Google solidifies link with Pentagon ‘combat support’ agency

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) announced today that it intends to award Google a $27 million sole source contract for visualization technology, the largest known contract between the Internet firm and a national security agency.

As governments tap user data, Google transparency lags

Amidst a surge in governmental requests for private user data, Google’s openness effort is lagging, as the release of Google’s second transparency report shows. The report, released Tuesday, is a welcome sign of the search engine’s commitment to openness, but it is not a big improvement over the initial report last April.

Three reasons to turn off creepy Google Instant (and how to do it)

Google Instant is not for me. When I search, I don’t want Google to know where I am or what I like or to tell me things it thinks I am interested in. I don’t want a for-profit corporation to be what Sergey Brin wants Google to be – “the third half of your brain.”

Rogue engineers flout Google privacy rules

Google has fired an engineer for accessing the user accounts of four minors, according Gawker media. David Barksdale stalked and spied upon the teenagers while working as a Site Reliability Engineer at Google’s Kirkland, WA, office. Google told Tech Crunch this is the second time it has fired an engineer for privacy violations.

If you’re ashamed of what you’ve done, change your name

At a certain point, fabulously successful people can grow fabulously out of touch with the world that the rest of us live in. Think of the late Michael Jackson. Think the hedge fund manager who was surprised that people were offended by his $3 million birthday party.

Google-Verizon blueprint: creeping control of Internet by corporate giants

The Google-Verizon statement on regulating the Internet isn’t business deal, the two companies say. Its a “legislative framework proposal” and a “a path to the open internet.” Web watchers aren’t buying it. It’s an alliance of two companies looking to lock in market advantages with political action.

Google-Verizon talks bring denial and dismay

Reports of a deal between Google and Verizon on “net neutrality’ are generating another public relations backlash against the Internet giant. The agreement, said the New York Times, “could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.

Google’s ties to CIA point up need for transparency

The report in Wired last week about a high-tech firm funded jointly by Google and the CIA, Recorded Future, not only signaled a growing skepticism about the most popular Internet search engine. It also pointed up the dangers of the lack of transparency poses for Google.