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 6 years ago | (#25556359)

Now, that's certainly believable. But having a plan in place to apply a tap to every circuit they provide is different from having such a tap active.

I don't really think they should even have a plan in place to do such a thing, but the typical hyperbolic statement is "the government is actively monitoring all of your packets and phone conversations", which simply isn't true.

Re:Paranoia (1)

visualight (468005) | about 6 years ago | (#25554673)

They're not always in a room, in some places they have a cage like everyone else. Referred to as the "fed rack".

Common knowledge, not conspiracy theory.

Re:Paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25567925)

They're not always in a room, in some places they have a cage like everyone else. Referred to as the "fed rack".

Or like here in Atlanta they have a whole floor to themselves.

Re:Paranoia (1)

hmar (1203398) | about 6 years ago | (#25559053)

Only on Slashdot could you be modded "troll" for calling that a conspiracy theory

except ... morals (5, Insightful)

Meneth (872868) | about 6 years ago | (#25553525)

The "principles" they've signed can be disregarded if necessary to protect "national security or public order, or public health or morals".

This is, of course, interpreted so broadly by those in power that the declaration becomes essentially useless.

Re:except ... morals (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | about 6 years ago | (#25553651)

"essentially useless" ???? How about truly useless?

The simple fact is, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. Had any of these computing behemoths actually previously stood up against governments or oppressive groups in the past, their pact might actually be cause to think brightly about the future. Sadly, historically they have all shown themselves to be in the business of collecting dollars rather than collecting accolades from human rights organizations. Signing the pact does not indicate any true devotion to changing that business in the future. What you call essentially should in fact be written as 'actually'... IMO.

If any or all of them actually do stand against oppressive groups or governments despite possible loss of revenue it would indeed mean I'm wrong, and I hope to be told I was wrong at some very near future date.

Re:except ... morals (2, Interesting)

gutnor (872759) | about 6 years ago | (#25553893)

I guess we all miss the point here.

It is not about 3 giants agreeing to "defend" Human Rights.

It is 3 giants agreeing between themself that none of them will grow a conscience overnight, starts fighting for Human Rights and makes bad press for the other 2. Example: Google pulling out of China ... that would make MS and Yahoo look so bad. At the end of the day - future money is maybe in China, but today money is still in US/EU.

So, not useless ... for them - just the same kind of PR-spin than DRM.

Re:except ... morals (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 6 years ago | (#25554829)

The "principles" they've signed can be disregarded if necessary to protect "national security or public order, or public health or morals".

"We promise to uphold liberty and free speech. Unless they become, y'know, inconvenient or something."

censorship, spying, all the rage now (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25553585)

& we allow it? you have the right to remain silent.

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

we note that yahoo deletes some of its' (relevant) stories sooner than others. maybe they're short of disk space, or something?
http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/23/what.matters.thirst/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
(deleted)http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080918/ap_on_re_us/tent_cities;_ylt=A0wNcyS6yNJIZBoBSxKs0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/28/what.matters.meltdown/index.html#cnnSTCText
http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/books/10/07/atwood.debt/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
(deleted, still in google cache)http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/18/voting.problems/index.html
(deleted)http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080903/ts_nm/environment_arctic_dc;_ylt=A0wNcwhhcb5It3EBoy2s0NUE
(talk about cowardlly race fixing/bad theater/fiction?) http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/19/news/economy/sec_short_selling/index.htm?cnn=yes
http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=ApTbxRfLnscxaGGuCocWlwq7YWsA/SIG=11qicue6l/**http%3A//biz.yahoo.com/ap/081006/meltdown_kashkari.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/opinion/04sat1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
(the teaching of hate as a way of 'life' synonymous with failed dictatorships) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081004/ap_on_re_us/newspapers_islam_dvd;_ylt=A0wNcwWdfudITHkACAus0NUE
(some yoga & yogurt makes killing/getting killed less stressful) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081007/ap_on_re_us/warrior_mind;_ylt=A0wNcw9iXutIPkMBwzGs0NUE
(the old bait & switch...your share of the resulting 'product' is a fairytail nightmare?)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081011/ap_on_bi_ge/where_s_the_money;_ylt=A0wNcwJGwvFIZAQAE6ms0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

'The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson
consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."--chronicles

Re:censorship, spying, all the rage now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25553699)

You seem to have issues deciding which noun/verb you want to use (utilise?).

The Bullshit Continues (2, Insightful)

nvatvani (989200) | about 6 years ago | (#25553593)

Unless NGO's have an office/unit internally within Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google to oversee their conducts and verify their compliance to the flashy Global Code they are taunting - all this is just a PR stunt.

With ANY company:

  • FIRST comes MONEY!!!
  • SECOND comes morals (if any, and entirely optional).

Re:The Bullshit Continues (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 6 years ago | (#25554183)

Maybe, maybe not.

When the DoJ was asking for search records, AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft all handed them over, before they were formally asked. Google refused and said they wouldn't hand over data without a warrant.

Yahoo and Microsoft turned over journalists in China. Google didn't want to conform with Chinese censorship, and was the only company to fight China at all. Eventually they conceeded it was better to have an in road in China rather than not do business there at all, but Google is the only one to put on the page that the search results are censored.

If Google, Yahoo and Microsoft worked together, they'd have the clout to fight censorship.

sniff away (2, Funny)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | about 6 years ago | (#25553605)

a secret room where the government sniffs our packets.

I plan on not showering so I can have the most skid-marked packets for their sniffing pleasure.

As for China, I'm sure they'll just going to go along with this. That's what they usually do in reply to any external pressure regarding online rights. They just didn't realize the errors of their ways!

Re:sniff away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25554087)

The US and China do not look into their citizens' private communications, do they? I notice those 3 companies all started in the US, and all do business in China. All 3 companies make a lot of money, and wish to continue to do so. I suspect this is just an attempt to deflect criticism, and to help protect them when others come a calling for info. Now they can say, "sorry, we have this agreement...", and then only give out what they want, or, if necessary, continue to give it all if the country demands.

For my own edification (1)

speroni (1258316) | about 6 years ago | (#25553615)

(And maybe some other people)

What does it mean when Google says they will be doing business in china? Would China normally block www.google.com unless they get a business license in China? Is there another reason why the average Chinese citizen wouldn't have access to google.com? (or google.cn or èæOE or whatever?)

Or is this just that Google wants to start selling advertisements in China?

Re:For my own edification (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#25553649)

They'd probably like to have datacenters in the country to reduce latency.

It doesn't matter what they say... (4, Informative)

gillbates (106458) | about 6 years ago | (#25553625)

Any contract or promise contrary to the law is null and void.

"It is very little more than a broad statement of support for a general principle without any concrete backup mechanism to ensure that the guidelines will be followed."

This is little more than a PR stunt used to shore up their public image. The agreement language is vague, and there are questions about if it is even binding. It can probably not even be enforced, because in most countries, conspiracy is a crime. So if a company should do anything which would hinder prosecution, they could be charged with:

  • Conspiracy, if it can be shown that they knew, or should have known, of illegal activity using their systems.
  • Obstruction of justice (USA) if it can be shown that they destroyed evidence of illegal activity, or failed to comply with mandatory logging requirements.
  • In the US, their assets could be seized under RICO... While this might sound like a stretch, RICO has been used against political protesters in the past.
  • In the US, the ability to wiretap voice communications is required under CALEA. The government has made no secret of the fact that even following the law need not be a hindrance when there's a question of terrorism involved, and has punished companies which refused to break the laws regarding limits on surveillance.
  • Given that there is legislation pending, or perhaps even signed into law, which allows civil forfeiture for copyright violations, trumping up "probable cause" to seize a company's assets is little more than a paper shuffle these days. If the war on drugs is any indication, the government will use laws such as these to ensure that companies are "cooperative" with its surveillance efforts, legal or not.

I'm not counting on this having any effect other than people saying, "Look, Google really isn't evil!". Which is exactly the intended effect.

Re:It doesn't matter what they say... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#25553813)

Any contract or promise contrary to the law is null and void.

I'd like to know which specific law you're talking about. The Patriot Act? DMCA? The US Constitution?

Re:It doesn't matter what they say... (1)

robinsonne (952701) | about 6 years ago | (#25555703)

IANAL but from what I remember from from business law classes in school, contract law says something to the effect that: Any contract or promise contrary to the law is null and void.

You can't have a binding contract to do something illegal (as part of the contract)

Re:It doesn't matter what they say... (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | about 6 years ago | (#25556137)

In the US, the ability to wiretap voice communications is required under CALEA.

Not just voice -- ISP's providing broadband Internet service must provide the ability to tap customers' Internet traffic as well.

Re:It doesn't matter what they say... (1)

Still an AC (1390693) | about 6 years ago | (#25560059)

they could be charged with:* Conspiracy

So how come any one was accuses the government of anything is a tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy nut, but the US Government has charged more people with conspiracy then any other crime? Thought police indeed.

Re:It doesn't matter what they say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25560581)

"Any contract or promise contrary to the law is null and void."

Incorrect. ALL contracts have wordings stating that in the case of any clause that is illegal, only that clause is void not the whole contract.

That is the AEIOU of legal docs...

And I'm not a lawyer!

Re:It doesn't matter what they say... (1)

gillbates (106458) | about 6 years ago | (#25564749)

IOW, that clause about not suppressing free speech is useless if free speech is illegal. Again, it means nothing.

The government, too? (2, Funny)

tgd (2822) | about 6 years ago | (#25553643)

One of my cats was sniffing my packets when I woke up this morning.

Freakin' weirdo.

Enemy at the gates (2, Interesting)

not_an_agent (1396265) | about 6 years ago | (#25553645)

I'd worry less about the government sniffing and more about double-click, google or other advertisers. They're poised to bombard you with junk created just to tempt you, while the gov can't keep track of its own watchlists. Anyway, you're still allowed to encrypt packets to keep the g-men out... for now.

Protection for us or them? (1)

tomalpha (746163) | about 6 years ago | (#25553683)

"better protection for online free speech and against official intrusion."

Are they trying to protect us, or themselves against ? Am I getting cynical in my old age, or does this read like it's a demand for less red-tape/taxes etc. dressed up as protecting our rights to free speech?

Anyone have the actual text? (1)

jcr (53032) | about 6 years ago | (#25553697)

TFA doesn't include it, and without being able to read it, it's all hearsay.

-jcr

Re:Anyone have the actual text? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 6 years ago | (#25555973)

Well now, if I hadn't seen your low userID, I might have said you must be new here. Yours seems to be the only usefully informative and insightful post, and as such is entirely out of place on Slashdot.

;-)

How will this be enforced? (2, Insightful)

Matt Perry (793115) | about 6 years ago | (#25553727)

There's nothing in the article that talks about how this will be enforced. So, I want to know how will this be enforced? What will be the repercussions for a company that violates the agreement? How will compliance be measured and accounted for? Who will oversee this to ensure that the companies involved are complying? Without answers to these questions this agreement among companies is "just promises." And promises are largely worthless.

The EFF was involved in the deal. (2, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#25553759)

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/10/global-network-initiative [eff.org]

For almost two years, EFF has been a participant in negotiations between human rights groups, investors, academics and Internet companies -- including Yahoo!, Google, and Microsoft -- aimed at improving how those businesses deal with free expression and privacy issues around the world.

Today, the results of that discussion have been announced. The Global Network Initiative is a set of principles on free expression and privacy that the companies have agreed to follow in all countries they do business within, together with a set of implementation guidelines and a skeleton for an independent watchdog body that will monitor companies for compliance with these principles.

Still, the EFF isn't completely satisfied with the results:

It's not a perfect set of documents. EFF continues to work in the Initiative, but we do have concerns with the limits of this initial agreement:

        * There is no obligation to inform Internet users of the storage location of personal data, and from where it is accessible.
        * There is no commitment to inform users when they hand over their information to agents of government and law enforcement.
        * There is no binding requirement to develop privacy and anti-censorship technologies and include them in new products.
        * GNI assessors are selected by the companies themselves from a list of neutral groups, and do not have untrammeled access to all relevant company documents.

When it comes to addressing their involvement in worldwide human rights abuses, the first step for Internet companies had been admitting that there is a problem. With the Global Network Initiative, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google have gone further, and begun to embed human rights assessments into their own company structure. We hope many other companies will join them.

It means nothing in China or Australia either.. (1)

yttrstein (891553) | about 6 years ago | (#25553829)

...for precisely the same reasons.

More corporate BS. (1)

Quantos (1327889) | about 6 years ago | (#25553843)

In pretty much any country of the world they would be forced to submit data for law enforcement issues, and probably taxation purposes(we certainly wouldn't want to short the government what they want, would we?). Then there are lobbyist groups like PETA that might try to interfere with content.

I can't see where anything will change, they certainly won't back you up with legal support to help you maintain your freedoms, even if you're blatantly being abused by some government agency and/or law enforcement office.

Oh...pack_et_s (1)

PinkPanther (42194) | about 6 years ago | (#25553923)

a secret room where the government sniffs our packets

I thought I read:

where the gov't sniffs our packages.

Sure feels that way sometimes...sick gov't!

Code of Conduct? Please... (2, Insightful)

nysus (162232) | about 6 years ago | (#25553927)

"Code of Conduct" is a euphemism for "idealized behavior that we can put aside when practical reality sets in." What we really need are LAWS that are enforced and that punish people the agencies and authorities in power when they are broken.

Re:Code of Conduct? Please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25555381)

The only way "the agencies and authorities in power" are ever going to be punished when they break LAWS is when another (more powerful) country invades your country and does it for you...

Re:Code of Conduct? Please spare me your Whitewash (1)

misterjava66 (1265146) | about 6 years ago | (#25555407)

Absolutely. Until money flows out of corporate coffers over this systemetic abuse, Until people go to jail over this systemetic abuse, the rest is just white-wash. Punish people who do bad things. Punish people who enable the doing of bad things, the popular legal phrase is 'conspiricy to commit ...' and 'providing material support to ...'

Re:Code of Conduct? Please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25556297)

...What we really need are LAWS that are enforced and that punish people the agencies and authorities in power when they are broken.

That statement is accurate beyond the context of this article.

Where's Cisco in all this? (2, Interesting)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | about 6 years ago | (#25553969)

They were largely responsible for the Great [wired.com] Firewall [newsmax.com] of China [wired.com] .

So I would think that their involvement, as well as that of Nortel and other network gear OEMs, is more desirable than that of Application/OS/Search companies.

every router/switch forms a fifth colon (1)

kubitus (927806) | about 6 years ago | (#25554011)

routers and switches can have ( and logic says they have ) a small Trojan Boot Loader (TBL) in their code which listens to traffic from search engines.

the guys from the rooms behind the back-office send a small wake-up packet to a router/switch with a certain serial-number, thus activating the TBL.

The TBL extracts its instructions from the traffic coming from the Search Engine. It loads the spy-program tailored to this very company/institution.

Data reported back is hidden also in traffic to the search engine.

the TBL ought to be written with dirty programming so it will be difficult to proof it is in the firmware of the router/switch.

no need for costly Echelon any more!

Bad form (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 6 years ago | (#25554033)

"I bet it means even less to all of us in America where every major data center has a secret room where the government sniffs our packets."

And, since you're willing to make an outright lie such as that, your opinion means what?

How can you say they're "secret" rooms?!? (1)

ivi (126837) | about 6 years ago | (#25554395)

After all, you've just told everybody about them...

350 N. St Paul Street "Patriot Tower" in Dallas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25554963)

This 30 story building in downtown Dallas houses a huge teir-1 internet peering point data center. I got to visit this facility and saw a large section of the data floor which contains a locked up, chainlink fenced from floor to ceiling cubical area full of high-end router and switch equipment from Cisco & Juniper, mystery boxes with no identifying names on the cases, several refrigerator-sized Sun Enterprise servers and more Sun storage arrays than I've ever seen before. There were no signs anywhere alluding to whose equipment this was, but the gate to get inside the chainlink fence was secured with double cyberlocks and there were about ten video cameras monitoring all angles of everything in this secured cubicle. My guide host told us he was not at liberty to say whose equipment this was, but said you've got three guesses and the first two guesses don't count.

Incidentally, this high-rise building at 350 N. St. Paul was called 'One Dallas Center', but renamed 'Patriot Tower' about a year ago.

Outrageous! (1)

Anton Styles (1336251) | about 6 years ago | (#25555427)

Yes, because Microsoft is strongly opposed to censorship [slashdot.org] .
I wonder how this will apply to the Great Firewall of AUSTRALIA? The news of late has been a magnitude more disturbing than the norm. Reading the signs of the time, it is clear that the elite at the top of the trapezoid of power are preparing to shear the sheeple.
Micro$oft is the opposite of what it claims to be - it is a MegaFirm and not prepared to make any sacrifices whatsoever for Freedom. Moreover, Google isn't really in much of a position to criticize others for intruding upon the privacy of others now, is it? One of the first things I do every time I boot Windoze is kill GoogleUpdate.exe, and theres now google.exe as well. Annoyingly, these are listed as SYSTEM processes, which is misleading in one sense, however in the sense that it is part of a system of control it is painfully honest.
To quote the great Edmund Burke, "All that is necessary for evil men to triumph is for good men to do nothing".
I'll end this rant by planting a seed that will hopefully take root... The most appropriate immediate response that I can think of to this is a good old Google Bomb - if this BBC article was the top of the list when "hypocrisy" was searched, we'd have a small piece of justice. /rant

Mr and Mrs Smith (1)

westlake (615356) | about 6 years ago | (#25555443)

I bet it means even less to all of us in America where every major data center has a secret room where the government sniffs our packets.
.

The government knows 300,000,000 people who interest it more than you.

The geek is infinitely more likely to sniffed at by his boss, his neighbor, his wife and kids, his dog - assuming he has been out of the basement long enough to acquire one or all of the above.

_____

This being the season of Halloween, I have been wonderingly idly what horrors truly lie behind that false wall the Hannibal-Geek has run up in his cellar.

What cabalistic meaning he finds in "34-24-36."

Though it's probably nothing more than the combination to his old high school locker,

The real rules of paranoia (1)

russotto (537200) | about 6 years ago | (#25557933)

1) Any packet which leaves your local network must be assumed to be intercepted by the authorities in your country.

2) Any data provided to anyone you can't personally trust must be assumed to be available to the authorities in your country.

2a) You can't personally trust any corporation, association, partnership, etc.

These apply to _any_ country in any situation.

If you're of special interest to any 1st or 2nd world government, you have to assume

3) All data on your own machines is already compromised, unless you take extreme precautions to avoid those machines being associated with you.

If you're of extreme interest to the US government or any of its allies, you must also assume

4) The authorities can read any of your encrypted data, if they find out it is associated with you, even if they do not acquire the keys.

All this applies whether Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google are sincere or not (and of course they aren't). Even if they don't provide the data willingly, governments will find a way to get it.

Re:The real rules of paranoia (1)

alethiophile (1103349) | about 6 years ago | (#25564993)

If you're of extreme interest to the US government or any of its allies, you must also assume
4) The authorities can read any of your encrypted data, if they find out it is associated with you, even if they do not acquire the keys.

If you assume encryption is useless, then what's the point? I would think that if you generate the key yourself and no one else knows/has it, then encrypted data is safe (assuming you are using a modern cryptosystem).

Re:The real rules of paranoia (1)

arminw (717974) | about 6 years ago | (#25565933)

...then encrypted data is safe ....

Unless the rubber hose decryption algorithm is applied to the suspect. Only if the suspect dies first, will the message not be decrypted.

Re:The real rules of paranoia (1)

russotto (537200) | about 6 years ago | (#25568815)

If you assume encryption is useless, then what's the point?

It's not the encryption is useless, it's that you can't trust it against the full might of the NSA or equivalent. Even for those whose messages would get that sort of scrutiny, encryption is still useful -- for one thing, to hide that the message is of that much interest in the first place.

(Of course, it's possible, even likely, that the NSA isn't _that_ far ahead in decryption. But that's not the way a paranoid would bet)

What the plan really says... (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | about 6 years ago | (#25558903)

I will not try to make myself look more moral than my competitors by raising a stink about (or, even worse, leaving a country over) a foreign government's odious requests.

A great moment in PR (1)

smchris (464899) | about 6 years ago | (#25559113)

(crick) (crick)

What? There is something else to say?

180? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25560599)

I was under the impression that Google was going along with supressing free speech in places like China. ... why the 180?

More concern is censorship (1)

barv (1382797) | about 6 years ago | (#25565797)

Of more concern is censorship, which our government in Australia is reportedly planning. A little bit of censorship is like a little bit of pregnant.

Censorship will not stop powerful memes, which probably grow better in adversity anyway, but it might hinder their development.

I really couldn't give a stuff whether they sniff packets or the chair on which a hot female sat.

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | about 6 years ago | (#25565845)

Perhaps you should clarify, for hyperbole's sake, that there is one NSA room in one major hub. It's well-known now, and the government has gotten quite a lot of crap about it.Conspiracy theory is when you extend this, sans evidence, to "they must have one in every major hub".
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?