Why did Google suppress auto-complete for “Clinton Body Count”?

Why did Google suppress the search suggestion for “Clinton Body Count”?

Notice that Google omits every single prediction. Why is this? According to Google, all the Google search predictions are built off of user search data.

According to Google’s public statements, if there isn’t a search prediction then it’s because there is no one searching for that term. This would be fine and dandy if it weren’t for Google’s other service: trends.google.com which shows the real search traffic.

Continued: Why did Google suppress auto-complete for “Clinton Body Count”?

Today’s Schools Are Yesterday’s Streetcars: How Technology Will Transform Education

“Like the streetcar and horse-and-buggy, institutional schooling will become a cultural relic, a quaint reminder of yesteryear. We will realize that non-coercive, technology-enabled, self-directed education in collaboration with others results in better, more meaningful, more enduring learning than its institutional predecessors can offer. We will realize that we can be educated without being schooled. Indeed, the future is here.”

‘In his award-winning TED Talk, Newcastle University professor Sugata Mitra explained how children teach themselves without institutional schooling.

Mitra calls this approach “minimally invasive education” and concludes in his talk:

If you allow the educational process to self-organize, then learning emerges. It’s not about making learning happen. It’s about letting it happen.

Thanks to technology, we adults now see this learning emerge all the time in our own lives. It can be the same for our children…’

Continued: Today’s Schools Are Yesterday’s Streetcars: How Technology Will Transform Education

Researchers Find Google Play Store Apps Were Actually Government Malware

‘Security researchers have found a new kind of government malware that was hiding in plain sight within apps on Android’s Play Store. And they appear to have uncovered a case of lawful intercept gone wrong.

The spyware apps were discovered and studied in a joint investigation by researchers from Security Without Borders, a non-profit that often investigates threats against dissidents and human rights defenders, and Motherboard. The researchers published a detailed, technical report of their findings on Friday…

“This, from the point of view of legal surveillance, is insane,” the agent told Motherboard. “Opening up security holes and leaving them available to anyone is crazy and senseless, even before being illegal”…’

Continued: Researchers Find Google Play Store Apps Were Actually Government Malware

Jeff Bezos Protests the Invasion of His Privacy, as Amazon Builds a Sprawling Surveillance State for Everyone Else

One of the world’s greatest privacy invaders just had his privacy invaded

Amazon, the company that has made Bezos the planet’s richest human being, is a critical partner for the U.S. Government in building an ever-more invasive, militarized and sprawling surveillance state. Indeed, one of the largest components of Amazon’s business, and thus one of the most important sources of Bezos’ vast wealth and power, is working with the Pentagon and the NSA to empower the U.S. Government with more potent and more sophisticated weapons, including surveillance weapons.

In December, 2017, Amazon boasted that it had perfected new face-recognition software for crowds, which it called Rekognition. It explained that the product is intended, in large part, for use by governments and police forces around the world. The ACLU quickly warned that the product is “dangerous” and that Amazon “is actively helping governments deploy it.”

“Powered by artificial intelligence,” wrote the ACLU, “Rekognition can identify, track, and analyze people in real time and recognize up to 100 people in a single image. It can quickly scan information it collects against databases featuring tens of millions of faces.” The group warned: “Amazon’s Rekognition raises profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns.” In a separate advisory, the ACLU said of this face-recognition software that Amazon’s “marketing materials read like a user manual for the type of authoritarian surveillance you can currently see in China…”

Continue reading: Jeff Bezos Protests the Invasion of His Privacy, as Amazon Builds a Sprawling Surveillance State for Everyone Else

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

‘For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews…

Mark Zuckerberg At Hearings
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, at a Senate hearing in April. Internal Facebook records describe data-sharing deals that benefited more than 150 companies.

Facebook “allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages…”

Continued: As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown

“It’s very hard to change people’s minds, especially when so many are already committed partisans.”

A book about “Fake News” was displayed last November by a supporter of Roy Moore, who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in Alabama.

“How easy is it to change people’s votes in an election?

The answer, a growing number of studies conclude, is that most forms of political persuasion seem to have little effect at all…

…Those who want to combat online misinformation should take steps based on evidence and data, not hype or speculation.”

Continued: Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown

Surveillance Cameras Can Identify Anyone by “Talking to Their Cellphones”

Surveillance cameras will soon be able to identify everyone by “talking” to their cell phones thanks to research by a university with ties to the federal surveillance state.

“This system basically allows surveillance cameras to talk to the public through their individual phones,” Purdue University doctoral student Siyuan Cao said.

As the video illustrates, soon nowhere will be safe from Big Brother’s prying eyes.

Purdue University’s SIMBA Labs has developed a camera-to-human surveillance program called PHADE otherwise known as Private Human Addressing … To call PHADE a privacy nightmare really does not do it justice…

Continue reading: Surveillance Cameras Can Identify Anyone by “Talking to Their Cellphones”

Tim Cook: Personal data collection is being “weaponized against us with military efficiency”

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Personal data collection is being 'weaponized against us with military efficiency'

“We shouldn’t sugarcoat the consequences. This is surveillance. And these stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them”, Cook said. “This should make us very uncomfortable. It should unsettle us.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook blasted Silicon Valley tech companies and their abuse of user privacy in a keynote address at a privacy conference in Brussels Wednesday, saying personal information is being “weaponized against us with military efficiency.”

  • Apple and its CEO have long touted personal privacy, distancing themselves from recent, growing scandals among tech companies — but the comments from Cook are some of the strongest to date.
  • CEO Tim Cook said the business of selling ads against personal data has become a “data industrial complex” and stopped just short of naming tech giants like Facebook and Google in his criticisms.

Source: Tim Cook: Personal data collection is being ‘weaponized against us with military efficiency’

“Five Eyes” Wants Access to Every Electronic Device

According to an article in the National Post the Five Eyes intelligence network is demanding tech companies provide a back-door into all electronic devices.

“Canada joined its intelligence allies recently in demanding that technology companies co-operate with law enforcement agencies in allowing access to encrypted communications.”

Five Yyes (FVEY) is an intelligence alliance including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.

Although similar requests for co-operation have been made in the past, that “is the most aggressive call we’ve seen,” said Tamir Israel, a lawyer at the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.

The big change, according to Israel, is that governments are now saying “fix it for us or we will fix it for you.” That’s led to concerns among privacy experts that the government will try to legislate a requirement for tech companies to build backdoors for law enforcement.

Letting multi-national intelligence agencies have access to every electronic device can and will be abused.

Giving law enforcement access to electronic devices is a bad idea

Man sues over Google’s “Location History” fiasco, case could affect millions

If “Location History” was off, Google said it didn’t keep data—but that’s not true.

Google is facing new scrutiny in the wake of revelations that it stores users’ location data even when “Location History” is turned off.

Last Friday, Google quietly edited its description of the practice on its own website—while continuing said practice—to clarify that “some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps…”

Story: Man sues over Google’s “Location History” fiasco, case could affect millions

Google Staff Tell Bosses China Censorship is “Moral and Ethical” Crisis

Communist China GoogleGoogle is facing mounting pressure inside and outside the company over its plans for a censored search engine in China.

GOOGLE EMPLOYEES ARE demanding answers from the company’s leadership amid growing internal protests over plans to launch a censored search engine in China.

Staff inside the internet giant’s offices have agreed that the censorship project raises “urgent moral and ethical issues” and have circulated a letter saying so, calling on bosses to disclose more about the company’s work in China, which they say is shrouded in too much secrecy, according to three sources with knowledge of the matter…

Cynthia Wong, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, is one of the representatives on the GNI’s board of directors. Wong told The Intercept that Google “owes the Chinese people an explanation of how the firm can launch Dragonfly without being conscripted into human rights abuses.”

Continued: Google Staff Tell Bosses China Censorship is “Moral and Ethical” Crisis

Google tracks users who turn off location

The study found that users had to turn off another setting in order to disable location being recorded
The study found that users had to turn off another setting in order to disable location being recorded

A study from Associated Press suggests that users are still tracked even if they turn off location history.

Google records users’ locations even when they have asked it not to, a report from the Associated Press has suggested.

The issue could affect up to two billion Android and Apple devices which use Google for maps or search.

The study, verified by researchers at Princeton University, has angered US law-makers…

The study found that users’ whereabouts are recorded even when location history has been disabled.

For example:

  • Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you open the Maps app
  • Automatic weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where a user is
  • Searches that have nothing to do with location pinpoint precise longitude and latitude of users

Technology firms are under fire for not being clear about privacy settings and how to use them. In June, a report from the Norwegian Consumer Council found evidence that privacy-friendly options are hidden away or obscured.

Continue reading: Google tracks users who turn off location