Google's High Rate In Granting U.S. Access to Gmail Users' Accounts -
Google is fourteen.
Trust a fourteen-year-old to keep a watchful eye over anything — a younger sibling, or their allowance, for that matter — and the chances of it being as you left it are slim to none.
So, when it was reported last week that the world’s most ubiquitous tweenager was solicited with “7,969 requests for Gmail and other Google data in the first six months of 2012” — we didn’t stand a chance; getting our information without a subpoena was easier than getting One Direction tickets.
And just like that all too giddy groupie at a One Direction concert
“Google complied either fully or partially 90% of the time with the US government’s requests.” Oh, to be fourteen and foolish again.
Indiscriminate taste withstanding, freely giving away our emails, is not a crime. The protections guaranteed to us by Constitution protects us against unwarranted GOVERNMENTAL intrusion — and as more and more of our lives are pushed online, the bone then we have to pick isn’t with that pissant little fourteen year old after all, it’s with the government.
After all what did we think Google was? Some public trust — generously storing silos of our data for free until we need them without asking for any compensation whatsoever? Well, I yeah, I guess we kinda all thought so.
Same thing with Wikipedia, and Facebook, and Wikipedia and the sea of other platforms that this new free networked generation has mortgaged its promise on. We are in the process of pushing the lion’s share of our civilization’s out onto the tender shoots of one of its new branch.
Consider: it took the internet less than 10 years to kill the Britannica Encyclopedia (up until that point, the largest reference volume of in the English language; in existence for 244-years). Though I digress, these companies are businesses at the end of the day, so if we are surprised that they might not have our best interests at heart, maybe it’s us who are the naive ones.
So naive to think that when Uncle Sam tries to stick up little 14-year-old Google for his lunch money we needn’t cause a ruckus; Uncle Sam is 236. He should know better, anyways.
If anything we should be spoiling for this fight. We pay our bills online —hell, draft our thoughts in our inboxes and write to screens we wouldn’t tell our closest blood relative and to think Google’s giving this all away for a wink and a smile.
Come to think of it though, when does is smile toting as much legal brawn behind it as the US Justice Department does benign? Never, right? With Antitrust cases looming somewhere inevitably in Google’s future, Uncle Sam is in a pretty serendipitous place when it comes for asking for help. This seems to this undergrad unconstitutional :
That they have not obtained the proper legal recourse
1) being a warrant from a Judge and
2) in not supply probable cause for these requests…
If I thought for a second that I as an undergraduate could even begin to suggest policy to the US Council’s Office that they had not thought of — I wouldn’t be writing this blog! HA!
They’ve thought about it.
And done thought it best, for whatever reason, to do otherwise…
So, maybe there’s a reason why Google thought it was time to released these findings themselves as they took toi their Frequently Asked Questions page recently to do (though some important information is missing).
But here in lies Google’s slyness. In releasing this information to the public the begin the slow path to an “expectation of privacy”… maybe someone somewhere will read it or read this…make a claim in court and voilà my friends, the next Katz v. United States could be you!
Court Upholds Domestic Drone Use In Arrest Of American Citizen -
Prison Has Inmates Ride Bull For Chance At Freedom -
Cruel and Unusual Punishment much?
Does the Fourth Amendment cover 'the cloud'? -
Google fined for illegally monitoring users who do not let them search their Safai browser history. -
Cartoon of the night by Frank Cotham. For more: http://nyr.kr/MTK1vq
Who needs search and seizure laws when your reasonable expectation of privacy is in these trusty hands.
Facebook loves to talk about ‘sharing,’ but that hardly seems to be its business strategy. What Facebook wants is control. It’s like a giant castle with high walls and a deep moat — and spies everywhere. — Nicholas Carr, from his blog Rough Type
Facebook has always been in the business of sharing—no surprise—but it was a surprise to those diehard users that in the weeks after its IPO announcement that its business model seemed to reflect a sharing of your personal information with big business rather than helping you keep in contact with your best.
For seven years facebook lay dormant, culling from every click, every like, and every scrap of personal minutiae the very gold that fortune five companies use tailor their marketing campaigns to their consumers. In those seven years, while Facebook amassed credibility as an egalitarian public trust—one altruistically changing the way we humans communication, it was merely waiting to unleash one of the most gargantuan data set the modern world has ever known. Even if it wasn’t their plan from its inception they have brought us to a crossroads. They say that any data they sell will be ‘anonymized’ but what about data they give freely?
If Uncle Sam comes knocking with probable cause tucked in his jacket pocket, this data repository could become a problem when it collides head on with our reasonable expectation of privacy.
Facebook is not a public commons, what they do with the information we willfully place on their serves ultimately their business. Because of this precarious disconnect between perception and reality we as always need to be ever vigilant lest they, while we sleep, “place shackles on sleeping men.”
His poetry opened one of the doors in my heart that had been closed since childhood. I agreed to see him, and we began going out. Together we nurtured a common language. I began to understand that poetry did not have to be from England or of an English that was always lonesome for its homeland in Europe. In his poems were his pueblo and his people, our love and the love for justice. The English language was pleased to occupy new forms. —
Excerpt from Crazy Brave by
“Together we nurtured a common language”—in reading some of the best Supreme Court decisions where the Justice has made the words rise to the occasion and spoke about something worth fighting for, I feel like the person writing the words and I have nurtured and care for a common language, a common love for words…and more importantly what words represent. More then memoir, or some story I can’t think of anything more important than using language in the service of establishing the rights of man, or vindicating the rights of an innocent one.
I enjoyed this post and think its funny how something so unrelated can make you think about something so specific when written well. Thanks Norton for posting this.