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Google Urges Government to Publicize FISA Requests
As Search Giant Fights For Additional Government Transparency
by Karl Bode 05:59PM Tuesday Jun 11 2013
After last' week's PRISM NSA spying scandal, Google, Facebook, Apple and all the other companies named in the leaked project slides conducted a bit of a tap dance performance over whether or not they let the NSA have "direct access" to their servers, or whether they "had ever heard of" an operation named PRISM.

The words were chosen carefully to legally dodge other possibilities, including having NSA hardware on site that first splits then captures user data, something AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein (pdf) claims is common practice at major carriers. Because it's technically NSA hardware, the claim of not allowing "direct access" to servers would remain true.

Google has traditionally fought harder for transparency than other companies, so it's very possible the extent to which the NSA has been able to fully implement gear on network is smaller. Google is prohibited from disclosing the number of requests it gets for data under section 702 of the FISA act, and has been fighting for additional transparency and against National Security Letters and gag orders. Today, Google posted a blog entry saying they've written a letter to the offices of the Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In it, the search giant requests that they be able to publicize the number of national security requests received and how many accounts are impacted in their transparency reports:
quote:
Assertions in the press that our compliance with these requests gives the U.S. government unfettered access to our users’ data are simply untrue. However, government nondisclosure obligations regarding the number of FISA national security requests that Google receives, as well as the number of accounts covered by those requests, fuel that speculation.

We therefore ask you to help make it possible for Google to publish in our Transparency Report aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures—in terms of both the number we receive and their scope. Google’s numbers would clearly show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made. Google has nothing to hide.
Granted Google knows full well that the government very likely won't grant this request, so they win from a PR perspective either way. Disclosing FISA requests for metadata also may not illustrate the full breadth of NSA's capabilities to monitor traffic in real time. If Google has nothing to hide, surely they'll also request the right to detail precisely what kind of hardware the NSA currently has placed on Google's network and exactly what it's doing? Meanwhile, how many companies don't have Google's standards on transparency and allowed the NSA to take things further?

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JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA

Lame...

One "request" could demand their entire DB, so "request" numbers mean nothing. Google's stunt is just that.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4

Re: Lame...

Have to agree.
NSA isn't going to release any detail that point to or away from any active (current or future action) case/orders and they won't detail items that lead no where (yet)
Another Google (appear) to do no evil! ©®

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Evanston, IL

Re: Lame...

Do no evil was never a motto at Google. Why do people keep spreading this stuff?
--
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party

badtrip
I heart the East Bay
Premium
join:2004-03-20
Albany, CA

Re: Lame...

said by ArrayList:

Do no evil was never a motto at Google. Why do people keep spreading this stuff?

Google?

»www.dailytech.com/Googles+Eric+S···1544.htm

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Evanston, IL

Re: Lame...

It was never a company rule. Do a little more research. I get so sick of seeing that dailytech.com article kicked around it's bullshit.
--
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
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Reviews:
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2 edits

Re: Lame...

I get so sick of people who deny reality

It is only in their IPO filing, from the founders as their philosophy, but don't let facts get in the way of a good rant.

said by From the Google IPO, "LETTER FROM THE FOUNDERS, OWNER'S MANUAL FOR GOOGLE’S SHAREHOLDERS" as written by Sergey Brin and Larry Page :
DON'T BE EVIL

Don't be evil.
We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served--as shareholders and in all other ways--by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company.
Meanwhile whether it is throwing the American people or Chinese dissidents under the bus, Google is short term gains over all else.
--
Nocchi rules.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
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Re: Lame...

Why does it matter if it is in the IPO filing?

skeechan
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Re: Lame...

What is any mission statement, philosophy statement or any other public statement? None of it is actually binding but it is supposed to be the words they operate by.

However when it comes to Google, their actions are the opposite of what they claim to stand for.
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ArrayList
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Re: Lame...

I suppose you are right. I just don't think they have done anything Evil or wrong. I also don't think the general public has any business telling a company how to run itself outside their role in the free market.

--
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skeechan
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1 edit

Re: Lame...

General public can tell a company, particularly a company that lies about what it stands for, anything they want
--
Nocchi rules.

tshirt
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said by ArrayList:

Do no evil was never a motto at Google.

Not at all, BUT people/google fanbois (which are rumored to have been people once a upon a time) BELIEVE that is their guiding principal and it is not, only a marketing ploy that has so far worked very well.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
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Evanston, IL
no, one request cannot get google to fork over the entire database. There would be no logical reason for them to do that.
--
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA

Re: Lame...

But one request can make google fork over more than one piece of information, which is the point, so stop being pedantic about it.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
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Re: Lame...

Explain.

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA
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Re: Lame...

said by ArrayList:

Explain.

How is this difficult to understand? A single "request" from the nsa could demand google give them the records of 1 millions users. Google asking the government to release the number of "requests" they have gotten means nothing because of this.

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA

1 edit

Lame

Stupid mobile browser.

JasonOD

@comcast.net

Until google responds to my requests

for what they hell they're doing with MY data, they can STFU. Any guys, this isn't new, remember echelon from about 5 years ago?!?

Except for maybe scoring polical points, it just baffles me why noone cared then but suddenly everyone cares now.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
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Re: Until google responds to my requests

Because back then it was all speculation and conspiracy theory. The world doesn't listen until you have the documents.

ArrayList
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people still don't care.

KodiacZiller
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said by JasonOD :

for what they hell they're doing with MY data, they can STFU. Any guys, this isn't new, remember echelon from about 5 years ago?!?

The ECHELON story was broken in the early 90's. You are thinking of Bush's warrantless wiretapping which was a big story about 5-6 years ago. That program is pretty much the same thing Obama is doing now. Yes, there is some hypocrisy in the media. For instance, some conservatives defended Bush when he did it but now are proclaiming the end of the 4th amendment under Obama. So, yeah your point is taken. I, personally, was not happy about it under Bush and am not happy about it now.

Except for maybe scoring polical points, it just baffles me why noone cared then but suddenly everyone cares now.

A lot of people cared back then. During the 80's, the European parliament heard about ECHELON and conducted an investigation into it (mainly because it was suspected NSA was conducting economic espionage against European companies and passing along trade secrets to U.S. companies). They found out that indeed it was real and that the UK, Aussies, Canada, and NZ had an alliance of spying. You can read their report online.

ECHELON was mainly concerned with international phone calls (back then international calls traveled via satellite so it was actually easy to intercept the calls with ground based satellite dishes). Since ECHELON was mainly aimed at international calls, not a lot of people really cared that much. However, now such programs have been supplanted by programs designed to spy on fiber-optic lines (as was done at AT&T under Bush). Fiber-optic lines do not emit much radiation, thus you have to tap the line directly with your own equipment. This is why NSA needs the telcos help.

The problem with these programs now is that they no longer target only international stuff. Due to the fact that much of the Internet backbone travels through America, they have to tap lines here at home in order to get "foreign" intelligence. This means they are scooping up the data of Americans along with everyone else.

And no, this is not new. A lot of more technically inclined people have understood this was most likely going on, especially since 911. Mark Klein broke the AT&T story (he worked for AT&T). William Binney came forward a few years ago discussing how he and his team at NSA had designed a program to allow foreign surveillance of the Internet without affecting U.S. citizens. He was basically told to go fuck himself because NSA wanted all the data. So they scraped his program and hired outside contractors to come in and design it (code word Trailblazer). It costed billions of dollars and never was completed. So he went public, was raided by the FBI, arrested, threatened, etc.

Now this latest program PRISM just appears to be a mere extension of what Trailblazer was designed to do. Those of us who have kept up with the NSA whistle-blowers like Klein and Binney are not surprised by this latest revelation at all.
--
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CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
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In other words...

These websites have seen a reduction in traffic and people deleting their accounts as a result of last week's revelation. 'Please NSA, tell the public it isn't true... we are losing valuable consumer data as a result of this!'

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
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Evanston, IL

Re: In other words...

you're nuts if you think people are deleting their google account over this.
--
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tshirt
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join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
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Re: In other words...

said by ArrayList:

you're nuts if you think people are deleting their google account over this.

Some will, and then deposit all their worldly aspersions in Facebook or twitter or what ever the next gimmick is without recognizing the same rules and weaknesses apply.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Evanston, IL

Re: In other words...

I can't say that I feel sorry for them. The Internet is not a secure or Private network. Assume anything that goes on it is unprotected.
--
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party

meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

Would anyone believe it anyway?

With the revelations that Mr. Clapper LIED to the Congressional oversite committee, why would we expect the NSA to tell the public the truth?

Unless some very high up people in this government are tried and imprisoned for the numerous crimes and conspiracies (just like they are always so happy to do to us lowly citizens), this government cannot be believed to be a legitimate government that follows the law. Our allies in Europe are already starting to take a long look at exactly what data they are willing to share with the U.S. Government.
--
"when the people have suffered many abuses under the control of a totalitarian leader, they not only have the right but the duty to overthrow that government." - The U.S. Declaration of Independence

stasi

@bahnhof.se

Transparency


nOv1c3

join:2006-11-08
Whitney, TX
kudos:1

Google

Don't forget Eric Schmidt and google have been in bed with this admin from the start , They help get Obama elected , You cant trust this company , I stopped using any of there services a long time ago , Only way you going to make a change in there practice is to stop using there services , Hit them where it hurts in the pocket $$$
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: Google

But you use a website that actually uses Google for services???