Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wi-Spy: Is Google Watching You?

37 state Attorneys General are demanding answers from Google after the company sucked up 600 gigabytes of data from open Wi-Fi networks as it snapped pictures for Google Maps. Google claims it was just an accident. Well then, as Google contracts more extensively with the federal government, why are the FBI and the DEA making extensive use of Google Earth? What are Google’s ties with the intelligence agencies?

Apparently, fairly significant.

From Wired: Exclusive: Google, CIA Invest in ‘Future’ of Web Monitoring

The investment arms of the CIA and Google are both backing a company that monitors the web in real time — and says it uses that information to predict the future.

The company is called Recorded Future, and it scours tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to find the relationships between people, organizations, actions and incidents — both present and still-to-come. In a white paper, the company says its temporal analytics engine “goes beyond search” by “looking at the ‘invisible links’ between documents that talk about the same, or related, entities and events.”

The idea is to figure out for each incident who was involved, where it happened and when it might go down. Recorded Future then plots that chatter, showing online “momentum” for any given event.
So let FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski know you want the FCC to take action on net neutrality. His e-mail is Julius.Genachowski@fcc.gov.

His views on Net Neutrality:
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Genachowski showed his support for net neutrality, which basically means equal access to the Internet for all Web site providers. In a blog post, Genachowski wrote “Open Government. Open Networks. Open Markets.”Genachowski, Julius, "The Obama Tech & Innovation Plan," Change.gov blog, Dec. 8, 2007

The net neutrality debate centers on the Internet providers wanting to charge fees for use of their cable lines. Such fees would determine how fast a Web site downloads and could significantly affect the user experience. While content providers fiercely oppose these fees, Internet providers argue that the fees would actually give consumers better services like easier and crisper Internet telephone calls.http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,188930,00.html

Genachowski said very little else on net neutrality during the campaign, but he quickly let his feelings be known once he joined the FCC. In Sept. 2009, Genachowski proposed two rules that would solidify the stance that Internet providers can't charge or discriminate by using download speeds. The rules are:

1. Broad band providers can't discriminate against any Internet content or application.
2. Internet providers must be open about their network-managment.Richman, Dan, "Wireless carriers uneasy about ‘Net neutrality,’" MSNBC, Oct. 6, 2009

These rules would apply, even if the consumer was accessing the Internet through a wireless device.
Links:
 
Google WIFI snafu

Google can be trusted to respect the privacy

Recorded Futures 

2 comments:

Anonymous,  20:32  

You do realize you're using a google platform to post against Google, don't you?

Did you ever think of changing? I think you should.

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