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Feds Block EFF Look at Google/DoJ Contacts

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the if-we-are-honest-the-terrorists-win dept.

Google 79

netbuzz writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to know all there is to know about contacts between Google and a Justice Department official involved in a highly charged 2006 government-snooping dispute that ensnared the search giant. That DoJ official, Jane Horvath, was subsequently hired by Google last year as senior privacy counsel. The DoJ has refused for six months to release public information about the matter being requested by EFF."

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79 comments

FIRST TROUT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22574192)

I AM A FISH!

2nd tits! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22574238)

Boobs are a myth!

There's a interesting commentary (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22574302)

I found that the advocates of safe browsing (National Institute of Municipal Professionals) released a statement about this the other day. [nimp.org] Very informative.

Re:There's a interesting commentary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22574456)

No click link. Bad for health.

5th Ammendment? (1)

AkaKaryuu (1062882) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574374)

Isn't that just a fancy way of saying "I'm Guilty"?

Re:5th Ammendment? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22574552)

may be, but it doesn't necessarily have to be the crime accused of...

Re:5th Ammendment? (5, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574600)

No, its a fancy way of keeping the government from holding a gun to your head while you're saying "I'm guilty."

Re:5th Ammendment? (5, Insightful)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574908)

Mod up parent. I commented in this article, so I cannot spend any mod points.

While the parents words may not be the most eloquent, they are right on the money. Well said, plague3106! B..B...B..ut if you have nothing to "hide", well you should not worry? Right?

Hey, the government has every right to know all about us surfs. After all, it is no longer OUR tax dollars that the feds are spending. It is "their" money, and they can do what they want.

You smoked a little pot in high school/college? Damn you! We have the war on DRUGS you idiot! You should go to jail. You filth.

Oh, you KILLED someone? Well that is 25 years to life, with probation after only 10 months. Just don't let us catch you smoking teh pot. You will go down!

War on Drugs
War on Poverty
War on terrorism
War on...

Hmm.. I am 35. In my 35 years as a born-and-raised American, I have been kept in a constant state of war. I served in the U.S.M.C, during the Gulf War, when I was 18 because I thought I "owed" it to my country.

I am just really sad how I have lived under the "republicans" in a constant state of war, either at home or abroad. I am really looking forward to some Dems taking the wheel for a little while and see what we get. It may not be better, but I hope it is.

As a 35 year old, born and raised American, I have not had one single 5 year period in my life where I didn't hear from the Republicans how we are in some state of "war". I don't know about you, but I am DAMN tired of war. I want some DAMN peace.

Re:5th Ammendment? (4, Insightful)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 6 years ago | (#22575684)

I am really looking forward to some Dems taking the wheel for a little while and see what we get. It may not be better, but I hope it is.

Judging from history, it won't be. Even if the Democrats could/would bring peace, you can bet you'll get the shaft by having some rights taken away instead. You see, it kind of works like this:

Republicans: we shaft you and you *know* it.

Democrats: we shaft you, but we try to be discreet about it.

You sound like an advocate for apathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22576364)

If not the Democrats, what ? Are you advocating doing nothing and hoping things get better by themselves ?

Like my right to get gay married? (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22577458)

Or my right for an abortion? Or my right to have a warrant issued before I am spied on by my government?

I'm wondering what rights the Democrats would take away from me...

Re:Like my right to get gay married? (1)

davesays (922765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22582436)

Not that I even disagree, but BTW marriage is a church sacrament that they have the say on. Like most everything else, the Gov. has co-opted it to get their cut of *license fees*... Technically marriage is none of the governments business (just like everything else shouldn't be)

Re:Like my right to get gay married? (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591128)

Not that I even disagree, but BTW marriage is a church sacrament that they have the say on. Like most everything else, the Gov. has co-opted it to get their cut of *license fees*... Technically marriage is none of the governments business (just like everything else shouldn't be)
Mod up. The gay marriage debate is about forced social acceptance of homosexuality. The law already provides civil unions - marriage is simply a contract. There are laws that need to be changed to have a "marriage equivalent" (tax consequences, immigration law, etc.), however the gay marriage debate is all about the use of a word. It's not about rights its about acceptance.

Re:Like my right to get gay married? (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22582458)

I'm wondering what rights the Democrats would take away from me...
Freedom of the press? If radio isn't Democrat it must carry an equal percentage of the Democrat viewpoint.
Your right to vote? You are too dumb to decide things - elite educated judges (philosopher kings) should do that.
Freedom of speech? You can't say anything bad about anyone (except Christians) even as a joke.
Your right to your paycheck? Your too dumb to decide what to spend your money on.
Freedom of religion - but no one cares about that on Slashdot (thats why its enshrined in the First Amendment - counter-majoritarian).

You are loosing rights and you don't know about it because the people and things affected don't concern you. Its like the criminal defendant that everyone knows did it that gets off because he wasn't Mirandized or a 4th Amendment violation, its the people at the fringes that end up protecting the rights for us all.

how are those rights? (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22587792)

In fact, they aren't rights. They sound like mush-brained talking points.. I couldn't say anything bad about the lies used to invade Iraq without being called a traitor and worse. I couldn't question the use of the fighting in Iraq without being told I hate the troops. You know, shit like that. You seem to want all the benefits of a high-tech society without paying your fair share in taxes.

Re:how are those rights? (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22589726)

In fact, they aren't rights. They sound like mush-brained talking points.. I couldn't say anything bad about the lies used to invade Iraq without being called a traitor and worse. I couldn't question the use of the fighting in Iraq without being told I hate the troops. You know, shit like that. You seem to want all the benefits of a high-tech society without paying your fair share in taxes.
They are textually explicit, which is more than can be said about the rights the liberals hold sacred.

Under liberal activism the following constitutionally guaranteed freedoms have been reduced or eliminated altogether:
The Contract Clause [cornell.edu] - completely abrogated.
The Due Process Clause of the Foruteenth [cornell.edu] and the Fifth [cornell.edu] Amendments - altered as to life and property, in some instances personal liberty supersedes others rights to life and property. Socialist agendas have severely limited property rights. Personal autonomy has also been limited by socialism. Limited autonomy impacts all three enumerated classes of inalienable rights.
The Establishment Clause [cornell.edu] - interpreted as broadly as possible to restrict religious freedom.
The Free Exercise Clause [cornell.edu] - interpreted as narrowly as possible to restrict religious freedom.
The Privilages and Immunities Clause of Article Four [cornell.edu] and the Fourteenth Amendment [cornell.edu] - completely abrogated.
The Tenth Amendment [cornell.edu] - is "but a truism."
The Takings Clause of the Fifth [cornell.edu] and the Fourteenth [cornell.edu] amendments. - interpreted broadly, even granting eminent domain to Wal-Mart in the hopes of increased tax revenue counts as a "public use".
The Right to Bear Arms [cornell.edu] - severely limited.

The following would rights would be limited if liberals were given the opportunity:
Speech and Association Clauses [cornell.edu] - Pelosi-Claybrook bill that would require Congressional approval for individual citizens' political speech.
Press Clause [cornell.edu] - Pelosi proposal on eliminating conservative talk radio (viewpoint discrimination).

You are too cute! (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590606)

Keep it up Mr. Troll. Keep it up. My liberal income is subsidizing your hate through the Federal Tax Code, and yes, you are welcome.

Re:You are too cute! (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590880)

Keep it up Mr. Troll. Keep it up. My liberal income is subsidizing your hate through the Federal Tax Code, and yes, you are welcome.
What hate? I just disagree. Subsidizing?

Maybe you're not a troll... (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591148)

But your examples of 'Liberals resgtricting Rights' seem petty and disingenuous which are often the signs of a troll. To me, those are non-issues compared to being spied on with no warrant or having my habeus corpus rights taken from me. Being lied to in order to start a war...it was conservatives who did that. Adding 25% to the national debt...that was conservatives. I don't really care about gun ownership...the only reason I'd want guns would be to protect myself from government. A semi-auto rifle can't compare to the military and para-military police forces out there, even if the Iraqis seem to be pulling it off.

Federal tax code takes money from 'rich' states and gives it to 'poor' states. The Rich states...NY, NJ, CA, CT, etc...all pretty liberals. The poor states? MO, MI, LA, AL, NM, AL which trend conservative. Yeah, you weren't the right person to make that comment to since I have no idea where you live.

Re:Maybe you're not a troll... (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591410)

But your examples of 'Liberals resgtricting Rights' seem petty and disingenuous which are often the signs of a troll. To me, those are non-issues compared to being spied on with no warrant or having my habeus corpus rights taken from me. Being lied to in order to start a war...it was conservatives who did that. Adding 25% to the national debt...that was conservatives. I don't really care about gun ownership...the only reason I'd want guns would be to protect myself from government. A semi-auto rifle can't compare to the military and para-military police forces out there, even if the Iraqis seem to be pulling it off.
I never rendered an opinion on those issues. How have I been disingenuous. You asked "I'm wondering what rights the Democrats would take away from me...", and I answered.

To go point by point:
I have trouble with domestic spying. I can at least try to understand the motivations, rather than rabidly demonizing proponents, but I do think they are overstepping.
I have trouble with any denial of rights of US citizens, whether they were found on a battle field or not.
I have huge problems with the overspending done by conservatives, and I suspect many will realize there are many conservatives that share that view when election time rolls around.
I don't care much about gun ownership either, but I do respect the theory. The framers had the minute man scenario in mind, and regardless of the advancements in technology, the Vietnamese and terrorists have demonstrated that there are ways of leveling the battlefield.

Federal tax code takes money from 'rich' states and gives it to 'poor' states. The Rich states...NY, NJ, CA, CT, etc...all pretty liberals. The poor states? MO, MI, LA, AL, NM, AL which trend conservative. Yeah, you weren't the right person to make that comment to since I have no idea where you live.
I live in SD and we are the biggest bunch of government sponges you can find. However, we didn't get to our position through conservative leadership. Rather, the most liberal available. Farm subsidies became a large issue in voting out a certain influential incumbent. It seems that money is a good way to "hook" people who are otherwise conservative. I suspect that the welfare system has a similar affect elsewhere.

Re:Maybe you're not a troll... (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22592066)

I guess to really sum up my position, the Bill of Rights is countermajoritarian. Most people wont care about the rights that are being lost. Just like we don't care about our gun rights. But if we trusted the majority with protecting our rights, we wouldn't need a Bill of Rights. Really, lets just vote for which rights should be protected. That gets us into domestic spying because the majority of people would rather be safe than have rights. Even the rights we don't care about need protection. If the Supreme Court had realized this sooner It wouldn't have taken nearly 200 years for Brown to be decided.

Re:how are those rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22596734)

i would reply to your post, but my firewall blocks all government ips including .edus

if you had used http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution [wikipedia.org] wikipedia then i might have had something to say about your post. the wikipedia project has nothing to do with spying on who's using p2p applications to download whatever (i try to avoid anything covered by copyright law where i live, but being spied on by government agencies isn't something that makes me happy)

Re:5th Ammendment? (5, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578176)

Actually the classic pattern is this: First we get the Republicans, who spread paranoia and make war with everyone they can while using the resulting "security threats" as an excuse to fleece us all of rights and assets at every turn. Then, just when the populace is nearly ready to actually protest something we get the Democrats, who try to convince us we will rebuild now, while talking a lot about things that really matter (universal health care, ending poverty). The economy heals a bit, people have a bit more cash, some optimism returns and now the stage is set for the Republicans to come back and reap the riches from the people again. Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseum. That's the way it's worked all my life...

Democrats and Republicans are just two sides of the same evil coin, and the divisions are deliberately illogical (i.e. "pro life" people are generally pro death penalty and don't want to pay a dime for the well-being of kids unless it is to censor the media "for them", etc). Any sane, rational person will quickly become frustrated and resigned with our "democracy", seeing it for the fraud that it is. Everyone else will accuse that person of tin foil hattery, and voila! Our way of life is"still safe". Yesterday it was communists, today it's Al Qaida, tomorrow maybe it will be Jews or left-handed people or people with haxxor 5k1llz... The only constant is this New Feudal system masquerading as a "free country".

Re:5th Ammendment? (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22579958)

Here let's fix that for you:

Republicans: We fuck up and we fuck up GLAMOROUSLY.

Democrats: We fuck up but at least you can go on food stamps.

Sure, it might have connotations of the 'lesser of two evils', but any political group will ultimately go to the dark side, so the argument against voting for the evil in the first place will become moot the second you vote for the 'non-evil' politicians.

Cheers.

Re:5th Ammendment? (2, Insightful)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 6 years ago | (#22576720)

The Democrats got the majority in both houses. They can [wikipedia.org] end the wars. But they don't. It won't be better for us, it will be more of the same.

Re:5th Ammendment? (2, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22577142)

Ending wars with the budget isn't that simple. Bush could keep troops in the field without proper equipment like body armor or sufficient ammunition. It wouldnt really surprise me if he did just that.

The only way tightening the budget strings might be effective is if Congress cut off non-essential contracts to divert money to Iraq. Things like the FCS [wikipedia.org] or some jet fighter or tanker programs. The contractors would pressure him to get out to save their programs.

Re:5th Ammendment? (2, Interesting)

penix1 (722987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22579506)

The only way tightening the budget strings might be effective is if Congress cut off non-essential contracts to divert money to Iraq. Things like the FCS or some jet fighter or tanker programs. The contractors would pressure him to get out to save their programs.


You evidently weren't paying attention to both parties when DoD was trying to close non-essential bases in the BRAC [brac.gov] hearings. Both parties argued that to close any of the proposed bases would be detrimental to not only the area they were in but the country as a whole.

The first politician that tries to cut funding for ANY military program will be castrated in the press as being an unpatriotic, job destroying, soldier bashing communist. I predict that no matter who wins Iraq will continue and all the waste, fraud and abuse that is Homeland Security will be right there with it. If you think corporate power corrupts Congress now, just try to cut back on the military industrial complex and increasingly the Homeland Security industrial complex and watch the bribes (oops..."Campaign Contributions") fly.

Re:5th Ammendment? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22582080)

Sadly,this is because the military is the only thing still made in the USA,except for the bullets which are Chinese.I figure when our economy collapses we'll end up with a reinstated WPA program,which will hopefully rebuild our sagging infrastructure and upgrade our telecommunications capacity.Simply because it will be cheaper to pay all the out of work Americans to build roads and lay fiber than it would cost to rebuild our abandoned factories and give us the ability to produce again.This is why the war in Iraq,which historically would be a boon,is instead dragging us down quicker.All our cash is being sucked down the black hole of offshoring and trade deficits,while the Chinese buy our bonds just so we'll have some money to give back to them for their cheap goods. But as always my .02c,YMMV.

Re:5th Ammendment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22580152)

The only way tightening the budget strings might be effective is if Congress cut off non-essential contracts to divert money to Iraq. Things like the FCS or some jet fighter or tanker programs.
And that will never happen because both sides are way too cozy with the contractors.

Re:5th Ammendment? (4, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574672)

I honestly don't know about the case at hand, but invoking the 5th amendment is not saying you are guilty or not... similar to refusing to give a police officer your drivers license when you are walking to the store at 1AM, or not letting airport security boot up your laptop and look through it. They would like you to think that refusal is implication of some guilt, but when it comes down to it, what they are asking has nothing to do with the problem at hand. If I am walking down the street, there is NO reason to expect that I would even have a drivers license, let alone give it up when I AM NOT DRIVING. Same with airport security snooping in my laptop... I am not plugging my laptop into your plane, your servers, or anything that should concern you. It has nothing to do with people who have a bomb in their luggage.

In cases of the 5th amendment, you can obviously call upon it when you have something to hide. You can also invoke it on principle to the fact that what I am NOT telling you has no relevance to the case at hand.

Imagine you are walking along the street and decide to rob a store. You bust into the store, start helping yourself to whatever, and you notice the store keeper being beat and raped. You call it in, it comes to trial, and all of a sudden the defendants lawyer asks you what were you doing in the store after it was closed. Obviously, you were robbing the store, but REGARDLESS, that has NOTHING to do with the beating and raping of the store keeper. This is a perfect example of why you would plead the 5th.

Re:5th Ammendment? (1)

hugo.schlebnik (971018) | more than 6 years ago | (#22575222)

The ostensible reason that airport security boots up your laptop isn't to look through your files... It's to confirm that it's actually a laptop and not, you know, a bomb. That's the theory anyway.

Re:5th Ammendment? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22575588)

Yeah, just like they go over your license with a UV light and gloves to "see the embedded hologram". They are looking to see if you have been using it to draw your cocaine lines. And that air blowing thing is meant to look for explosives, right? Smoke a joint before going through there and see how quickly you get searched. Honestly, what else? Do they need to use my shampoo to know that it is shampoo? Do they need to screw my wife to know she doesn't have a pipe bomb up in her uterus? Do they need to open my brand new box of crayons and color in my coloring book to know it isn't cleverly disguised C-4? No.

Re:5th Ammendment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22581316)

Do they need to screw my wife to know she doesn't have a pipe bomb up in her uterus?
But... but... she might have hidden a snuke!

Re:5th Ammendment? (2, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22575810)

Same with airport security snooping in my laptop... I am not plugging my laptop into your plane, your servers, or anything that should concern you. It has nothing to do with people who have a bomb in their luggage.

Ah, but the airplanes are not a public service in the sense a sidewalk is. It is a service that can be revoked if you don't follow the operating companies' procedures. Which is why you must present your baggage before boarding.

Re:5th Amendment? (3, Informative)

Doc Daneeka (1107345) | more than 6 years ago | (#22576316)

I'd be more apt to agree with that logic if the government weren't so quick to bail out the airlines when a problem arises.

It is a service that can be revoked if you don't follow the operating companies' procedures.

That aside, it's kind of hard to follow an airline's procedure when it isn't the airline's procedure. This would all be fine and dandy if it were a security service payed for by all of the airlines that service the terminal with agreed upon rules. Instead, we have a government agency paying for an outside security service proscribing, or at least pretending not to notice, arbitrary rules and procedures. The problem occurs before you even have a chance to interact with the company in question, so you never even have an opportunity to be contrary to their policies. /endrant

Anyway, I don't see how we arrived at thinking this is a 5th Amendment issue. The EFF has requested to see e-mail correspondence between Google and DoJ officials via the FOIA. This isn't a 5th Amendment issue because the EFF is seeking information pertinent to public officials carrying out the duties of their publicly accountable position. They have been met with silence for the past 6 months so now the EFF is suing so they can see what actually occurred during the period when the DoJ was seeking to subpoena Google for every single query entered into the search engine over a one-week period and the subsequent scale back to asking for only 5,000 random entries. The EFF wants to make sure that information from Google was not handed over to the DoJ illegitimately due to privacy concerns. They also want to make sure that Jane C. Horvath, the DoJ's Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer at the time, is not giving information to the DoJ while now working as Google's Senior Privacy Counsel.

Re:5th Ammendment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22576108)

So you are taking the 5th because you _are_ guilty. We just don't know of what, yet!

Re:5th Ammendment? (1)

geoskd (321194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22575618)

Isn't that just a fancy way of saying "I'm Guilty"?


Actually, its more of a fancy way of saying "I'm guilty of something, just not what you were thinking of..."

-=Geoskd

Re:5th Ammendment? (1)

thomas.galvin (551471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22577416)

Isn't that just a fancy way of saying "I'm Guilty"?
If you create enough laws, everyone is guilty. If you search long enough, if you try hard enough, you will be able to find, craft, or create a plausible excuse for ruining just about anyone's life. The various constitutional protections are set in place, in part, to establish at least some barrier to this.

Also, given our propensity to use "enhanced" interrogation, and then rely on that information as if it were in any way valid, I'd say a constitutional protection against self-incrimination is pretty damn important.

Unless, of course, you want to stand in a court where it is illegal to not confess. Think about that for a minute or two.

Where's the Article? (2, Informative)

mdm42 (244204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574384)

All I see is a link to some news article about Google hiring this DoJ person. Nothing at all to an article suggesting that the USDoJ is stonewalling EFF as suggested by the summary.

Enquiring minds wanna know!

Re:Where's the Article? (4, Informative)

gclef (96311) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574440)

It was in the firehose entry...why the editors removed that bit of info is not clear:

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/25435 [networkworld.com]

Re:Where's the Article? (4, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574698)

Slashdot has added a URL field in the story submission form. (My guess is that this URL is intended for automated dupe checking.) This link gets displayed in the Firehose entry after the article.

It would appear it doesn't get displayed should the story get accepted. I guess the theory was that the editors would edit the link in. Something that, in practice, it would appear they frequently forget.

So that's my guess as to why it's missing in the article. It's not that CmdrTaco removed it, just that he forgot to add it to the story text.

Re:Where's the Article? (1)

rhinokitty (962485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22584500)

Yes, it is for Dupe checking, I have submitted dupes in the past and been denied. It is very useful.

P.S. If I cant read the CAPTCHA does that mean I am a cyborg?

Re:Where's the Article? (4, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574664)

What's really odd is that the article from NW says "a highly charged 2006 government-snooping dispute that ensnared the search giant." This is misleading at best.

The 2006 case was an attempt by the DoJ to subpoena all search records from all major search engines in order to bolster support for government regulation of pornography. Everyone else but Google complied and turned over records. Google did not.

The quote in the article makes it sound like Google was caught abusing their users' privacy when quite the opposite was true. If I ever trusted Network World, I think that trust would have just ended.

Re:Where's the Article? (1)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22579146)

The 2006 case was an attempt by the DoJ to subpoena all search records from all major search engines in order to bolster support for government regulation of pornography. Everyone else but Google complied and turned over records. Google did not.
True, but the fact that the person they were working with at the DOJ is now a Google employee seems to indicate that there might have been some hush-hush deal made "These aren't the search records you're looking for... oh, and by the way, Google is hiring (wink, wink) and we need someone like you; you should submit a resume."

Re:Where's the Article? (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22580424)

the fact that the person they were working with at the DOJ is now a Google employee seems to indicate that there might have been some hush-hush deal made "These aren't the search records you're looking for... oh, and by the way, Google is hiring (wink, wink) and we need someone like you; you should submit a resume."
So, what you're saying is that Google might have protected your privacy by bribing the government? I'm just trying to determine what it is that you are suggesting.... The bottom line for me is that the EFF seems to be going in an odd direction, here. Rather than finding a way to nail Yahoo and Microsoft for turning over private data at the drop of a hat, they're investigating how Google got out of doing so. This seems counter to their mission to me, but perhaps I just don't have all the details.... certainly as a previous contributor, I'll make sure I get the appropriate details before I give them money again.

Re:Where's the Article? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22582566)

I thought it was all goggle's way of saying, they will do everything in their legal and moral power to protect your privacy from baseless, invasive government search warrants, that vile offensive government incursion into your private life, if they're just not willing to pay for it, well then, they're just no bloody going get it. Googles guarantee to you, you privacy is not available --- 'for free' ;).

Perhaps I'm a little be out of the loop here, but why is it exactly, that you would forbid your government from doing things, but merrily allow, a for profit privately controlled, you will buy this crap now, marketing corporation to get the stuff in the first place, and that's oddly enough stuff you don't want your government to prying into even where there's at least some sense of legal overview and public disclosure of abuse !?

Judicial power (2, Insightful)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574460)

In a suit filed Tuesday in the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Electronic Frontier Foundation says Justice violated the Freedom of Information Act by withholding records it requested about Horvath and Google.
Maybe they will be blocked by the Executive department's insistence that this is necessary to National Security somehow by protecting the kiddies. The FOIA isn't just some law that you can just ignore, contrary to what has been happening in the federal govt recently. The judicial branch needs to get some balls and start enforcing the laws that have been enacted. Maybe when I don't file my taxes, I'll simply declare that it was all in National Security that my financial information wasn't supplied. Somehow I don't see that going over well.

Re:Judicial power (1)

JeepFanatic (993244) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574670)

The judicial branch needs to get some balls and start enforcing the laws that have been enacted.
If I remember correctly, the EXECUTIVE branch is the one that is "supposed" to enforce the laws. The judicial branch interprets the laws.

Re:Judicial power (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574746)

Unless the Exec branch disregards the rulings by the Judicial branch. Then who has to do it? That was what I meant by the Judicial branch enforcing laws.

Re:Judicial power (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574838)

Only until the Executive branch appoints new judges.

Judges who disagree with the Right are "activist."

Judges who agree with the Right are "strict constructionist."

Re:Judicial power (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22582600)

Judges who agree with the Right are "strict constructionist."
Hypocrisy noted, Rhenquist was definately an activist. Roberts (the umpire) looks to follow in Rhenquist's shoes. But you have to admit that Scalia and Thomas show restraint most of the time. I'm not counting Souter, Kennedy, O'Conner, or Stevens as being "on the Right" though they are all Republican appointees. I don't know enough about Alito yet.

Re:Judicial power (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22582800)

IMHO, a significant litmus test is "privacy" or other rights not explicitly specified in the Constitution or amendments. To be perfectly honest, I don't know how Scalia or Thomas weigh on such matters, but it has appeared to me that denial of such rights has tended to be a "Right" thing.

The Constitution explicitly, both in the body and in the Bill of Rights, states that rights not reserved to the Federal or State governments belong to the people. Articles about the framers and the writing of the Bill of Rights state that many were against them, because it was feared that they would be taken by future generations as a "complete enumeration" of peoples' rights.

Re:Judicial power (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22583080)

IMHO, a significant litmus test is "privacy" or other rights not explicitly specified in the Constitution or amendments. To be perfectly honest, I don't know how Scalia or Thomas weigh on such matters, but it has appeared to me that denial of such rights has tended to be a "Right" thing.
I was addressing activist v. original strict constructionist/intentionalist/textualist. I don't remember how those justices came down on privacy in the IV Amendment cases (I don't like crim law), I can tell you that they are definately against Roe's version of privacy rights. Scalia and Thomas don't do "penumbras" from text.

The Constitution explicitly, both in the body and in the Bill of Rights, states that rights not reserved to the Federal or State governments belong to the people. Articles about the framers and the writing of the Bill of Rights state that many were against them, because it was feared that they would be taken by future generations as a "complete enumeration" of peoples' rights.
The conservative wing forgets that the BOR is supposed to be countermajoritarian. You don't put it to a vote whenever a minority is being crushed, thats not protection. I'd like a cite to your statement about the framer's fear of enumerated rights. I'd like to have some authority for Con Law tomorrow because I've been subtly pulling some conservative classmates into the fold.

Re:Judicial power (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22583648)

> "penumbra"

Why did Roe v Wade even have to use any sort of "penumbra" at all? IMHO, it's a balance of rights, the mother's against those of the fetus. Further, the Constitution and amendments talk about balancing rights of people, the states, and the federal government. There has only ever been one amendment that prohibited a specific act, and it's also the only amendment that has ever been repealed. An anti-abortion amendment has NO place whatsoever in the Constitution. If you want to accomplish that end, then you need a "Fetal Rights Act", to balance the rights of the fetus against the rights of the mother.

> framers' fear

I'm sorry I can't give you a better reference for it. Google is your friend, I hope.

Re:Judicial power (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591590)

Further, the Constitution and amendments talk about balancing rights of people, the states, and the federal government.
I'd also throw in balancing the rights of the majority vs. the rights of the minority. The Bill of Rights is a restraint on majoritarian power.

There has only ever been one amendment that prohibited a specific act
XIII [cornell.edu]

I'm sorry I can't give you a better reference for it. Google is your friend, I hope.
I'm guessing its in a Federalist, I'll go digging.

Re:Judicial power (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22592804)

> I'd also throw in balancing the rights of the majority vs. the rights of the minority. The Bill
> of Rights is a restraint on majoritarian power.

Won't argue a bit about that, but we're still talking about balancing rights, not prohibiting a specific act.

> XIII

It's worded as prohibiting the act of owning slaves or indentured servants, but it could also be viewed as granting human rights to those people, which had been previously denied. Perhaps an anti-abortion amendment could be construed the same way, but IMHO it's a less direct link. I was of course thinking about Prohibition.

Re:Judicial power (1)

JeepFanatic (993244) | more than 6 years ago | (#22575002)

Andrew Jackson once said regarding a decision in the case Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia [wikipedia.org]

Supreme Court has made their decision; now let them enforce it.
The court doesn't have any power to enforce rulings ... even if the executive will not.

Re:Judicial power (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22582652)

The court doesn't have any power to enforce rulings ... even if the executive will not.
So far things have worked out. Even the Democratic Congress was poised to revolt if FDR's court packing plan was put into action. Further, Eisenhower enforced Brown even though he thought it was the wrong route.

It wasn't me! (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574492)

There's a really bad smell around here all of a sudden. That deal, maybe? Google could clear things up pretty fast with a bit of disclosure.

Re:It wasn't me! (4, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574618)

Google could clear things up pretty fast with a bit of disclosure.
They're probably bound by law not to say anything... what we know about it was that the DoJ asked for search records, Google said "No, that information is proprietary and protected by trade secret." and the DoJ said "This is in the interests of National Security, protecting kiddies, etc. went before a judge, got a subpoena, and Google was forced to comply. But, they cut a deal with the DoJ that said they only had to release so much information. What Google gave up to get that concession is anyone's guess, but I'm guessing that Google was told to sign an NDA in regards to the DoJ investigation.

Re:It wasn't me! (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574874)

But, they cut a deal with the DoJ that said they only had to release so much information

To the DoJ, that is. I doubt that it counts as a "release" of information if their new "privacy counsel" gets her hands on it.

Of course, and this is the tinfoil hat talking here, what if this new "senior privacy counsel" just so happens to moonlight at the DoJ (or is it the other way around? And just so happens to let slip some of that information as a bit of gossip at the DoJ water cooler?

Re:It wasn't me! (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22582860)

what if this new "senior privacy counsel" just so happens to moonlight at the DoJ (or is it the other way around? And just so happens to let slip some of that information as a bit of gossip at the DoJ water
As my MPRE review video says "the lawyer is subject to discipline." MRPC 1.11(d)

Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer currently serving as a public officer or employee:
...
(2) shall not:
...
(ii) negotiate for private employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially, except that a lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other adjudicative officer or arbitrator may negotiate for private employment as permitted by Rule 1.12(b) and subject to the conditions stated in Rule 1.12(b).
But if the "matter" the lawyer was participating in personally and substantially is over, it looks like she can get involved against another party. Still its kind of a sticky situation, not something I'd risk disbarment over.

OT - Your sig (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22587720)

Why have 1 person driving a backhoe when you could employ 20 with shovels?
Because the 1 person driving a backhoe, even though he is a skilled worker (trained to run a backhoe), is much, much faster and cheaper than 20 unskilled people with shovels.

Let's say the backhoe worker makes $20/hr + benefits. You can figure his rate to be somewhere around $40 an hour (liberal estimate) when you figure in benefits. Lets say the time difference using a backhoe vs. 20 people with shovels is roughly 2:1 -- a very conservative estimate -- so if it takes 2 weeks with shovels, the backhoe operator gets it done in a week.

Let's say the unskilled workers make $8/hr a piece, no benefits. They end up costing somewhere around $12/hr a piece once you figure in FICA match and so forth, but we'll even pretend they're working under the table for cash. So 20 workers * 80 hours == 1600 man-hours. So take those 1600 man-hours and * 8/hr and you get $12,800 to employ those workers to do your digging.

The skilled guy costs $40/hr and he takes 40 hours. You only have one guy, so that's 40 man-hours * 40 = $1600. Even if the backhoe costs $1,000 a day to run (it doesn't), you still came out ahead by $280 (assuming a 5-day work week).

I can hear the objections already -- but, you didn't figure in the cost of the backhoe! You're right, but the backhoe is a capitalized expense, which means it can be written off. You can do this either once, or you can ammortize the cost over the life of the backhoe. Which means, in essence, the backhoe costs almost nothing. I can't do the same with payroll costs -- they eat into my bottom line AND don't do anything appreciable for my taxes. Plus, there are tons of "hidden" costs with employees -- theft, lost productivity, workers comp claims, etc. The backhoe, by comparison, doesn't usually require additional capital expense. And if it does -- well, it's a capital expense and therefore can be written off!

It's important to remember that business exist to make money, not to employ people.

(Mods: this is an old story now, but feel free to mod me down if you like)

Re:OT - Your sig (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22589880)

I need to start saving these replies I get to see how similar other's analysis is. A common misunderstanding of economics is the idea that the benefits of more efficient solutions, like free trade (unskilled foreign workers are more "efficient" than higher educated locals) or specialization of labor (you probably don't grow all of your own corn), are outweighed by lost jobs. I added the sig in response to some article about advances in technology costing programmers jobs.
I appreciate your impeccable analysis.

Re:OT - Your sig (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22593158)

I've had the same argument with various people over and over -- the bottom line is that the most efficient solution is always the best for the economy, no matter how many workers don't have jobs. In the end, the workers will have jobs anyway -- they'll just be doing it where no more-efficient solution exists or is possible or they'll get some new skills and/or move on to positions where greater demand exists. Although, one caveat here: cheaper is not always more efficient. Sending IT jobs to India may not be the most efficient solution possible, even though it will be cheaper at least for the short term. (In the long term, standards of living are improving in India and China as a direct result of outsourcing there, so the workers there are now demanding more money. Hence, there is no efficiency to really be gained, it's all an illusion.)

Re:OT - Your sig (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22632172)

(In the long term, standards of living are improving in India and China as a direct result of outsourcing there, so the workers there are now demanding more money. Hence, there is no efficiency to really be gained, it's all an illusion.)
Its no illusion, the "illusiveness" is due to the unequal comparisons of long and short term. Short term - efficiency is gained, long - the market finds equilibrium. The equilibrium position is actually good for all because the market for goods in general has now grown because of new consumers. Short term - it sucks for domestic low skilled jobs. Long term - it will always suck for low skilled jobs. If the next third world country (or immigration) doesn't "steal" low skilled jobs, technology will. At what point will protectionism call for the end of technology? For high skilled jobs - short term = some impact, long term = specialization.

Fp 5hit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22574504)

your own towel in as pmossible? How From a technical if I remain kill myself like a pRoductivity first avoid going

Do no evil... (3, Informative)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574614)

Unless it meas profit!

Re:Do no evil... (2, Informative)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22575224)

Our corporate system encourages normal/good people to do "evil" things, systematically, and Google is no exception. Check out this film:

http://www.thecorporation.com/ [thecorporation.com]

It's a liberal diatribe (there are Michael Moore's bits in it), but I found many of the points very persuasive.

How do we tweak the system to limit corporate abuse while maintaining her economic efficiency?

Privacy Goes Both Ways (5, Insightful)

AnonymousRobin (1058634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574668)

I'm all for privacy. Which is why I think the guy is totally justified. If someone asked about MY contracts at work, I wouldn't feel that compelled to tell them, either. And I'd have no obligation to. It'd be different if he was actually working in the governmental capacity, because then the people are indirectly sorta the guy's boss. But when it's just him privately being hired, it's none of our business from any moral or legal obligation sort of standpoint.

Google, though, would do well from a PR standpoint to at least formulate a response explaining what seems like a very odd decision. I'd appreciate it at least, since this sort of thing makes me feel pretty nervous. I don't really search for anything more exotic than cake recipes, technical documentation, or going through Wiki adventures where you start with wondering what the actual difference between a vegetable and fruit is and end up reading about quantum physics for some reason, but government snooping through stuff without cause is a bad thing and quite against the constitution those cool guys 200 years ago wrote up. Google has a good track record for not doing evil things, but still...

Re:Privacy Goes Both Ways (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#22574976)

Which is why I think the guy is totally justified. If someone asked about MY contracts at work, I wouldn't feel that compelled to tell them, either

      But what about your municipality's contracts? Don't you want to know if the council are all shareholders of the company that keeps winning all the bids on construction?

      These are PUBLIC records. As far as I know no minors are involved, and nothing was ordered sealed by a judge. What happened to transparency in government, etc? The mere fact that someone doesn't want the public to know this means that laws were probably broken. You agree that the government should be allowed to KEEP breaking them?

Re:Privacy Goes Both Ways (3, Informative)

DrData99 (916924) | more than 6 years ago | (#22575104)

As a government employee she was subject to specific proscriptions in her behavior that are set up to prevent even the appearance of conflict of interest. Government ethics rules [usoge.gov] are quite extensive and if she was feeding information to Google while a DOJ employee would be subject to severe consequences.
For example Darleen Druyun was sentenced to prison in September 2004 [worldpoliticsreview.com] for showing favoritism to Boeing while she was a top Pentagon acquisitions official.
There may be nothing at all to see, but the right to privacy during the time she was employed by the DOJ does not exist.
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