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Critics Call For Probe Into Google Government Ties

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the begin-the-probing dept.

Google 289

bonch writes "The National Legal and Policy Center has written to the House Oversight Committee to investigate alleged ties between Google and the Obama administration, specifically with regards to the closure of an FTC probe into Google's Wi-Fi privacy breach, when the company admitted to having collected users' unencrypted information over the course of three years. The NLPC compares Google's relationship with the administration to that of Halliburton and cites the timing of a $30,000-a-head Democratic fundraiser at Google CEO Marissa Meyer's home less than a week before the FTC ended its inquiry, where Obama made a personal appearance, as well as the fact that US deputy chief technology officer Andrew McLaughlin is a former Google employee. The NLPC further alleges that the FTC is tougher on other companies, issuing fines to Twitter and Sears for their privacy violations while letting Google off the hook after the company promised to improve its privacy practices."

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289 comments

Same Obama administration (5, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188050)

Is this the same Obama administration that threatened Google with an anti-trust trial and breaking Google up if they landed a search deal with Yahoo, but said they'd allow Microsoft to buy-out Yahoo?

I wouldn't say the administration has been particularly pro-Google.

This is just propaganda (0, Troll)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188250)

Right wing conservative politicians are far, far more in bed with corporations than left wing politicians. Not that left wingers aren't sucking up to corporate interests, you can't be in politics in this country without giving the corporate masters at least a quickie handjob, but conservatives will do ANYTHING for their overlords.

So, they need to make a false equivalency, to show that everyone is just the same. "We do it, they do it, what are you going to do? That's life, that's politics, now shut up and vote for me. Unless you want a communist to win." Yeah, a communist corporatist who wants to take money from the rich and give it to the, uh, rich. They can't even keep the message straight. It depends on what suits them at the moment, look, they are socialists, oh wait, no they are in bed with Wall Street.

Oddly enough, this supposedly unbiased non profit,The National Legal and Policy Center, seems to have gone after about five times as many democrats as republicans. They were instrumental in sinking the Clintons' health care proposal in the nineties. George Soros, who is not a politician, is one of their favorite targets. I'm not sure who they serve, they are not completely right wing obviously, but I am pretty sure they serve someone with money and an agenda. Their list of targets does not look random at all, it stinks of political and financial motivation.

More Info on the NLPC, they are DIRTY (5, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188276)

Re:More Info on the NLPC, they are DIRTY (3, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188460)

So, basically they are a right wing version of Media Matters or Center for American Progress?

Re:More Info on the NLPC, they are DIRTY (4, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188562)

Considering that Media Matters isn't about creating misinformation, but rather about debunking misinformation perpetrated by others, I think there's at least a bit of a difference.

Re:More Info on the NLPC, they are DIRTY (3, Interesting)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188688)

Media Matters describes itself as a "progressive" center dedicated to "correcting conservative misinformation" financed by a left wing billionaire George Soros (who by the way made his billions in currency speculations on a scale that bankrupted a country). Sounds fair and balanced to me.

Re:More Info on the NLPC, they are DIRTY (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188772)

No one asked if it sounded fair and balanced. I believe the assertion was that they correct misinformation. Yes, they correct misinformation put out by the right and not the left, but their goal is to get the truth out, not to make money for two old rich guys, which is what the NLPC is for.

Re:More Info on the NLPC, they are DIRTY (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188646)

No, the NLPC seem to be more focused on the specific corporate competition and political enemies of the two founding members. They aren't left or right really, they are the attack dogs of two rich guys.

Re:More Info on the NLPC, they are DIRTY (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188826)

To be fair, sourcewatch.org is operated by the "Center for Media and Democracy" which was founded by John Stauber and currently led by Lisa Graves.

John Stauber is a liberal activist, and Lisa Graves worked for Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy. And from her website "She previously served as the Senior Counsel for Legislative Strategy at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she led the ACLU’s lobbying efforts on national security issues affecting civil liberties, including the Patriot Act reauthorization debate."

I'm not saying that I disagree with Lisa Graves or John Stauber, nor do I believe that their work isn't important. However, I think it's funny that the parent called the NLPC a front organization by citing a website operated by liberals. Incidently the NLPC fully discloses that they are "conservative watchdog" group.

My point is that despite the political ideology of the activist group, sometimes they do bring up a valid point. I think it shows poor judgment on the part of the Democrats and especially the Obama administration for attending a Google CEO's fundraiser while the FTC had an open inquiry against Google. We condemn the Republicans for doing similar things, we should hold the Democrats to the same benchmark. I think the timing is even more unfortunate when the FTC end the inquiry in Google's favor within a week of the event. Obama should have known better and graciously declined the invitation.

Re:This is just propaganda (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188328)

George Soros, who is not a politician, is one of their favorite targets.

Maybe because he is a puppet master [ihatethemedia.com] , trying to pull the political strings from the background through massive amounts of money? He is a master manipulator and narcissist [bigjournalism.com] .

Re:This is just propaganda (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188520)

You cite a breitbart website as proof? You might as well just make shit up. .. Oh, wait, you did!

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188686)

Yes, Breitbart IS very jealous of Soros.

Re:This is just propaganda (4, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188836)

On Slashdot, only right-wingers are evil puppetmasters. Left-wingers are enlightened, oppressed victims just trying to get the word out.

Just look at all the people who immediately rushed to Google's defense by attacking the NLPC while completely ignoring the points they raised in their letter about the timing of the FTC inquiry's dismissal, the inconsistent punishments handed out to companies other than Google, or the Google employees serving in the administration. To them, none of the accusations have any merit because of the NLPC's political leanings, even though they're refuting none of the accusations.

You cannot criticize Google on Slashdot. The posters have become fanatical about this company no matter how many privacy breaches there are or how many boneheaded statements Eric Schmidt makes. If it was any other company, people would be all over their asses. If Steve Jobs said only people who have something to hide care about privacy, it would be a months-long controversy.

Re:This is just propaganda (0)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188378)

Right wing conservative politicians are far, far more in bed with corporations than left wing politicians.

Wow, I never realized that Senator Chris Dodd or Congressman Barney Frank were right wing conservative politicians. But they must be, since it is impossible to be any more in bed with corporate interests than either of those two.

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188412)

How so?

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188498)

Google Chris Dodd and Countrywide Mortgage and then do the same for Barney Frank. There are several other widely reported connections as well.

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188380)

Right wing conservative politicians are far, far more in bed with corporations than left wing politicians.

Oh, really? Would you care to look at corporate candidate funding before spouting off like that? Which companies are you talking about, exactly? Ford? Dominoes Pizza? Outback Steakhouse? Office Depot? Maybe that's why pizza delivery is so goddamn expensive, or why it's 2010 and we're unable to get 'paperless' still, seeing more fucking printers being bought than ever before.

Hint: It's complete bullshit, almost a polar opposite of how things actually are.

http://www.goodguide.com/contributions

The reality is that more money tends to move towards corporations when Democrats are in power. Corporations, particularly technology corps, are much more heavily Democrat in their contributions, by far.

Re:This is just propaganda (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188416)

"Here's politics in America: 'I think the puppet on the right shares my belief.' 'I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.' 'Wait a minute...there's one guy holding both puppets!'" -Bill Hicks

Republican, Democrat, Third Party...they all serve the same corporate masters. The only difference exists in we the people's minds.

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188672)

More money moves towards everyone when Democrats are in power, because Democratic policies are better for the economy and everyone makes more money.

Re:This is just propaganda (1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188786)

Democrats have been in power since 2006.

How's that working out for you?

Re:This is just propaganda (2, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188396)

Your sig is laughable given your childish left wing posts. The NLPC describes itself as promoting small government, which by definition makes them right leaning, so your expert investigation was not necessary.

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188446)

They are not for small government. They are for big government handouts to their corporate masters, and ethics investigations of their master's competition and political opponents.

Re:This is just propaganda (2, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188532)

Wow, when you get tired of foaming at the mouth about evil Republican "corporate masters" that you read so much about on huffington post and daily kos, maybe you'll realize that Democrats get more money in political contributions from corporations than Republicans do. To take one example, Obama was the biggest recipient of donations from BP.

Re:This is just propaganda (0, Troll)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188600)

No no no. It's _secret_ money these "fat cat" Republicans get from their "corporate masters". You obviously aren't up on modern smug left wing kookery.

Right wing kooks thing the government is out to get them, left wing kooks thing the evil corporations are out to get them. Same idiocy, different set of assholes.

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188606)

Proof?

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188744)

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188832)

Quoting the article you reference:

“President Obama didn’t accept a dime from corporate PACs or federal lobbyists during his presidential campaign,” spokesman Ben LaBolt said. “He raised $750 million from nearly four million Americans. And since he became president, he rolled back tax breaks and giveaways for the oil and gas industry, spearheaded a G20 agreement to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, and made the largest investment in American history in clean energy incentives.”

You may want to read what you cite before you cite it, to make sure it says what you think it says.

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188862)

Ha, ha, you are quoting the article's quote of Obama spokesman. Please read from the begining:
 
  "While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they've taken from the oil and gas giant over the years.

BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company's political action committees -- $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals. "

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188656)

For the sake of argument lets suppose you are correct. Does that excuse the fact that right wing politicians are in bed with corporations, too?

Re:This is just propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188750)

He didn't suggest that it does. You're trying to put words in his mouth, which makes you a liar.

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188844)

How am I putting words in anyone's mouth by asking a simple question? I want to hear it from him, he can simply say "Yes, it is just as bad when Republicans do it."

Re:This is just propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188476)

Right wing conservative politicians are far, far more in bed with corporations than left wing politicians. Not that left wingers aren't sucking up to corporate interests, you can't be in politics in this country without giving the corporate masters at least a quickie handjob, but conservatives will do ANYTHING for their overlords.

You're just as single-sided in your analysis, biased and lacking any evidence to back anything up. Conservatives rarely go after left-candidates for being in bed with corporations, its a loser on both sides of the aisle when you see just how much money goes to both sides. It's mostly the union ties they have a problem with (so as to not be hypocritical, one example, see number of union-specific immunities given in the health care overhaul bill, Washington Longshoremen union for instance).

Re:This is just propaganda (0, Redundant)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188616)

The difference between the "left" and the "right" (in quotes because these "sides" mean a hell of a lot less than what the media would lead you believe) is that the right is totally on the side of the corporations and honest about it while the left is totally on the side of the corporations while being embarrassed and somewhat secretive about it. When it comes the corptcracy there really only one side in Washington. Obama is greatly on the side of the corporations too even if he's not as blatant about it as Bush was which is why his presidency is a disappointment.

Middle America's support of either side is crazy.

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

euroq (1818100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188640)

The organization is DEFINATELY biased. A quick look at nlpc.org will give a clear indication of this. It talks about rejection of Big Government and Obamacare.

Re:This is just propaganda (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188704)

That's not really what I meant, the NLPC are more specifically an attack dog for the two founders, going after whichever politicians piss them off and whichever corporations compete with them. Yes, that happens to mean left wing politicians bear the brunt of their attacks, but obviously they go after corporations and right wing politicians they don't like, too.

Thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188766)

Dear Slashdot user "spun,"

Thank you for your kind words! Please continue to fight the good fight for us and do as much as you can to dismiss any accusations against the company. By attacking the messenger, it will distract people from considering any points they may have raised. Given Slashdot's swing to the left, people will completely ignore that the FTC dismissed its inquiry days after our fundraiser if you talk about right-wingers. Turning this into a Republican versus Democrat debate will make people forget the point and ignore our favorable treatment from the administration.

We've been working very hard to defend ourselves on Slashdot using anonymous posters, but it always adds more validity when a registered account speak on our behalf. It took a lot of pull to avoid the kinds of fines that the FTC gave Twitter, and I wouldn't want to undo all that hard work. It would make me look bad in front of Obama at our next party!

Ciao,
Eric Schmidt
Google CEO

P.S. I see that there's an email from your grandma in your inbox. Better say hi! ;-)

Re:Thanks! (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188854)

Fuck google. They are a big corporation who, like any corporation, would fuck its grandma for a buck.

Don't even try that shit with me, you punk ass AC.

Re:Same Obama administration (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188432)

Good points. I'd also counter with a request for a probe into the former administration's ties to Microsoft. Why exactly did the DoJ find that Microsoft had illegally exploited their monopoly position and then let them go with nothing more than an admonition?

Agree ... but (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188060)

As far as I am concerned, most big companies are in bed with US govt. Look at what Microsoft has gotten away with.
Haliburton anyone?

Why single out Google here?

AC

Re:Agree ... but (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188166)

Pretty much. The United States of Corporations is alive and well!

Re:Agree ... but (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188626)

Why single out Google here?

What do you mean, singling them out? This is a technology site, so technology companies like Google are often the topic of discussion.

what (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188066)

The NLPC compares Google's relationship with the administration to that of Halliburton

Exactly how many unnecessary and costly (both in terms of money and lives) wars has Google profited off thus far?

"Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts." (4, Interesting)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188258)

"Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

So lets count them

Google vs. Microsoft (in search) - I'm going to f***ing bury Google
Google vs. Apple (smartphones)
Google vs. Facebook (social networking/open-ness)
Google vs. MPAA (YouTube)
Google vs. ATT/Verizon (FCC Spectrum Auction)
Google vs. Oracle (Java)
Google vs. Patent Office (Patent Reform)
Google vs. Author's Guild (copyright on orphan works)

The shame of it all is most if not all of those fights are worth fighting and very few others are stepping up to the plate.

Re:"Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts." (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188360)

The interesting thing about that list is I would enlist on Google's side in every single one of them.

Google vs. Net neutrality, not so much.

Political Parties = "Which Industry" (4, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188074)

So it's big news if Google has ties with the administration but it's just fine for an army of ex-RIAA critters to be nominated to high posts?

Re:Political Parties = "Which Industry" (0, Troll)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188812)

Yes it is big news if Google has ties with the administration, which is a good thing as we should not want that, and because some corrupted Google employers and fans think that any such criticism can be simply disposed of by pointing to an entity everyone hates, and mod such redirections as "Insightful". I'll probably be the "Troll". I guess you excuse murder, because O.J. got away with it, or, less dramatic, speeding, because not everyone gets a ticket. I find it despicable you failed to say anything about the actual corporate ties, and are only interested in battling the criticism, with stuff which is irrelevant like mentioning O.J. in a murder trial. In the meantime, I wonder if you voted Biden, and thus the RIAA into government? That would make you the ultimate hypocrite. In any case, it gets confusing. Google says vote Democrats, which means vote RIAA, but we can't criticize, because the RIAA is in government? Uhhhhmm.. make up your mind.

I'm glad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188086)

I'm glad they included Halliburton (and oil companies?) and it's ties with previous administrations in the complaint. My only question is, where were the probes on those relationships? One more: is it possible for this kind of junk to ever actually end?

The Underground Twinkie Syndicate at Work Again (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188118)

As clear as the rigged elections keeping the Mennonites out of representation in Congress, this Google/Government link is one very deep rabbit hole. In the 80s and 90s, a series of books and movies gave the Twinkie empire a bad wrap. Hostess, Lil' Debbie and a number of other producers put together a syndicate that now only has meetings behind closed doors once a year in a hotel in Germany. The top people all attend.

Sure, some less powerful people like Barack Obama and various world leaders attend but they're really just an audience for what is decided. Back when "Google" was getting its start, Larry and Sergey were actually installed by the Twinkie Syndicate to archive and modify all movies and books online to reflect Twinkies as a healthy, natural alternative to apples and other competing products. In doing so they restored order and the Twinkies once again began to flow.

This action, of course, was backed by the Corn Growers Association and the European based "Society for a Stupider, Fatter America" -- the same people responsible for the advent of Christianity in the Americas as well as cream.

Sure there were some unexpected side effects like GMail and Android ... but these were just a means to an end. Nothing bad can be said of Twinkies in e-mail nor could you text something bad about Twinkies.

Don't be surprised if you hear news reports of my body found floating in the Potomac ... with a Twinkie obstructing my throat.

Re:The Underground Twinkie Syndicate at Work Again (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188286)

Pssst, I found some evidence to support what you're saying. It's a conspiracy and we shouldn't trust ANYONE! Check out this story they planted.... http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/08/twinkie.diet.professor/index.html?hpt=T2 [cnn.com]

What's up with all these black suburbans? One sec while I answer the door...

Re:The Underground Twinkie Syndicate at Work Again (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188394)

But what about the Milk Marketing Board?

Just another non-profit, I'm sure (2, Insightful)

aGuyNamedJoe (317081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188122)

Let me guess, "The National Legal and Policy Center" is a non-profit organization able to accept donations without needing to reveal the donors, isn't it? Probably with absolutely no political agenda.

Re:Just another non-profit, I'm sure (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188146)

Let me guess, "The National Legal and Policy Center" is a non-profit organization able to accept donations without needing to reveal the donors, isn't it? Probably with absolutely no political agenda.

I bet they get most of their funding from Mark Zuckerburg.

Re:Just another non-profit, I'm sure (4, Informative)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188148)

From Wikipedia:

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) is a right-leaning 501(c)(3) non-profit group that monitors and reports on the ethics of public officials, supporters of liberal causes, and labor unions in the United States.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Legal_and_Policy_Center [wikipedia.org]

Re:Just another non-profit, I'm sure (1, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188210)

FAIL!

Quoting Wiki on anything even remotely political earns you 30 days in the corner wearing your Dunce hat.

Re:Just another non-profit, I'm sure (3, Interesting)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188236)

I can get behind that. Wikipedia really is shit for anything political or otherwise controversial. It's really only useful for shit no one cares about.

Re:Just another non-profit, I'm sure (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188528)

That's what happens when you have a puppet master pulling the propaganda stings [bigjournalism.com] over and wikipedia and anything else he can buy.

Shit no one cares about (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188778)

Then by definition shouldn't Wikipedia be out of operation already, because nobody cares to use it?

It's really only useful for shit no one cares about.

Re:Just another non-profit, I'm sure (0)

m509272 (1286764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188280)

So if they reported the facts accurately should it be discounted because they have a "right" orientation? I guess if Wikileaks reported on it, it would be more ok? Why are you trying to discredit the source if these are known, undisputed facts which are easily discountable if false?

Re:Just another non-profit, I'm sure (2, Insightful)

euroq (1818100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188820)

This is one of those cases which happen often in Slashdot conversations where one should read the article instead of speculating (the original post on the nlpc.org website). You are absolutely correct that, by merit of being right leaning, does not make an article discountable. However, the guy who wrote the article talks about how Google collected URLs, e-mails, and passwords, and its credibility is "shredded". This is a clear misrepresentation of what Google Street View actually did. It claims the "scandal" is one of the most serious issues of privacy, wiretapping, and campaign financing. The author is actually claiming that Google has been capturing and storing your personal information illegally, which is absolutely not true. I don't have the references on me now, but basically the Street View program just used hotspot points to triangulate location data. So, the source does not have known, undisputed facts, in fact it is wrong.

Re:Just another non-profit, I'm sure (3, Insightful)

rev_sanchez (691443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188356)

This is just one of the first few calls for investigations by the likes of Darrell Issa who recently asked that the House have "7 hearings a week times 40 weeks" investigating the executive branch. It's just like Clinton/Whitewater thing but with even less merit.

Re:Just another non-profit, I'm sure (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188598)

This is good too

The Corporate Integrity Project as stated on the NLPC website "seeks to promote integrity in corporate governance, including honesty and fair play in relationships with shareholders, employees, business partners and customers." It does so by:

*Combating practices that undermine the free enterprise system, including philanthropic giving to groups hostile to a free economy.

Re:Just another non-profit, I'm sure (-1, Troll)

poity (465672) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188232)

When I read the summary, lil ol' cynical me though "I bet some Obama fan is going to disregard the article and trot out the ad hominems to rack up some cheap +1 insightfuls"
I guess I shouldn't be disappointed in being right. You're at 1 now, so good luck with your comment score.

Re:Just another non-profit, I'm sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188398)

Mark me troll all you want guys, meta-moderation's got my back!

Re:Just another non-profit, I'm sure (0, Offtopic)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188424)

"Some Obama fan"? This place is crawling with them. I'm surprised nobody's whipped out that ridiculous "wtf has obama done" website. That site makes me laugh. I mean printing a laundry list of shitty legislation in no context or with no mention of the actual impact it's had? Seriously?

And ? (2, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188128)

where the fuck these people were during bush era, and why didnt they call any inquiry to bush administrations BLATANT dealings with haliburton ?

Re:And ? (1)

kwerle (39371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188196)

where the fuck these people were during bush era, and why didnt they call any inquiry to bush administrations BLATANT dealings with haliburton ?

In office?

Re:And ? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188214)

They were participating in those deals. They had no interesting in bringing their own dirty dealings out into the light.

Re:And ? (3, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188238)

Are you saying that if the US president gets a company off the hook because, if the allegation is correct, they contributed money to him, it is ok as long as the previous president did the same thing? Plenty of people did call attention to Bush admin. dealings with Halliburton. These guys happen to be calling out Obama's dealings with Google.

nonsense (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188388)

'plenty of people' here being random citizens around the internet. not any notable organization. leave aside an organization that is entitled national policy center for anything.

Re:And ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188548)

The same place you are during the Obama era....

Re:And ? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188612)

Because that was good business!

Re:And ? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188764)

Congratulations on waking up from your coma (and to the people who modded you up too).

When you've had a chance to actually catch up on the events of the Bush years, you'll find many people in fact *did* call for such inquiries.

Re:And ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188852)

im asking about notable organizations, corporations, think thanks, 'science' groups. not ordinary citizens.

What a surprise!!!! (2, Informative)

ArtFart (578813) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188142)

Doing a Google lookup on the "National Legal and Policy Center" makes it pretty evident why this organization isn't fond of Google! After the first couple of references to the organization's own Web site, one finds a host of references, beginning with Wikipedia, describing them as a well-funded right-wing "think tank" that puts a great deal of its resources into harassing Democrats. I have to admit I didn't have the patience to see how far down the list I'd have to go to find an entry in "Conservapedia" or some other non-derogatory reference.

not the CEO (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188156)

Marissa Meyer isn't the 'Google CEO', that's Eric Schmidt. Marissa is the 'Vice President, Search Products & User Experience'

Re:not the CEO (1)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188364)

Ummm..... I think you need to at least understand what you read before you criticize it. The article states that Marissa Meyer is an "executive". All upper level business administrators, such as a vice president, are executives. executive != chief exective

Re:not the CEO (2)

VertigoAce (257771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188568)

The summary is where the incorrect title appears: "fundraiser at Google CEO Marissa Meyer's home."

Marissa M*a*yer is not the CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188170)

... Democratic fundraiser at Google CEO Marissa Meyer's home less than a week before the FTC ended its inquiry.

Nice journalism. There's no Marissa Meyer at Google, and Marissa Mayer is not even Google's CEO. She's the vice president of geographic and local services [wikipedia.org] .

This is the real result of the election (2, Insightful)

funkylovemonkey (1866246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188174)

Gaining the House doesn't really help Republicans much at all without having the Senate. And of course anything that they can get through the Senate can still be vetoed by the President. But having the House does allow subpoenaing power, and it's not surprising that already the right leaning NLPC has started preparing for what will certainly be a very long two years of investigations and hearings.

Re:This is the real result of the election (5, Insightful)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188700)

You know what bothers me about the Democratic party?

They could have spent the last two years dragging everyone and anyone who was involved with the Bush administration's more questionable policies (wiretapping, suspending habeus corpus, extraordinary rendition, Halliburton, bogus intelligence and so forth) and probably had a PR field day tearing the ethics of their predecessors apart. Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld alone would have been pure gold, and we'd all have been better for having the spotlights turned on the dark, dusty corners of that era.

But oh no. Either they were idiots and thought that, after eight years of dirty pool, the Republican party's powerbrokers would respond well to bipartisanship (you'd think they'd notice how that was going after six months?), or they were hoping to pull some of the same stuff, in which case they pissed away the moral high ground which would have served them pretty well a few days ago.

I swear, the Democrats have, certainly since Clinton and possibly since Kennedy, been completely spineless and cripplingly un-unified in the face of a much more disciplined Republican machine. How they managed to piss away the single biggest political advantage of all time in two years is astounding. How they've silenced their conscience (and anyone else on the Left who has one) is even more shameful

They really are past their sell-by date, and the few who have principles (Kucinich comes to mind) need to put some respectful distance between the rest of the chumps, endorse Nader (or someone like him) and start work on a progressive, thinking version of the Tea Party.

Collecting data (4, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188202)

Google only logged publicly accessible information. How is that a privacy violation? They didn't attempt to crack any encrypted sessions. It seems rather unfair to hold them accountable because of someone else's lax security. Consider the amount of information that other, older data mining companies have on us, what Google did was nothing to be bothered by.

Re:Collecting data (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188306)

Exactly.

The lack of understanding of technology by our public figures is going to doom the internet. It worked fine back when the decisions were made by engineers for primarily technical reasons. But more and more they're made for political reasons, and that is going to kill it.

And it's not just "lax security", it's a REAL dangerous game to say that you can't listen to something that another party is broadcasting in the clear out into public space. We don't want to go down that road. If you want it private, there are very, very clear and well known ways to say that. Hell, even if they had ROT13'ed the damn stuff and google had decrypted it, I'd be on their side against google! But if you spew it out in the clear to everybody within 100 meters, don't be surprised if someone hears it. If we change this trivial fact, that will be used against our interests eventually, and it STILL doesn't stop a less honest party from listening and not self-reporting. Trying to dumb down reality for the incompetent does no one any favours.

Re:Collecting data (1)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188320)

That was my thought on the whole thing as well. If you are stupid enough to broadcast your private data over public airwaves without encryption, you deserve what you get.

It sounds like they really wanted just the MACs for the APs anyway, so they probably ignored everything else, but you need a packet to get the MAC.

It didn't seem unreasonable to me to log a bunch of data, then just go through it later to grab the MAC and line it up with GPS data.

Re:Collecting data (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188402)

I couldn't agree more. This is no different than standing on the street with a tape recorder. They were driving down public roadways, listening to public radio signals that hit their vehicle. Where's the violation?

Re:Collecting data (2, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188524)

Google is scary. They keep showing us how powerful collected data can be. It's the public's view in to that world and it's frightening. Some members of that public start thinking about all the projects Google is involved with and all the additional data that goes through their systems and their even more frightened. Then they go to post about that fear on Facebook.

Re:Collecting data (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188650)

I'll tell you what. You go find a woman you find attractive, and stand outside her house at night and peep through her windows. You can even make sure her window is very close to the sidewalk so you're not on her property.

When they arrest you, you tell them if she wanted privacy she should have shut that last 1" of her curtains. Let me know how it works out for you.

Re:Collecting data (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188668)

It's not legal to trespass into someone's home just because the door was unlocked. The constant defense of Google's blatant disregard for privacy is pretty shocking considering how vehemently pro-privacy this website used to be a few years ago. It seems privacy today only matters to people if it protects them from RIAA lawsuits.

Re:Collecting data (3, Informative)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188696)

It's not legal to trespass into someone's home just because the door was unlocked.

Which is not at all what Google did. Your wireless router transmits data into public space (the street). Anyone is free to collect that data. Don't like it? Paint your house in RF-blocking paint or don't use wireless!

Re:Collecting data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188742)

It's not legal to trespass into someone's home just because the door was unlocked.

But if their front door is wide open, it probably *is* legal to look through it at whatever you can see while standing on the public sidewalk, especially in the process of visually searching for a house number likely to be located on or near it.

Ethically, Google probably shouldn't have done what they did, and they haven't contested that conclusion. But they didn't actually do anything illegal, they just failed to think about how technically reasonable actions would be perceived.

Re:Collecting data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188796)

> It's not legal to trespass into someone's home just because the door was unlocked.

False analogy. Google was not trespassing nor were they decrypting private data.

I'm completely pro-privacy. But I'm also pro-reality. The reality is that data broadcast in the clear to public spaces is not private. What the law says doesn't even matter: it's not private for the same reason that my shouting isn't private if people out in the street can easily hear it. Pass all the laws you want, those people in the street will still hear me shout no matter what the law says about it.

I don't like google. I don't use their search engine or their web services. I disagree with their mass data collection. But not liking them doesn't mean I have to turn off my brain. They did nothing wrong here. If we don't want them to have all our private data, let's stop giving them all our private data.

History tell us... (1)

brennanw (5761) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188316)

...that if the current administration's relationship with Google is like the relationship the previous administration had with Haliburton, then it's OK.

Ooops, did I type that instead of just thinking it?

Dem Johns vs. GOP Johns (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188438)

Though both parties are basically the same old same old, you have to hand it to the Dems--they have cooler masters: Hollywood, Google, and Apple.

Compare R's: US Chamber of Commerce. Bo-ring.

Errors in summary (4, Informative)

Snowblindeye (1085701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188550)

Democratic fundraiser at Google CEO Marissa Meyer's home

Eric Schmidt might be surprised to find that Google has a new CEO ;)

I know this is Slashdot, but could we get basic facts right in the summary? Marissa Mayer is a Google VP, not the CEO

I know, I must be new here...

Re:Errors in summary (0, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188676)

He is a tea-party radical, they get the right to make shit up ans spew it all over as fact. did you not get the memo?

The company motto says it all for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188596)

Do No Evil.

Let no good deed go unpunished (4, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188636)

The wi-fi situation wasn't a case of Google "getting caught" - it was a case of them noticing the data being collected had more than they had wanted and being up front and open about its disclosure. And in the latter case, it's basically never a good idea to prosecute as it shows good faith, and attacking people for good faith effort only encourages bad faith. Nobody in their right mind wants that!

We provide technology solutions. Despite all our care and attention otherwise, mistakes get made. And when they do, it's our policy just to say what happened, how we fixed it, and whether or not we think it violates TOS. This simple act creates trust and goodwill because by casually acknowledging that your pants were down in the first place, everybody realizes that they're just happy you pulled them back up and quickly lose interest.

Glad to see... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188664)

That the insane are still running about and blabbering their mouths.

Let's ignore that every other country has found that google did not wrong and dropped the issue.

Has the economy made the nutjobs all riled up? Why have they came out of the woodwork over the past 2 years? Previously we would all have wrote off these kinds of people as complete nut-jobs and publicly ridiculed them.... Now they get airtime on Fox News. And we get 1/2 hour talking head discussions....

Next up on CNN: Is Obama the secret #2 Al-Quida operative right hand man to Osama? Also what is your cat telling your neighbors about you... Investigative reports look at "SPY PETS"

It's like the Onion became mainstream news.

GOP to GOOGLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188726)

So. You are funding the other guys with $30,000 a head dinners, are ya? Well, if you don't give us the same, then we'll sick the legal dogs after ya! Not saying that the Repuublican, GOP party is trying to blackmail Google into giving them money or anything, its just, you know, the business of politics when the GOP *does* look at how much Halliburton is funding the phrase "Drill Baby Drill", or how much the Koch brothers are funding them. And when they see this, and then look at Google, well, its just not right that Google gets away with funding so much for the Dems and they don't see anything. Google has lots of money, and the GOP sure could use some, now that they are paying off the election. And if Google doesn't stop funding the other guys and start funding them, then BOY! The GOP is going to give Google "A Thumpin'"(tm). Oh there's some of that privacy stuff acting like so much smoke. But back to the money. Google has to start buying loyalty from the ruling party, and damn quick! The GOP attack dogs are out, and dammit, they expect corporations to pay for their loyalty. If they give enough (and it had better be a lot), then the problems of the GOP attack dogs landing on them for every little thing goes away.

Quite frankly my dear, (1)

Iburnaga (1089755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34188736)

To be frank, if someone is broadcasting unencrypted data then Google has done no wrong by mining that information. Had they of been actively circumventing encryption to do so I could see a case in that but this was naked data. You don't sue someone for invasion of privacy when you paint your home with your secrets.

What about the RIAA ties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34188808)

What they should really investigate are all the MAFIAA ties with RIAA lawyers and such.

Those are far more worrisome...

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