Google is not “free” in any sense of the word. You’re the product and Google is under no obligation to hold your information confidential. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
An accidentally unsealed court document reveals that the federal government secretly ordered Google to provide data on people searching specific search words or phrases, otherwise known as “keyword warrants,” according to Forbes.
According to the report, the Justice Department inadvertently unsealed the documents in September (which were promptly re-sealed), which were reviewed by Forbes. In several instances, law enforcement investigators asked Google to identify anyone searching for specific keywords.
The first case was in 2019 when federal investigators were on the hunt for men they believed sex-trafficked a minor. According to a search warrant, the minor went missing but reappeared a year later and claimed to have been kidnapped and sexually assaulted. Investigators asked Google if anyone had searched the minor’s name. The tech giant responded and provided law enforcement agents with Google accounts and IP addresses of those who made the searches.
There have been other rare examples of so-called keyword warrants, such as in 2020 when police asked Google if anyone searched for the address of an arson victim in the government’s racketeering case against singer R Kelly. Then in 2017, a Minnesota judge requested Google to provide information on anyone who searched for a fraud victim’s name.
The police were then able to obtain an Instagram registration email, which turned out to be a Gmail address. With that in hand, investigators ordered Google to provide any location data they had on that Gmail user, which the tech giant duly provided after it identified a linked smartphone.
Our wise and munificent rulers are determined to give us vaccine passports, whether we want them or not. From Privacy To Go at off-guardian.org:
n June 30th, 2021, the Google Developers blog announced the launch of vaccine passports in Android through its Passes API.
Less than 24 hours later, the European Union, long mired in a sea of national standards for digital jab records, rolled out its EU-wide vaccine passport.
Two completely different vaccine passport schemes unveiled on the same day, encompassing the whole of the Western world? What are the odds!
Exceedingly low, of course. This level of coordination belies yet another blitz in the ongoing rollout of a global, technofeudal control grid. The EU has arguably been at the forefront of this rollout – its standardized digital jab certificate is little more than an aggregator for the draconian technology now operating at the Nation-State level.
In this sense, Google and the US are playing catch-up. While de facto vaccine passports have been implemented sparingly in places like New York, California, and Hawaii, an ever-expanding number of States have banned the notion outright.
Remember when Silicon Valley liked to pretend it was anti-authoritarian? Now, even the pretense is gone. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
In yet another glaring example of Google willingly doing China’s bidding, YouTube this month agreed to take down multiple videos posted by a well-known China-related human rights organization.
As Reuters recently reported, YouTube initially tried to pressure the group called Atajurt Kazakh Human Rights to censor its content in several videos documenting disappeared Uyghur citizens in China’s Xinjiang province, which YouTube interpreted as a violation of its anti-harassment policy given personally identifiable information was present.
Despite the group’s videos essentially including detailed news reporting, the Google-owned platform said it had too many strikes against it related to people featured showing their IDs. The organization was asked to blur the IDs.
The IDs were shown on the videos to verify that interviewees were indeed relatives of those believed to be missing inside Xinjiang’s vast ‘reeducation camp’ prisons. Instead of continuing to allow the videos to garner millions of views, spotlighting the ongoing crackdown against the Chinese Muslim minorities, YouTube instead “disappeared” the videos. The controversy began within the past years as follows:
Atajurt Kazakh Human Rights’ channel has published nearly 11,000 videos on YouTube totaling over 120 million views since 2017, thousands of which feature people speaking to camera about relatives they say have disappeared without a trace in China’s Xinjiang region, where UN experts and rights groups estimate over a million people have been detained in recent years.
On June 15, the channel was blocked for violating YouTube’s guidelines, according to a screenshot seen by Reuters, after twelve of its videos had been reported for breaching its ‘cyberbullying and harassment’ policy.
Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.
China says Wuhan Lab Scientists Deserve Nobel Prize
China’s government-run media outlets are reporting that, instead of being blamed for leaking the coronavirus, the Wuhan Virology lab scientists should be awarded the Nobel Prize for being the first to sequence the virus.
Naturally it’s only a matter of time before the World Health Organization throws its weight behind this recommendation…
Or for the Big Tech companies to censor anyone who says this is a completely absurd idea…
Or for the Twitter mob to accuse anyone who doesn’t support China’s Nobel Prize push as an anti-Asian racist.
Parler wasn’t upended because of what was on the site or any laxity in keeping advocacy of violence off of it. Rather, it’s been a target of a big tech conspiracy because it’s a platform for conservatives. From Tyler O’Neil at pjmedia.com:
In the days after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, Big Tech moved against a conservative alternative social media platform, Parler, based on the premise that the rioters has used Parler to plan the attack on the Capitol and that Parler had failed in its responsibility to prevent such coordination. Based on this narrative, Apple and Google removed Parler from their app stores and Amazon removed Parler’s internet hosting. Yet on Thursday, Parler flipped the narrative on its head.
On Thursday, Parler sent a response to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s request for documents regarding the riot, the company explained in a press release. In that response, Parler revealed that it had “proactively developed an open line of communication with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the fall of 2020 and referred violent content and incitement from Parler’s platform over 50 times before January 6th. Parler also warned the FBI about specific threats of violence being planned for the events at the Capitol on January 6th.”
The letter details Parler’s efforts “to flag and remove unlawful speech from its platform that was not protected by the First Amendment.” It also notes that of the 270 charging documents filed by the Department of Justice, 80 percent of social media references involved Big Tech platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. “Only 5% referred to Parler.”
Ford has agreed to turn it’s cars into data streams for Google. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
For generations Ford worked closely with Firestone, which not only provided the tires installed on new Fords but also developed them to work with specific Ford vehicles. That relationship soured in the late ‘90s, when Ford – and Firestone – got very publicly Johnnie Cochran’d over Ford Explorer SUVs sometimes rolling over while being driven on Firestone Wilderness A/T tires.
To this day, debate rages over whether the rolling over was caused chiefly by subpar Firestone tires, under-inflated subpar Firestone tires, rollover-prone Ford Explorers, or reckless Explorer drivers. It was probably all of these elements to one degree or another, acting in concert.
CEO Jim Farley made the announcement recently that Ford will be using Google tech already built into all of its new cars to “provide new revenue opportunities” – which translates as monetize the data streamed by the vehicle.
Google has a stranglehold on the digital ad market (SLL’s ads are provided by WordPress). From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:
So now we have another gutting, this time at the HuffPost, and omertà reigns.
This kind of thing – news publications with lots of traffic gutting their staff because they’ve been losing tons of money – has been happening for years, and these publishers and the media outlets that report on it are under some kind of omertà, and aren’t talking about what is actually causing the losses that trigger the gutting. So now we have another gutting, this time at the HuffPost, and omertà reigns.
BuzzFeed – which acquired the HuffPost last November from Verizon, which had acquired it as part of its 2015 acquisition of AOL, which had acquired the Huffington Post, as it was called then, in 2011 – announced on Tuesday that it has laid off 45 HuffPost reporters, editors, and producers, and that HuffPost Canada will be shut down entirely. In addition, two executive editors resigned over the deal. So 47 people gone.
BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti, one of the cofounders of the Huffington Post in 2005, told employees at the virtual meeting where the gutting was announced that HuffPost’s “losses last year exceeded $20 million, and would be similar this year without intervention. Though BuzzFeed is a profitable company, we don’t have the resources to support another two years of losses.”
In 2018, representatives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google were instructed on the US Senate floor that it is their responsibility to “quell information rebellions” and adopt a “mission statement” expressing their commitment to “prevent the fomenting of discord.”
“Civil wars don’t start with gunshots, they start with words,” the representatives were told.
“America’s war with itself has already begun. We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America.”
And now, 3 years later, all the ‘behind the scenes’ nods and winks are gone and conspiracy theories proved fact as Reuters reports The White House has been reaching out to social media companies including Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s Google about clamping down on COVID misinformation and getting their help to stop it from going viral, a senior administration official said.
Silicon Valley is ready, willing, and able to ban anyone who poses a competitive threat to statist ideology in the marketplace of ideas. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:
In the last three months, tech giants have censored political speech and journalism to manipulate U.S. politics, while liberals, with virtual unanimity, have cheered.
Critics of Silicon Valley censorship for years heard the same refrain: tech platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter are private corporations and can host or ban whoever they want. If you don’t like what they are doing, the solution is not to complain or to regulate them. Instead, go create your own social media platform that operates the way you think it should.
The founders of Parler heard that suggestion and tried. In August, 2018, they created a social media platform similar to Twitter but which promised far greater privacy protections, including a refusal to aggregate user data in order to monetize them to advertisers or algorithmically evaluate their interests in order to promote content or products to them. They also promised far greater free speech rights, rejecting the increasingly repressive content policing of Silicon Valley giants.
Over the last year, Parler encountered immense success. Millions of people who objected to increasing repression of speech on the largest platforms or who had themselves been banned signed up for the new social media company.
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