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Judge Says You Can't Know If Google Spies For NSA

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the all-fibers-lead-to-maryland dept.

Google 197

witherstaff writes "A federal judge has ordered that whether Google is spying for the National Security Agency or not, you have no right to know. EPIC, which brought the lawsuit, says the NSA can neither confirm nor deny any relationship with Google. EPIC is worried the 'NSA is developing technical standards that would enable greater surveillance of Internet users.'"

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But don't worry (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36784358)

After all, we're the good guys. We're just doing it to keep you safe from the red threat. Erh, the terrorists.

Could someone FINALLY update my teleprompter, please?

Re:But don't worry (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#36784540)

and your sigfile talks about russia, too.

are we at the 'race to the bottom'?

seems kind of depressing.

Re:But don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784714)

soon we will be just like the shitholes of the world - inheritors of a third-world wasteland. you can have the most wealthy country with the biggest natural resources, if you mismanage it and run it into the ground just so your buddies can have a little political power you won't have a nation anymore.

usa was doomed the moment we became entitlement-happy. the way you end a representative republic is to teach the voters that they can vote their hands into someone else's wallet. the evil demonized rich people are too small a minority to have significant representation at the voting booth. just try getting a job from a poor person. oh wait we're trying that now. how's that working out for the job market and the economy?

Re:But don't worry (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36784930)

Wow. Way to shift the blame from the greedy investors who think that perpetual growth is not only possible but mandatory. I have to bow to that much chutzpah.

Re:But don't worry (1)

memyselfandeye (1849868) | about 3 years ago | (#36785346)

It is quite impressive isn't it? BTW, I'm glad to see you do not think greedy investors who think perpetual growth is not only NOT possible, but is a good idea to short, are to blame. Thanks for not holding me to account. No excuse me while I go fill my pool full of dollar bills.

Re:But don't worry (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36786092)

I'm glad to see you do not think greedy investors who think perpetual growth is not only NOT possible, but is a good idea to short, are to blame.

Jesus, thats one hell of a sentence to parse before morning coffee.

Re:But don't worry (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 3 years ago | (#36784768)

seems kind of depressing.

That's OK. Our government-subsidized pharmaceutical industry can produce the perfect antidepressant for you simply based on your Google search terms. It will all be better soon. If you don't believe us, just Google it. I'm sure we'll be able to provide the search results you want ;-)

Re:But don't worry (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36785980)

cipralex+Modafinil kick ass. double plus plus good happy

Re:But don't worry (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 3 years ago | (#36785062)

The race is over. We won!

Re:But don't worry (4, Insightful)

memyselfandeye (1849868) | about 3 years ago | (#36785380)

The race is over. We won!

When I was a teenager, after the wall fell down, a Russian scientist looking to hawk his invention moved in with my family. He was great, and taught me a lot, especially how to drink vodka. But one thing he said will always stick with me - "America and Russia always competed to see who was first. America built first nuclear submarine. Russia build first space rocket. America built first moon rocket. Eventually we had nothing to compete for, so we raced to see who spend money fastest. Russia won!"

Re:But don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36785530)

What did we win? I have been standing by my mail box waiting for my prize.

Confirmed (4, Informative)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 3 years ago | (#36784362)

This is Legal Speak for Confirmed.

Thread Over.

Why is it confirmed? (5, Insightful)

Karljohan (807381) | about 3 years ago | (#36785204)

Isn't it legal speak for "hmmm... but... if we deny this, won't you just keep asking the same thing about all companies until we say that we can't comment?"

Re:Confirmed (1)

darjen (879890) | about 3 years ago | (#36785784)

Yes indeed. "We wont tell you" is no different than a big fat "yes". I am sure that lots of people are dumb enough to be fooled by this though. :(

#googleisnsa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784374)

History [slashdot.org] doesn't lie.

Misleading (5, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 years ago | (#36784376)

The National Security Agency does not have to disclose its relationship with Google amid press reports that the two partnered up after hackers in China launched a cyber attack on the U.S. government, a federal judge in Washington ruled.

It's not that you don't have a right to know. Its that the NSA is under no obligation to tell you. There's a big difference.

Re:Misleading (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784412)

No there's not. If you had a right to know, the NSA would have to tell you.

Re:Misleading (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#36784442)

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of what a "right" is. That goes into huge and lengthy discussion, but to say that rights come from government is not it, especially not the US government. (Yes, we know the government people are ignoring the constitution and their limits of power.) The government comes from the people and exists to preserve people and to protect the rights of the same people it comes from.

The freedom of information act formalizes the right to know. Often, FOIA requests are ignored or handled in bad faith... once again, people in government ignoring the law.

Re:Misleading (3, Interesting)

katyngate (1800438) | about 3 years ago | (#36784476)

How do we get all these rights as we are born?

Re:Misleading (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784580)

Jeebus, go read up on the philosophies produced during The Enlightment, especially Rousseau's concept of "Dignity of Man", and how those philosophies influenced the Founding Fathers as they set out to write the Constitution. Also look up the phrase "inalienable rights"

Idiots like you are the reason we're losing more of our rights with each successive national election.

Re:Misleading (2)

Grygus (1143095) | about 3 years ago | (#36784516)

What is his "fundamental misunderstanding"? It seems to me that you failed to articulate any error at all. If he has a right to know, NSA is obligated to tell him when asked; simply because the NSA has the option of acting illegally by ignoring a legitimate FOIA request does not change the underlying concept of rights. By declaring that NSA has no obligation to disclose, the right to know is formally denied, correct? I don't see where you made any point to the contrary.

Re:Misleading (5, Insightful)

wickerprints (1094741) | about 3 years ago | (#36784582)

I interpreted the grandparent post as meaning that there is a distinction to be drawn between what information we, in principle, should have access to, versus the actual state of what we do have access to. In other words, we do have an intrinsic right to know--it is simply that this right is not recognized by the government.

Not all "rights" are those that are defined and granted by law. The US Constitution attempts to be as broad as possible in codifying certain basic rights, but as we have seen throughout history, that doesn't mean every right we do have is actually allowed to be exercised in practice. That comes down to the subjective interpretations of nine fallible old people, many of whom are beholden to personal biases and political interests. And quite often, the way they rule does in fact deny people of their actual rights on a very fundamental level.

As nice as it may sound to have a state that is of the people, by the people, for the people...that is not what the US actually is, nor has it ever been. The government has always been of itself, by itself, and for itself, and the people are merely a source of money and labor for the powerful to exploit. It's a lie on the same level of communist propaganda. All government exists to rob power from the individual to concentrate it for the few.

Re:Misleading (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#36785394)

Maybe it's "Google is a third party and what we decide to do or not do with them is none of your business".

Google's own privacy might well be an issue, and the judge might just be saying "Ask Google about it".

Re:Misleading (2)

Grygus (1143095) | about 3 years ago | (#36784414)

The National Security Agency does not have to disclose its relationship with Google amid press reports that the two partnered up after hackers in China launched a cyber attack on the U.S. government, a federal judge in Washington ruled.

It's not that you don't have a right to know. Its that the NSA is under no obligation to tell you. There's a big difference.

I'll admit that I just woke up, but the distinction seems academic... I don't see any practical difference at all.

Re:Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784466)

The National Security Agency does not have to disclose its relationship with Google amid press reports that the two partnered up after hackers in China launched a cyber attack on the U.S. government, a federal judge in Washington ruled.

It's not that you don't have a right to know. Its that the NSA is under no obligation to tell you. There's a big difference.

I'll admit that I just woke up, but the distinction seems academic... I don't see any practical difference at all.

There is no difference. It's not even pedantic.

At least when someone doesn't tell you something and when you ask them why, they respond with "You didn't ask." and it's true, then one has a point. And this case, people ARE asking.

But the OP? Please. He's being a jackass.

Re:Misleading (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784650)

It's like a court case where someone pleads the fifth. They cannot be compelled to testify against themselves. You just have to build the case without their testimony.

Re:Misleading (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36784956)

Erh... I somehow think it's NOT a good idea to go investigate whether Google is spying for the NSA. I'm kinda sure there's some kind of law for that, or that they don't need one to make you stop.

Re:Misleading (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about 3 years ago | (#36784778)

The difference comes into play when obtaining this information from a different source (a leak, Google, own investigations...) and then redistributing it.
With one definition, this would get you into trouble (depending on your person, things like espionage, treason might get thrown at you), with the other one, you are fine.

This seems to be a case of the latter one.

Re:Misleading (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784814)

Actually, it is that you don't have a right to know.

The NSA is under no obligation to tell, true.

But this judge also says that you have no standing to find out through the court system if they're spying on you. Thus, you have no right to know.

If I have an affair, I'm under no obligation to confess. But a court that rules that my wife can't subpoena the suspected mistress is saying my wife has no right to know.

Re:Misleading (2)

zippthorne (748122) | about 3 years ago | (#36785068)

No it isn't. The ruling about subpoenaing your mistress does not extend to prohibiting your wife from hiring someone to follow you around with a binoculars and a camera. She can still find out, and she is not prohibited from retaining this knowledge if she has it.

She has a right to know.

Re:Misleading (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36784938)

It's not that you don't have a right to live. It's that some TLA is under no obligation to let you.

Soon to come to a theater near you.

Sooooo (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about 3 years ago | (#36784410)

They are spying for the NSA for certain, then. Why else would they not be allowed to say? The US government needs to take a course in being opaque.

Re:Sooooo (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#36784460)

Google doesn't spy. Google is tapped into lots of information. Making information available to the government is not spying. Spying is about going places you shouldn't or wouldn't normally go to collect information which you are not entitled to have. Google doesn't hack and crack to get its information. It reads what's out there and uses program logic to sort and categorize the information of millions of sources to try to make useful sense of it... and then sells it.

Re:Sooooo (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#36784494)

so, google is a traitor of the people because it rats on the people.

call a spade a spade.

its a whore to the advertising guys and the spooks as well.

both *really* well respected folks, lemme tell you.

not that it really matters, but my going to start my migration away from google, and while I realize that they already know what they know, I see no need to keep filling their till with my emails, etc.

otoh, half - or more - of everyone I email seems to *also* be on gmail. so even if I migrate away, all my comms with x,y and zed will still land on their servers.

we were conned into falling for the easy and 'free' thing. now we pay the piper. maybe next generation will learn from our misplaced trust.

Re:Sooooo (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#36784534)

I've said it before and I will say it again. Google is an advertising/marketing company and because of that, I only trust them to be what they are and act accordingly. They offer great candy to the people, but I am careful about which candy I will eat. No Chrome for me, thanks. I only run customized Android OS loads with a lot of crap removed. I use Google for searching. That's just about it. The social network? Yeah, not gonna play there.

Re:Sooooo (3, Insightful)

rmccoy (318169) | about 3 years ago | (#36784760)

The NSA doesn't need google to watch all of your internet traffic. They are already on the backbones. Google can certainly add value to the spooks with their search-related technologies but do you really think any US corporation isn't going to role over when the guys-in-black come calling? We allowed the Patriot Act, among other forfeitures of our civil rights, what did you expect?

So, google got big because they did it best. Isn't that what the market is supposed to do? They did it before there were high barriers to entry and when there actually was a little bit of free in that particular marketplace. Even now, when the barriers to entry to search are much higher, they are mostly technical barriers, not ones put up by lobbyists and lawyers. I can live with that. The next search engine should be one that comes up with something fundamentally new, not the one with the best patent portfolio.

What irritates me most is people who are complaining about privacy who won't take any responsibility for protecting it. You can't expect privacy on the internet even if you don't use google. If you want privacy, start using encryption. There are free and open tools for every platform. Worried about traffic analysis? Wow, you must be doing something really interesting with your pron collection but, stil, there are tools for you to use to mask you traffic. Use them.

Use the time spent complaining about your loss of privacy and take it back. Make a personal threat model and respond to it.

Re:Sooooo (1)

Nick Ives (317) | about 3 years ago | (#36784924)

I doubt Google has any choice in the matter. Your intelligence agencies can install fibre splitters wherever they please and intercept any traffic they like, as such the NSA will have complete access to Googles networks. If they're going further than that and Google is providing services to the NSA on a commercial basis then it's likely they were made an offer they couldn't refuse.

Here in the UK network admins have to comply with all requests by the intelligence services. It's a criminal offence to tell anyone - including a solicitor - that you're assisting an intercept. Given how information is copied all around the world in Google's cloud and how many countries have similar laws, it's safe to say our information is accessible to many agencies.

To almost anyone willing to buy it, including the (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784536)

Google is willing to sell their information to almost anyone willing to buy it, including the NSA and other government agencies.

However, I have doubts that the NSA uses google any more than any other business does. I do suspect that the NSA has been using network based methods to access internal devices for years. We're talking about protocols OTHER THAN UDP and TCP here. Cisco, Netgear and other similar types of companies concern me much more than google, since we all know that anything placed into the cloud is fair game for anyone to see (at some point), right?

Even the best cloud companies will either make a mistake or the technology in use will fail to secure our data. Get over it.

Don't blame google. In the specific case involving Chinese attacks against large multinational companies (most US based), I'm certain all sorts of government agencies were involved. I suspect the NSA did a bunch of listening to those conversations, but probably didn't provide much information back to google, if any at all. google is really good at what they do and if the right people were in the room (on the call), then I'm not too worried that they didn't figure out 90% of the scope of the attacks.

Re:Sooooo (2)

Grygus (1143095) | about 3 years ago | (#36784548)

That is an arbitrary definition of spying. There is no requirement for breaking and entering or hacking; merely secretly gathering information for potentially hostile use is spying, regardless of how the information is gathered.

Re:Sooooo (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#36784512)

google is on the backbones. google can get at traffic. that's one thing. the other is that much of 'the internet' lands on google's servers via direct net.requests from users! no need to sniff when your traffic goes there on purpose!

they have you sliced, diced and ready for the oven.

I've been saying this for years. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784434)

The reason why all these internet website services are free, is because a corporation by NATURE is an Agent of government. Even "United States" is a federal corporation (Title 28 USCode 15(a)) that is animated by a dummy nation in District of Columbia known as The United States (Uniform Commercial Code 9-307 (h)) that has nothing to do with States of America.

Re:I've been saying this for years. (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 3 years ago | (#36784464)

Imagine the conspiracy theorists orgasms if they thought that Google was fronted by the U.S. government to basically get the world population hooked on an information service which happened to know just about everything about you online...

Re:I've been saying this for years. (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about 3 years ago | (#36784528)

If only the government were competent enough to pull that sort of thing off.

non-elected Government is the aggressor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784710)

Elected governments are always the mascots of the private world. What the elected government can't legislate to collect publicly, they'll send their swarms of private adminsitrative bodies to invent social mediums and fads that collect intelligence that everyone freely gives but have the strange preminition that if ever was in the hands of an elected government would be a security issue. Typical retards.

Fuck you NSA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784438)

As a taxpayer i damm well DO have a right to know.
You know if we FIRED all you spooks. It would go a ways to fixing our budget problems in this country. A DECADE to find bin laden. You spooks all suck at your jobs. You're useless expensive waste.

Odds are google would tell us tho. If they even knew....

They do not need to confirm it (5, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | about 3 years ago | (#36784468)

In times where people get grabbed at airports, wiretaps are done at almost random, why would the NSA NOT use and abuse google?

US citizens: you have made your nest (by voting between two evils) now sleep in it.

Re:They do not need to confirm it (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#36784688)

It's a two party system.

I had to vote for one of them.

Re:They do not need to confirm it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784724)

You mean that in the US there are no independent candidates running for either the US presidency or for congress ? I find that hard to believe

Re:They do not need to confirm it (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36785056)

Please. Don't even try to convince anyone here that "oh, it's not a two party dictatorship, anyone can run and become a candidate". Please. The US were a two party system from its very start. 200 years of two party system and you really want to tell me nobody bothered to try to crack that duopoly? Aside of a few desperate or dumb enough, only to find out that they couldn't even get close to winning a single state, let alone a national election? It's now almost 100 years since a "third" candidate in a president election came out in front of either party (1912 Roosevelt actually came out second in front of Taft), ever since the "third" candidates were mostly cute side effects with some entertaining value.

Please stop perpetuating the myth that the US aren't a firmly entrenched two party system that ensures with its very system that nobody else can muscle in.

Re:They do not need to confirm it (1)

Xacid (560407) | about 3 years ago | (#36785370)

Shut up and vote 3rd party if you don't like it. That's what I'm doing after voting mostly Dem the past 8+ years. I suggest everyone else do it as well. If we lose, fuck it, nothing new, but maybe we gain numbers and maybe gain traction.

As much as I rooted for Obama and his change it honestly feels like Bush v2.0. That seems to be the common sentiment here on Slashdot as well. So why both with Dem or Rep anymore? They don't represent my interests anymore.

Re:They do not need to confirm it (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 years ago | (#36785478)

"oh, it's not a two party dictatorship, anyone can run and become a candidate"

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, a man named Lincoln ran for President. He was the very first guy from his political Party to run for President. He won.

Needless to say, we didn't have just one political Party before 1860.

In the USA, a third Party has a lot of hurdles to overcome. The biggest, of course, is that, contrary to popular rumour, most everyone is in the middle, not in the lunatic fringes to both left and right.
Right now, the Dems are popular with the middle and the left.
The Repubs are popular with the middle and the right.

And the assorted third Parties are well out to either left or right, with almost no appeal to the middle.

As soon as a third Party understands the country well enough to position itself to be popular with about 40% of the country (as opposed to the 3% they aim to reach right now), there'll be a useful third Party.

Note, by the way, that neither the Greens nor the Libertarians make any real attempt to appeal to any part of the center, so they'll never be a viable third Party.

Re:They do not need to confirm it (1)

Legion303 (97901) | about 3 years ago | (#36784726)

It's a one-party system. You voted for the candidate with a slightly different label than the other candidate from this party.

Re:They do not need to confirm it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784766)

don't blame me, I voted for Kodos

FTFY. Next time vote for the candidate that supports electoral reform.

Re:They do not need to confirm it (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#36784882)

At least someone got the reference.

Re:They do not need to confirm it (2)

jamesh (87723) | about 3 years ago | (#36785160)

Next time vote for the candidate that supports electoral reform.

You mean a third-party candidate?

Go ahead, throw your vote away!

Re:They do not need to confirm it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36785620)

It's not a party system at all, and you don't have to vote

Re:They do not need to confirm it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784690)

Right, because of course it's more free outside the US? Don't think so. At least we have some semblance of laws that protect the rights of citizens. Not for long I think.

Instead of false mockery, how do you propose instead to fix the situation? Both Republican and Democrat parties are in bed with security agencies, the military, and corporations. Obama is Bush III. He has maintained every bad law signed by W and even strengthened some. Shall we vote Green or Libertarian? Do you think they have a chance? No, instead we listened to Obama tell us what we wanted to hear, then proceed to act very differently once in office. So, either the president has no real power at all and the bureaucracy truly rules, or he was a sham to begin with. It is likely the country is turning to the right and will select a Republican next time due to a worsening economy. That will only increase the pace of spying against Americans, abuses at airport terminals, and soon more papers required to travel even by car or rail and complete monitoring of all communications. Eventually we will become like the rest of the world which is sliding ever more into tyranny.

Re:They do not need to confirm it (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36785070)

Vote however you want. If elections could change anything, they'd have been outlawed ages ago.

Re:They do not need to confirm it (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 3 years ago | (#36785150)

In times where people get grabbed at airports, wiretaps are done at almost random, why would the NSA NOT use and abuse google?

Someone gets it. And even if they did confirm it... what then? If I was an American citizen I wouldn't sleep any better with confirmation of the obvious. The next ruling by the judge would be "and you can't do anything about it".

And what does "spying for NSA" mean anyway? It could be "tell me google... how many searches today for 'how to use anthrax as a biological weapon'" or it could be "what has IP address 1.2.3.4 been searching for?". The former is probably a bit of a stretch for "spying", but you'd need a lot more information that "does google spy for NSA" for it to actually be useful.

Re:They do not need to confirm it (1)

Idbar (1034346) | about 3 years ago | (#36785438)

So, to my understanding. This is a double edged sword. If they come out to confirm they DO have access, people may run or think they are being observed. If they come out and confirm they DON'T have access, people will think that's likely to be a harbor for criminals to contact each other.

Clearly, both situations are not convenient for either national security or Google.

Re:They do not need to confirm it (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | about 3 years ago | (#36785718)

US citizens: you have made your nest (by voting between two evils) now sleep in it.

And where is this any different? European intelligence services have at least as much power to access private data of European citizens, and they have had it pretty much forever.

Me says (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 3 years ago | (#36784474)

I do: they do.

Sky=Falling (3, Interesting)

SomewhatRandom (1299167) | about 3 years ago | (#36784486)

Short version = I think I speak for most individuals when I say, Duh.

Long Version =

The illusion of anonymity that is the Internet. Does anyone honestly believe you have any real expectation or right of anonymity online?

When you hit a webserver... Logs are generated/stored
When traffic you generate is either passed through or blocked at a firewall... Logs are generated/stored
When you use a search engine from a company in the advertising industry (ex: google)... logs are generated/stored
Rinse and repeat for just about anything you do online... and add in a dash of other miscellaneous things like tracking cookies, flash cookies, etc...

In some cases logs are obfuscated, but not usually. I mean c'mon - legitimate advertising companies have gotten pretty good at targeting ads for users by datamining and trending data, do you honestly believe the NSA isn't doing this to a creepy scope and scale?

Correlating data mined from multiple sources (logs, cookies, etc...). is an expensive process from a resource standpoint. Anonymity through obfuscation, apathy, and prohibitive costs may be seemingly effective, but it is not absolute.

Re:Sky=Falling (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#36784532)

The illusion of anonymity that is the Internet. Does anyone honestly believe you have any real expectation or right of anonymity online?

is it worth having? do you think its completely gone? is it preservable? recapturable?

(I know, I ask a lot of questions for someone from new jersey)

I don't think the horse has completely left the barn, yet. maybe we should try to not lose what we DO still have, hmm?

or, shall we just say fuck-it and throw in the towel like smitty over at big-G wants?

Motto makes sense now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784538)

Don't be evil.. Or else.

What did you expect? (1)

jfroebe (10351) | about 3 years ago | (#36784546)

Seriously, if the NSA said that they were NOT working with Google, would you believe them? It is probably safe to assume that the NSA, CIA and a myriad of other agencies are working with other governments and companies. If they weren't, they wouldn't be doing their jobs.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about 3 years ago | (#36784556)

There is a name for the system of government where semi-secret agencies work with private business to achieve nationalist-themed "security." It's called fascism.

The Judge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784554)

If it is this guy then he was appointed by George W. Bush.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_J._Leon

So they are then. (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 3 years ago | (#36784584)

After all, if Google wasn't spying for the NSA, they'd have nothing to hide... :-3

If you don't like this.. (1)

morikahnx (1323841) | about 3 years ago | (#36784606)

Elect officials that will change the laws. Its that simple (well not that simple to do, but pretty simple to say).

Re:If you don't like this.. (1)

bky1701 (979071) | about 3 years ago | (#36784614)

Electing them is easy, yeah. Finding them... that's pretty damn hard.

The general public might not have the right, (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 3 years ago | (#36784610)

but shareholders absolutely have the right to know what Google is spending money on, and from where it is deriving its income. Shareholders are entitled to details about Google's assets, liabilities, income sources, and other financial details. If The Google is getting involved in shady backroom deals with the federal government, especially those that might later be found to be illegal, unconstitutional, crimes of War, or crimes against humanity, it puts shareholders at a substantial risk they deserve to know about.

Re:The general public might not have the right, (1)

sosume (680416) | about 3 years ago | (#36784758)

orly?

I am an Apple shareholder. According to your logic, I can phone Steve Jobs now and demand he shows me the design of the iPhone 5, amirite? As a shareholder I am entitled to details about Apple's assets, liabilities, income sources, and other financial details, amirite?

Re:The general public might not have the right, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784898)

Yes. You're an owner of the company. If they refuse, you aren't really an owner and your stock is worthless.

Re:The general public might not have the right, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784900)

As a shareholder, you're the owner of the frigging company. If you don't agree with how your partners run the company, either buy'em out, or get out yourself. If majority shareholders jumped off a cliff, would you also jump off a cliff?

Re:The general public might not have the right, (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36785010)

if your share is above 50% you cannot only phone and ask him, you can grab his char!

Always depends on the numbers....

You definitely have the right to be informed before the general public about important changes and business decisions for the year.

Re:The general public might not have the right, (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36785082)

Umm... as a US citizen, ain't you kinda the "owner" of your country according to that old parchment starting with "We, the people"? Bark up the right tree and go to the source.

No Such Agency (4, Interesting)

lexsird (1208192) | about 3 years ago | (#36784662)

I have a bumper sticker for you; "It's a modern world; Surveillance Happens!"

Our government has been eavesdropping on us since the telegraph. Accept it, get over it. I don't worry because I am a "good ole boy". If they watch the likes of me with an iota of interest, the world must indeed be safe and boring. 99.99999999% of us are boring as hell. Hence is why you have to automate this crap and search for key words, then individual vocal and speech patterns. I bet they have some sweet gear for listening in on us these days. If they don't, I am so seriously disappointed it makes me want to cry. If they don't, lets pitch in and get them something for Christmas, ok?

On a slightly more somber note, I can't imagine what kind of monster computer these guys have. Seriously, what would YOU do with their computers if you were contracting for them and had access to them for a few hours. I would find a list of women who like middle aged fat guys. Make some serious raytraced animated porn? Or would you submit your "mind simulator" into it and see if you create a singularity? I think therefor I am? Or just get everyone in the building to get on a terminal and see what game everyone could play at once? Everyone log into WoW, make gnomes and storm Ironforge to be epically annoying?

Eww! I know, one could steal back all the money and give it to the poor. They would just blow it and the rich would get it again, but it would make a grand holiday.

Come on, people. It's the NSA, they are the weird uncle of the intelligence agencies as it is. They aren't worried about your mp3s, torrents, or your pron. 99.9999% of us are incapable of being weird enough to make their radar. Right? Besides, I am a Google fan, they stood up to China, and probably still are standing up to them. If the NSA is working with Google, that is cool. I bet they have some awesome apps for agents. "Google Agent"; I can see it now.

Can't lick 'em, join 'em?

Re:No Such Agency (2)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | about 3 years ago | (#36785192)

Those are some pretty contradicting words for someone whose sig says "Free Julian Assange."

"He who is willing to sacrifice essential liberty for a little bit of temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin

Of course! (1)

Whuffo (1043790) | about 3 years ago | (#36784694)

You can't have secret police unless you keep their activities secret, right? Close your web browser, citizen - you're not cleared to receive this information.

Re:Of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36785436)

Back in the US
Back in the US
Back in the USSR...

Right or Wrong ? (1)

whychevron (1230194) | about 3 years ago | (#36784730)

The most important acts of a civilization, be they atrocities against life or acts of compassion beyond understanding, are always done in the name of the greater good. And no one who acts in the name of the greater good believes they are wrong. That is why " right " and " wrong" are so often indistinguishable.

Let's try it the other way. (1)

slasho81 (455509) | about 3 years ago | (#36784744)

Can Google confirm or deny a relationship with the NSA?

To assume they are not helping "them" is silly... (1)

Desmoden (221564) | about 3 years ago | (#36784748)

Trailblazer and like programs crawl data to look for behavioral patterns. It's quite logical, if a wee bit over reaching.

To assume that anything you do, say, click, view online is not subject to search, record, and data mining is to have a basic misunderstanding of reality.

Well, this is an EPIC fail... (1)

herojig (1625143) | about 3 years ago | (#36784780)

Consider this: the internet was not created and then we began to lose our right to privacy, but instead, the internet was created to bypass our right to privacy, and we all fell for it.

I for one welcome our conspiracy pverlprds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784798)

The NSA can neither confirm nor deny that (insert name of any web organization here) is another tool to toss speculation and uninformed opinions into the political soup.

Might even be able to apply that to this website, but I'm sure the NSA has better things to do than violate domestic surveillance laws. It used to be the CIA got blamed for everything and then right around the late 80's and the beginning of the 90's the vogue scapegoat was the NSA. The CIA loved that, and the American public left the theater with glazed over eyes thinking that NSA and government conspiracies were evil. I sure am glad I live in a republic and not a straight democracy.

Patriotic duty to test their exception code (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784920)

Their code is going to have to get good at finding things like blow up the pentagon and distinguish between that and real threats. Especially if everyone decides to put blow up the pentagon in every communication and every email. :-P

No Such Agency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36784984)

Remember it has only been a few years since you had the right to even know the NSA existed.

BTW Hi Brian, Brian, Mark, John and Josh

Most users should care (0)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 3 years ago | (#36785098)

Okay so what, the NSA is looking into it's user base, so what! Unless you have something to hide you really shouldn't care. If people in this day and age can't realize that when your on the net your business is available to everyone then they shouldn't be using a computer. RMS and others that preach about freedom and the right to not be found etc... etc... etc... have the right idea but unless you willing to give up the very technology that can easily point you out and look into you then don't complain. It's like people complaining that they can be tracked with the GPS in there phone, you bought the phone so deal with it. The sooner people deal with the fact that you can no longer really be left alone the better.

Re:Most users should care (2)

Jerry (6400) | about 3 years ago | (#36785986)

"...Unless you have something to hide you really shouldn't care."

And who decides if that "something" is suspect or not, and who gives them the right to make that decision, or even do the search? The conundrum is exactly why the Founding Fathers wrote the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

When I put my private information into a safe, or hide it under the mattress, or paste it behind a picture, it is obvious that, for what ever reasons, I do not want others to view that information without my consent. To obtain that information without my consent authorities have to convince a judge that probable cause exists that a crime has been committed and the proof is in that hidden information. Their search warrant, which must be presented to me, is not a fishing expedition, it must list specific items. That I decide to pass or store that information in or through email systems or Internet servers does not change the condition between me, my information, and the 4th Amendment. That government authorities are using "security concerns" to violate both the 4th and 5th Amendments (it is the government doing the searching at airports) is only a prelude to further violations of our civil rights. We are passed the nose of the camel. It has stuck it's entire head into the tent. The body will soon follow. What else is a 250,000 person "civilian national defense force" [youtube.com] , armed as well or better than our military, good for? And, why do we need a "CNDF" when we have the National Guard?

There are better search engines out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36785104)

Not to viral websites or anything but I've been using some other search engines that are pretty awesome.

http://www.duckduckgo.com
http://startpage.com

Both use Google but apparently are high in privacy (they don't track you etc).

Starpage works great.

Re:There are better search engines out there (1)

Jerry (6400) | about 3 years ago | (#36785706)

StartPage uses Google.
It appears that DuckDuck.com is for sale.

I'm so surprised... (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about 3 years ago | (#36785122)

Who could have thought that giving away our personal information over the Internet was a bad idea...
I wonder if further concentrating all those information into the hands of a single company will make things worse? Naah, they're "not evil", what could possibly go wrong.

Microsoft and NSA have been cooperating since XP.. (1)

Jerry (6400) | about 3 years ago | (#36785374)

A NSA official admits [tp] .

You Can't Handle The Truth (1)

shinehead (603005) | about 3 years ago | (#36785610)

'nuff said.

Here is a clue (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 years ago | (#36785618)

Which companies have fought the gov. and which have not? I would look a lot closer at the companies that do not fight with the gov, then the one that likes to fight them. Bing anyone?

Won't you gentlemen... (1)

ringmaster1982 (1817772) | about 3 years ago | (#36785626)

...have a Pepsi?

nothing new (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | about 3 years ago | (#36785676)

Intelligence agencies all over the world can look at lots of things and you won't find out. They get Internet connection data, packet contents, data stored in the cloud. Both in the US and Europe (as well as elsewhere), they can install key loggers and viruses on your computer to track what you type, get your passwords, access your data, etc. This didn't start with 9/11, it's been there since the cold war (although it has been more restricted in the US than elsewhere). It's questionable, but it hasn't been such a big problem in the past because very few people were ever accused of being spies or terrorists.

What's worrisome is that these powers are now being extended to the police and that the definition of terrorism has been extended so far. Those are the changes you should really be worrying about.

Three Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36785694)

Luks VirtualBox Tails

What the hell does this judge know? (1)

Legal.Troll (2002574) | about 3 years ago | (#36786016)

Of course Google is spying for the NSA. There, now you know. Then again, Google is probably also spying on the NSA.
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