Author Archives | Margot Williams

Google solidifies link with Pentagon ‘combat support’ agency

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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.

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As governments tap user data, Google transparency lags

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

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.

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

Monday, September 20, 2010

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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.”

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Rogue engineers flout Google privacy rules

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

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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.

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Google as Pentagon contractor

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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Google as Pentagon contractor

Google’s emergence as a major defense contractor was underscored last week when the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency tweaked its Aug. 20 announcement of a sole-source contract to the search giant for visualization services.

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Google loses its mojo

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

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Google loses its mojo

Three Web pundits are asking: is the quality of the Google’s search product declining? These are not the defensive gripes of traditional journalists lamenting the demise of the newspaper business model. These are New Media partisans who say the quality of the Google search experience is declining.

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

Friday, August 20, 2010

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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.

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Is new tablet computer tied to Google-Verizon deal?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Is new tablet computer tied to Google-Verizon deal?

When Google and Verizon (G-V) announced their “joint policy framework” on net neutrality, the search giant denied its new position had been shaped by its alliance with the telecom giant.

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Did Google-Verizon deal scuttle a better Web plan?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Did Google-Verizon deal scuttle a better Web plan?

The New York Times reported Monday that Google and Verizon reached their agreement on managing the Internet just as the Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to forge “a stronger agreement” were close to succeeding.

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Google’s net neutrality case fails to convince

Friday, August 13, 2010

Google’s net neutrality case fails to convince

As protests against Google’s changing position on net neutrality mount online (here, here and here) and at the company’s Mountain View campus, it’s worth parsing the search giant’s official response.

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

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

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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.

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Google-Verizon talks bring denial and dismay

Thursday, August 5, 2010

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.

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Google’s ties to CIA point up need for transparency

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

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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.

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