Pando

Yasha Levine

  1. Google and encryption: why true user privacy is Google's biggest enemy

    After hamming it up at a fireless "fireside chat" last week in Davos, Google chairman Eric Schmidt talked to the Wall Street Journal about encryption, privacy and government surveillance. He told the paper that Google is developing encryption technology that will prevent the NSA and other intrusive governments like China from spying on Google users, and estimated that it would make its services surveillance-proof "within the next decade."

    By Yasha Levine , written on

    From the News desk

  2. Obama is right: privatizing metadata storage would be a nightmare

    On December 12, 2013, the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies issued a report on domestic NSA surveillance, and offered a list of 46 recommendations for reform. Perhaps the most controversial was recommendation #5, proposing that the NSA and other government intelligence agencies outsource the storage of metadata to private third-parties: We recommend that legislation should be enacted that terminates the storage of bulk telephony meta-data by the government under section 215, and transitions as soon as reasonably possible to a system in which such meta-data is held instead either by private providers or by a private third party. Access to such data should be permitted only with a section 215 order from the Foreign Intellience [sic] Surveillance Court that meets the requirements set forth in Recommendation 1. In last week's address to the nation, President Barack Obama promised to act on the reforms suggested by the NSA review panel, but he wavered on recommendation #5.

    By Yasha Levine , written on

    From the News desk

  3. Undercover Googlers Defend Surveillance Valley

    Googlers -- that is, people who work for Google -- are some of the most brainwashed techies I know. They can be smart, decent people, of course, but most have so thoroughly soaked their brains in Google's techno-utopian horseshit that they've become completely incapable of processing any criticism of their employer. Challenge the Goodness of Google, and they either block it out and ignore, or go into deep denial. It's a sad thing to observe, and it affects many.

    By Yasha Levine , written on

    From the News desk

  4. Privacy advocates freak out at Google's Nest acquisition. What took them so long?

    Yesterday, Google announced its acquisition of Nest Labs — the company behind those "smart" Internet-connected thermostats. And it took only a few hours for the press to start buzzing with articles and blog posts warning us about the danger to privacy posed by Google's entry into the "Internet of Things."

    By Yasha Levine , written on

    From the News desk

  5. Surveillance Valley scammers! Why hack our data when you can just buy it?

    For those of us concerned about how private technology companies use our data, the last few weeks of 2013 provided a couple of "I told you so" moments.

    By Yasha Levine , written on

    From the News desk

  6. Rentacops on desktops: Edward Snowden's dismissal of Surveillance Valley is wrong, and dangerous

    There's been no shortage of dissection and parsing of Edward Snowden's interview with the Washington Post's Barton Gellman.

    By Yasha Levine , written on

    From the News desk

  7. What Surveillance Valley knows about you

    "In 2012, the data broker industry generated 150 billion in revenue that’s twice the size of the entire intelligence budget of the United States government—all generated by the effort to detail and sell information about our private lives." — Senator Jay Rockefeller IV

    By Yasha Levine , written on

    From the News desk

  8. Google's for-profit surveillance problem

    "We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about."

    By Yasha Levine , written on

    From the News desk

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