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Conflict of Interest
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2014-04-17 19:13
Is Google saying one thing and doing another – yet again?
Given how many times we know Google has misled everyone about the implications of its activities, we should be highly-skeptical of Google’s public claims about what it will do with its nascent Titan drone surveillance capability.
This week Google said it bought Titan Aerospace, which makes solar-powered, high-flying drones, ostensibly because they “could help bring Internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation.”
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2014-03-20 09:21
A shocking new legal fact set recently came together in public as a result of a Gmail wiretapping case, Fread v. Google. Revelations of Google’s secret widespread wiretapping of hundreds of millions of people over the last three years, using a NSA-PRISM-like device called “Content One Box” could have Snowden-esque repercussions.
The New Legal Fact Set:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2014-02-27 16:51
To: All State Legislators, State Attorneys General, and State/Local Police Chiefs
In Reuter’s article, “Google Sets Roadblocks to Stop Distracted Driver Legislation,” we learn “Google is lobbying officials in at least three U.S. States to stop proposed restrictions on driving with headsets such as Google Glass.”
As your States carefully consider the potential safety repercussions of a rapidly increasing number of drivers using Google Glass on your State’s roads in the years ahead, it is in the public interest to be keenly aware of two important facts.
Why Google Glass is the Epitome of Distracted Driving
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Sun, 2014-02-16 16:34
Dear European Commission Official,
The sovereign problems with the proposed Google-EC settlement are that it:
Simply it represents an unwarranted special EC pardon for Google’s illegal 90% search/search advertising dominance and its many illegal abuses of dominance.
Moreover, it is not in the EC’s interests to prematurely shut down the Google search investigation for the convenience of just one EC Directorate’s artificial timetable, when that would undermine the ongoing investigation of additional allegations of Google abuses of its search dominance, like Google search-Android tying, and when it would undermine the good efforts of other EC Directorates trying to get Google to be accountable to EU data protection, tax, copyright, patent, and other laws.
Making matters worse, the proposed settlement would have no deterrent capability to prevent more Google abuses of its dominance in the future. That’s because allowing Google to publicly claim it has done nothing wrong, when it has per the draft Statement of Objections, shields Google from the only thing Google cares about – potential harm to Google’s brand reputation with its users.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2014-02-12 12:23
For those interested in municipal broadband overbuilds and their effect on competition, please read my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “Government Broadband Overbuilds Are Anticompetitive.”
Big GoverNet research series:
Part 1: Cities learning there is no wireless “free lunch” [9-20-07]
Part 2: Why the Australian “Fiber Mae” Broadband Model Doesn’t Work for the U.S. [5-13-09]
Part 3: Why Broadband is not a Public Utility [8-21-09]
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2014-02-10 21:28
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2014-01-30 15:19
The new term “Google Ethics Board” is an oxymoron, given Google’s unethics record. It is also a warning not to be ignored.
There’s a deep need for true ethics at Google now that Google has acquired DeepMind and its broadly-applicable, ethics-pushing, deep-learning technology. That DeepMind pushed for an ethics board, should trigger alarm bells. Pay attention. If past is prologue; Google will end up badly abusing this very powerful technology.
I. Important Perspective
Google CEO Larry Page’s acquisitive growth strategy has a central theme of automating much of the economy: self-driving cars, home automation, energy monitoring, health care, online surveillance, military contracting, travel, shopping, payments, mobile, TV, etc.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Sat, 2013-11-23 18:21
Mr. Ammori, one of Google’s and Free Culture’s most able defenders, comes to the public defense of Google in his recent USA Today op-ed “Blame the NSA not Facebook & Google.”
He publicly castigates privacy advocates for doing their jobs, stating: “blaming tech companies for the NSA’s overreach isn’t just ignorant, but dangerous.”
As most understand, ad hominem attacks are the refuge of those who know the facts are not on their side.
Nevertheless Mr. Ammori does us all a favor for elevating the important public question of whether or not Google, in particular, deserves any blame for its significant role in the NSA spy scandals.
First, let’s address whether it is “ignorant” to blame Google for complicity in NSA spying. Consider the following facts.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2013-11-01 18:16
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2013-10-24 11:44
Google represents its new default policy -- taking a user’s name and picture and putting it in their ads without permission or compensation -- as “Shared Endorsements.” This deceptive and unfair business practice is more aptly named Google-YouAd, “Pirated Endorsements,” or “Swindled Endorsements,” because they are taken deceptively without permission or compensation.
To Google, people apparently are just another form of digital content that should be open and free to exploit without asking the owner for permission and without any expectation of payment from Google for the value that Google generates from the taken content.
We should not be surprised. Google is treating their users, not as humans with privacy and ownership rights, but as inanimate products, content, and “targets” of their advertising model. Notice that they are treating people’s unique identities just like they treat others valuable content that is trademarked, copyrighted, patented, private, confidential or secret. Simply they take it without permission or compensation until an authority that they fear compels them to cease and desist.