FBI 'secretly spying' on Google users, company reveals

Discussion in 'The Bar' started by HS Cult Leader, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. HS Cult Leader

    HS Cult Leader Elite Member Gold

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    [h=1]FBI 'secretly spying' on Google users, company reveals[/h] Published March 06, 2013
    FoxNews.com





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    The FBI used National Security Letters -- a form of surveillance that privacy watchdogs call “frightening and invasive†-- to surreptitiously seek information on Google users, the web giant has just revealed.
    Google’s disclosure is “an unprecedented win for transparency,†privacy experts said Wednesday. But it’s just one small step forward.
    “Serious concerns and questions remain about the use of NSLs,†the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Dan Auerbach and Eva Galperin wrote. For one thing, the agency issued 16,511 National Security Letters in 2011, the last year for which data was available. But Google was gagged from saying just how many letters it received -- leaving key questions unanswered.
    “The terrorists apparently would win if Google told you the exact number of times the Federal Bureau of Investigation invoked a secret process to extract data about the media giant’s customers,†Wired’s David Kravets wrote. He described the FBI's use of NSLs as a way of "secretly spying" on Google's customers.
    National Security Letters are a means for the FBI to obtain information on people from telecommunications companies, authorized by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and expanded under the Patriot Act. It lets the agency seek information on a subscriber to a wire or electronic communications service, although not things like the content of their emails or search queries, Google said.
    And thanks to secrecy constraints built into NSLs, companies that receive them usually aren’t even allowed to acknowledge the request for information. Citing such extreme secrecy, privacy experts have decried the use of these letters in the past.
    “Of all the dangerous government surveillance powers that were expanded by the USA PATRIOT Act, the National Security Letter (NSL) power … is one of the most frightening and invasive,†the EFF wrote. “These letters … allow the FBI to secretly demand data about ordinary American citizens' private communications and Internet activity without any meaningful oversight or prior judicial review.â€
    Thanks to negotiations with the government, Google finally opened the smallest chink in the armor, allowing the search giant to reveal the fact that it had received these requests for data, as well as some general information about them.
    “Visit our page on user data requests in the U.S. and you’ll see, in broad strokes, how many NSLs for user data Google receives, as well as the number of accounts in question,†Richard Salgado, Google’s legal director of law enforcement and information security, wrote in a Tuesday blog post.
    A new table posted to Google’s Transparency Report site outlines the details; it tabulates how many requests for information the company has received over each of the past four years: some undisclosed number between 0 and 999. With those NSLs, the FBI sought information on somewhere between 1,000 and 1,999 users/accounts.
    “People don’t always use our services for good, and it’s important that law enforcement be able to investigate illegal activity,†Salgado wrote.
    No other technology company presently disclose such basic information about government requests, experts noted.
     
  2. KillVampires

    KillVampires Racist Banned User

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    This is nothing. During the Cold War and the Red Scare the FBI was listening in to everyone's phone calls and intercepting everyone's mail. Now it has moved into the digital era. Cell phone intercepting. Email intercepting. Text messages. It's almost always used for illegal reasons like the government blackmailing someone or using information for political leverage. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
     
  3. DaBUU

    DaBUU Active Member

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    Google is owned by the government. No gmail account for me.
     
  4. ohmicah

    ohmicah Real Gad About Town

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  5. FlaFlaFlunkie

    FlaFlaFlunkie Fabulous!

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    Yeah. Because GOOGLE'S DOING THAT. :jj:
     
  6. FlaFlaFlunkie

    FlaFlaFlunkie Fabulous!

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    Anyone who uses a cell phone and cries about it not being private is an idiot.

    Even before cell phones, we knew that baby monitors could pick up your home, cordless telephone.

    It's a fucking RADIO, people. :jj:

    The email and texting is a different story. That's hella bullshit.
     
  7. stripes

    stripes Active Member Banned User

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    thanks obama
     
  8. FlaFlaFlunkie

    FlaFlaFlunkie Fabulous!

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    I'm fine with it.

    :secret: (when I sign up for access to gay porn sites, I use either my gmail or hotmail address. Let 'em look.) :jj:
     
  9. Smiles

    Smiles Member

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    Jenna Marbles??
     
  10. FlaFlaFlunkie

    FlaFlaFlunkie Fabulous!

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  11. ohmicah

    ohmicah Real Gad About Town

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    Haven't you heard? Only terrorists, drug dealers and people with something to hide would use cash now a days. That's the reason we will soon be in a cashless society.

    As far as the grocery cards go, you can always give them a fake name. Eventually though in a cashless society they'll be able to track all your purchases.
     
  12. NotMyBro

    NotMyBro VIP Extreme Gold

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    Google's fucking evil. They're the big brother.

    This is what they don't tell you:

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/05/google-nsa-secrecy-upheld/
     
  13. Fawkesguy

    Fawkesguy The sea refuses no river. Gold

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  14. FlaFlaFlunkie

    FlaFlaFlunkie Fabulous!

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    Years ago, we had to get those stupid discount cards if we wanted to be able to write a check. now that we all use our debit cards, there's no reason for them. And cash will always be accepted. You can discriminate against people with shitty credit at the supermarket. :jj:
     
  15. FlaFlaFlunkie

    FlaFlaFlunkie Fabulous!

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    ...where we'll probably get hacked too. :jj:
     
  16. Fawkesguy

    Fawkesguy The sea refuses no river. Gold

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    I'll take my chances with a search engine based in the Netherlands and with a solid privacy policy.
     
  17. FlaFlaFlunkie

    FlaFlaFlunkie Fabulous!

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    Yeah, but your request to hit the page goes through U.S. servers...where they probably track you anyway. :jj:
     
  18. Vashier

    Vashier VIP Extreme Gold

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    There isn't anything to be found out about me to begin with. What google can tell them and how that could impact me or my family isn't much of a concern. If they wanted info on me to lock me up they would just plant it anyway. It's like the hyper vigilant internet security freaks, the ones that wouldn't use a credit card online if they could buy a brand new rolls royce for a buck with it, they crack me up when I tell them ATM anyone stealing my identity would be trading down. :c
     
  19. Fawkesguy

    Fawkesguy The sea refuses no river. Gold

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    No, I use a VPN and DNS servers based in Europe. :) But yes, most users are vulnerable.
     
  20. FlaFlaFlunkie

    FlaFlaFlunkie Fabulous!

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    I'd kill myself if a court ever subpoena'd my google images searches for this fucking website. :jj: