• google-in-bed-w-mercenaries-n-military

    Cato Institute writer defends Google’s projection of US “soft power” overseas. I wonder why…

    It’s been a year now since Edward Snowden leaked the NSA docs, and the fallout continues to make a lot of libertarian heads hurt. Take Marcy Wheeler, briefly of Pierre Omidyar’s The Intercept. Wheeler has been a constant critic of American Empire, and the military and surveillance apparatus that sustains it. She’s so fiercely against this power-hungry security machine that she’s even argued that TSA airport checkpoints are nothing but a sadistic big government ploy to keep Americans in their check through groping and “junk-touching.”…
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    The Pig Punisher: Building drones to fight devious crop-devouring hogs

    Drones. Amazon delivery drones. Google balloon WiFi drones. Facebook high altitude drones. Video drones downed by cheering LA Kings fans. Hobby drones buzzing over the beach just down the street from my house. Drones. They are everywhere and breeding like rabbits. And down in Nashville, two southern tech guys are working to develop the Pig Punisher, a drone with a badass name that actually aims to solve a real world agricultural problem that’s also breeding like rabbits:…
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    Google works with “former military operations people” to develop its WiFi drone army…

    A few days ago, Wired’s Steven Levy wrote about the latest developments from Google’s Project Loon — an audacious and frightening attempt to launch a balloon-drone army high up in the atmosphere. The plan is to create nothing less than a global WiFi network, powered by hundreds of balloons circling the globe at an altitude of 60,000 ft. Google envisions Loon delivering (and surveilling) Internet connectivity to the poor, rural unconnected masses around the world, not to mention filling in Internet/mobile dead spots in Silicon Valley’s own backyard.…
  • Al_Gore_MG_9756_crop_w

    Al Gore says Silicon Valley is a “stalker economy”

    Sarah Lacy kicked off the Nashville Southland Conference on Tuesday morning by interviewing former vice president Al Gore. I was in the audience listening to the interview and was surprised and impressed with his willingness to address serious tech-related issues head on. He called NSA’s mass surveillance operations unconstitutional, quoted from James Bamford’s book “The Puzzle Palace,” criticized the ongoing push to privatize public education and repeatedly talked about America’s yawning wealth inequality and the hijacking of its political system by the…
  • reset-the-net

    Reset the Net wants to end NSA snooping, is fine with Google snooping

    Yesterday was “Reset the Net Day“: a day for netizens to band together to stand up to the evils of big brother surveillance. The virtual direct action campaign was organized by Fight for the Future, a group that organized the online anti-SOPA initiative back in 2012. According to organizers, the event had the support of the “Internet’s largest sites” — including WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, Mozilla, Google, CloudFlare. A bunch of Silicon Valley groups backed the action too,…
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    Bad news for whistleblowers. Secret is far less secret than you think

    In this post-Snowden world of ours, privacy isn’t so much an ideal as a marketing gimmick. So it didn’t come as a surprise in early 2014 — about six months after Edward Snowden leaked his NSA files —when two ex-Googlers launched Secret, a mobile app that they promised would revolutionize the way people talked online. The key: anonymity.

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    Ruh Ro. How the Valley’s favorite politician may be foiled by a Hindu supremacist banned from the US

    …and who just got elected Prime Minister of India. When I first began covering the Congressional race between Mike Honda and Ro Khanna, the drama was fairly straightforward: A popular old school Democratic incumbent being challenged from within his own party by a young upstart with the backing of the richest and most powerful plutocrats in Silicon Valley. The two candidates were battling for some of the most fertile soil in Silicon Valley: A congressional district that’s home to tech megacorps…
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    EFF defends the right of neo Nazis to spew hate… unless it’s bad for business

    Last week, Twitter “micro-censored” two accounts at the request of the Russian government — accounts that were associated with Ukraine’s Right Sector, an armed neo-fascist paramilitary group that played a central role in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych last winter. The group is now involved in deadly freelance combat operations in east Ukraine. As I wrote at the time, these two accounts contained tweets that made calls to armed violence, gloated about the deaths of anti-Kiev rebels and glorified terrorists involved in gruesome attacks on Russian soil, including Moscow.…
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    Twitter “micro-censors” Ukrainian neo-nazi accounts at Russia’s request

    Last weekend, Russia’s telecom regulator Roskomnadzor filed two takedown requests with Twitter Inc to block accounts associated with Right Sector, a Ukrainian neo-nazi militia that played a central role in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 and is currently fighting in east Ukraine. In the takedown requests, which were published on ChillingEffects.org, Russia accuses Twitter users “@PravyjSektorRus” and “@John_Wayne_007” of extremism and inciting violence — and demands that Twitter remove the offending accounts/material in accordance with a Russian law that bans…
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    Russia is driving out Visa and Mastercard, creating huge opportunity for domestic tech companies

    It hasn’t been a good year for Western tech in Russia. First came Snowden whose NSA leaks confirmed Russia’s fears and spurred a clampdown on American Internet companies operating within its borders. Then came the Ukrainian clusterfuck and the series of mini-sanctions forbidding American companies from dealing with some Russian banks and Putin’s oligarch chums. The neocon master tacticians who run President Obama foreign policy thought the  sanctions would begin erode Putin’s support among his business-oligarch base. After all, these oligarchs have…

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