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[edited by: tedster at 6:23 pm (utc) on Aug 7, 2011]
Google is more of the common person's champion
A June article detailed how Google publishes the estimated locations of millions of iPhones, laptops and Wi-Fi connections, a revelation that led security consultant Ashkan Soltani to condlue that Google made these unique hardware IDs–called MAC addresses–publicly available through a Web interface—for their own purporses.
– Google’s close ties with the Obama White House have raised concerns about possible special treatment or conflicts of interest at the Department of Homeland Security, the US Patent & Trademark Office, the Federal Communications Commission and NASA.
– Officials at both DHS and the FCC have raised pointed concerns about weak privacy protections in Google products and whether Google’s well-documented difficulties with privacy protection could create big problems for federal agencies that use its services.
– A secretive relationship with the National Security Agency. The search giant has a legitimate need to cooperate with the government’s mammoth and secretive code breaking agency in its efforts to defend the integrity of U.S. computer networks. But NSA also has legal power to force Google to hand over the private information of its users. How Google executives handle this potentially conflicted relationship is largely unknown: neither Google nor the NSA are talking.
Now, just recently, a Federal Judge has determined that a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed to reveal the intelligence connection between the NSA and Google can not go forward.
A federal judge has ordered that whether Google is spying for National Security Agency or not, you have no right to know.
"The NSA need not disclose 'the organization or any function of the National Security Agency, [or] any information with respect to the activities thereof,'" U.S. District Judged Richard Leon has ordered.
"EPIC had sought documents under the FOIA because such an agreement [between Google and NSA] could reveal that the NSA is developing technical standards that would enable greater surveillance of Internet users," the organization explained.
"The [response] to neither confirm nor deny is a controversial legal doctrine that allows agencies to conceal the existence of records that might otherwise be subject to public disclosure," the group said. "EPIC plans to appeal this decision."
[edited by: tedster at 11:05 pm (utc) on Aug 13, 2011]
[edit reason] add the links for attribution [/edit]
[edited by: tedster at 2:20 am (utc) on Aug 10, 2011]