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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems 289

oxide7 (1013325) writes "In June 2011, Julian Assange received an unusual visitor: the chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt. They outlined radically opposing perspectives: for Assange, the liberating power of the Internet is based on its freedom and statelessness. For Schmidt, emancipation is at one with U.S. foreign policy objectives and is driven by connecting non-Western countries to Western companies and markets. These differences embodied a tug-of-war over the Internet's future that has only gathered force subsequently. Assange describes his encounter with Schmidt and how he came to conclude that it was far from an innocent exchange of views."
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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

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  • >> the liberating power of the Internet is based on its freedom and statelessness

    "In 1995!" says Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

    (Seriously, where do you begin. Server logs, cookies, magic URLs, IP lookups, etc.)

    • >> the liberating power of the Internet is based on its freedom and statelessness

      "In 1995!" says Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

      (Seriously, where do you begin. Server logs, cookies, magic URLs, IP lookups, etc.)

      You beat me to it - but my concise reply was going to be...

      " the liberating power of the Internet "
      Citation needed.

      • " the liberating power of the Internet "

        Citation needed.

        When I first found out the internet was going to be available to the public I said to myself, "The Man has made a serious mistake." (That's how I talked in those days.) I was excited that soon I'd be able to make friends with people in all those countries I'd been hearing about on shortwave stations like the BBC, Radio Nederland, Havana, etc., without any government propaganda nor media filter at all. Actual real people sharing truths with each other. This will bring people together like never before, I pre

  • Goolge is helping... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blahplusplus ( 757119 ) on Thursday October 23, 2014 @05:43PM (#48216233)

    ... compiling dossiers on everyone. Since in order to use the internet you need to use a search engine, a good idea is to look at you chrome browser history and note the title, time, where you visited, is there, then combine this with analytics and cookies (machine identification) remember this is the kind of shit and more they got behind closed doors. This will be used to pro-actively deny employment to people and 'screen' people for their political views/sites/news they visit/any health problems/etc. i.e. it allows corporations unprecedented insight into the flaws of our evolved nervous system and minds. We are not "free" in any way or form our minds were shaped by evolution and they have a lot of problems reasoning or perceiving reality, if in doubt see here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    They are trying to map political dissident to pre-emptively strike against political change using science and big data they are fervently trying to figure out how to regain their control, since they know media's days are numbered with newer generations. So they are learning techniques in controlling populations and manipulating public opinion on social media, to socially engineer how people think, etc. The reality is america has been the greatest success in propaganda in human history, most americans were hyper capitalist, virulently anti-communist for the last few decades and the upper class would like the working classes to keep voting against their own interests to keep their ill gotten wealth. So if you vote for D&R you are one of the illusioned and the elites aren't worried about you at all because you are politically illiterate just like they want. They want you all to vote democrats and republicans so as not to rock the boat. They don't want political change to manifest outside the political system (aka threat to corporate power).

    This (mass surveillance) is just more part and parcel of state suppression of dissent against corporate interests. They're worried that the more people are going to wake up and corporate centers like the US and canada may be among those who also awaken. See this vid with Zbigniew Brzezinski, former United States National Security Advisor.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    Look at the following graphs:

    http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesa... [ucsc.edu]
    http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesa... [ucsc.edu]
    http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesa... [ucsc.edu]

    And then...

    WIKILEAKS: U.S. Fought To Lower Minimum Wage In Haiti So Hanes And Levis Would Stay Cheap

    http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    Free markets?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    http://www.amazon.com/Empire-I... [amazon.com]

    "We now live in two Americas. One—now the minority—functions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other—the majority—is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majority—which crosses social class lines, though the poor are overwhelmingly affected—presidential debate and political rhetoric is pitched at a sixth-grade reading level. In this “other America,” serious film and theater, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of society.

    In the tradition of Chr

    • Goolge is helping... ...compiling dossiers on everyone.

      The question is how public those dossiers remain. If Google locks the information up and refuses to share, then it is of limited consequence. If Google releases all of its dirty laundry at once, then it will probably result in some major changes to society as open secrets come to light and things thought to be taboo are suddenly found to be normal.

      The danger is if Google uses and shares it sparingly and deliberately. Think blackmail, insider trading, identity theft and so on.

      • > f Google locks the information up and refuses to share,

        They don't "refuse to share". They sell it in various ways, it's absolutely critical to their income.

      • by s.petry ( 762400 )

        Your statement would be true if the information was dumped to the public, but completely false if the information was provided to a Government for the purposes of squashing dissent. The latter is the concern, not the former.

        Surely you could recover if someone leaked an unfortunate browsing habit of yours. It would take some time to blow over, and of course you would be embarrassed.

        On the other hand, if you had knowledge or beliefs that run counter to an administration and could be targeted with say.. plan

  • by Livius ( 318358 ) on Thursday October 23, 2014 @05:51PM (#48216275)

    Maybe someone needs to explain to Assange that Google is a large, for-profit US corporation with access to huge amounts of data. Most people can figure out the rest of it from there.

    Seriously, I tried reading the article (but I couldn't finish it) and I don't know what Assange thinks Google is, unless he's been deceived by the way the US government and the private sector pretend to be adversaries.

  • ...WTF did I just read? I understood none of it. Or if I did understand it, then I understood this waaay before reading this long article. Google works with the US government? Nnnooo, you don't say! What next, Apple too!?? Come on, this is shit that we don't even have to find out by any other methods than just thinking logically these days.

    Are you into having a life of freedom? Then start giving credit to all of those thoughts that you have about quitting that shitty job that you hate, and/or makin
    • The first part rambles and it seems like he isn't going to tell us anything then it winds into commentary that is spot on. I fear Google, but even I can't envision how the public perception will ever swing far enough negative to stop them. Google is a stranger with candy, sure it's free, but it pays to question the motives.
      ----
      "By all appearances, Google's bosses genuinely believe in the civilizing power of enlightened multinational corporations, and they see this mission as continuous with the shaping of t

  • His main points (Score:5, Informative)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Thursday October 23, 2014 @06:09PM (#48216399) Journal
    His main points, as I understand them:

    1) Eric Schmidt is getting involved in politics, and is becoming influential.
    2) Google doesn't always follow "do no evil" but fanboys love Google anyway
    3) Google is getting involved in government more than is healthy.

    He has some other rambles about the Bilderbergs, and how the governments are secretly controlling world events, but his main points seam reasonable enough.
    • Re:His main points (Score:5, Interesting)

      by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Thursday October 23, 2014 @07:08PM (#48216791)

      His main point is that we should more cautious of Google than we currently are. This is based on the idea that every company, after a certain point, will begin manipulating the government for continued dominance and the ability to expand to new markets, Google being no exception. He backs this assertion using Eric Schmidt's close ties to Washington which is a bit shaky, but the premise is historically accurate.

      He occasionally goes into a bit too much hyperbole and too deep rhetoric, but some of the links between Google and the U.S. government he mentions to reinforce his point are unexpected and interesting nevertheless. For example, the fact that Google was supplying the NSA with search technology to sift through the collected data is news to me, and a bit alarming at that. That they're collaborating technologically with the shadier parts of the U.S. government in search, and others like maps, is not surprising, but still a little disappointing.

      The big thing that's not mentioned in the piece is Google sharing the data they've collected using their consumer-facing products with the U.S. government. Now that would be a bombshell. That's not the assertion here, but Assange does drop hints that even if it's not happening currently, it's bound to happen soon enough.

      In any case, I think we should be wary of Google, both because of the power they wield over information on the internet, and because they continue to insist they are doing "no evil." Unlike Assange though, in the same way that George Washington set a precedent by stepping down after two terms as President (he could very well have crowned himself if he wanted), I'm waiting to see if Larry Page's Google will set a precedent before I pass final judgment on Google's corporate existence. But that doesn't mean I won't continue to be suspicious of Google's activities in the meantime either.

      • in the same way that George Washington set a precedent by stepping down after two terms as President (he could very well have crowned himself if he wanted), I'm waiting to see if Larry Page's Google will set a precedent before I pass final judgment on Google's corporate existence

        What kind of precedent are you hoping Larry Page will set?

        • Not sure, but when it happens we'll all know a precedent has been set. It may have already happened, and we just don't know about it yet. In fact, we won't until another whistleblower comes forward with the information, or a court ruling makes information public.

          I think it's unlikely though. The biggest roadblock is the government itself. Remember Qwest [wikipedia.org] and their CEO Joseph Nacchio? Doing the right thing, doing the ethical thing, is literally dangerous to people's health and freedom. I'm certain Page and ot

          • This all might sound like something that would come out of a conspiracy nut, but time and again these past two decades, the conspiracy nuts have been proven right.

            To avoid being a 'nut', base your opinions on evidence. That way you will be right more often than a stopped clock (which is right two times a day).

    • Eric Schmidt was born in Washington, D.C., where his father had worked as a professor and economist for the Nixon Treasury.

      In 1979, Schmidt headed out West to Berkeley, where he received his Ph.D. before joining Stanford/ Berkeley spin-off Sun Microsystems in 1983.

      Sun had significant contracts with the U.S. government, but it was not until he was in Utah as CEO of Novell that records show Schmidt strategically engaging Washington’s overt political class. Federal campaign finance records show that on January 6, 1999, Schmidt donated two lots of $1,000 to the Republican senator for Utah, Orrin Hatch. On the same day Schmidt’s wife, Wendy, is also listed giving two lots of $1,000 to Senator Hatch.
      By the start of 2001, over a dozen other politicians and PACs, including Al Gore, George W. Bush, Dianne Feinstein, and Hillary Clinton, were on the Schmidts’ payroll, in one case for $100,000.

      This shows a bit more than "getting involved in politics".

      As for item 2 and 3, a large portion of the article is describing Google's "Think/Do Tank" which operates way beyond "do no evil". The groups has potential involvement in numerous nefarious activities, and numerous connections to the US State Department and other US Officials.

      Your last statement is a complete farce, and I'd suggest reading the article and actually studying what the Bilderberg conference is about, as opposed to the blanket dismissal

      • Your last statement is a complete farce, and I'd suggest reading the article and actually studying what the Bilderberg conference is about, as opposed to the blanket dismissal without evidence.

        The Bilderberg conference is almost a shibboleth for people who think reading naturenews or similar counts as research.

        • by s.petry ( 762400 )
          So the Journalists Jim Tucker, Jon Ronson, and Daniel Estulin all worked for naturenews? No, you are posting as ignorantly as the person I responded to. I really don't care what you don't want to know, but don't attempt to discourage others from knowledge.
          • So the Journalists Jim Tucker, Jon Ronson, and Daniel Estulin all worked for naturenews?

            Maybe not them, but you sound like someone who reads it.

            A fool is right one time, and then thinks all his other crazy ideas must be correct. Whether that applies to you, is for you to judge.

            • by s.petry ( 762400 )

              Since you lack the knowledge you are obviously in no position to ask those questions or make those insinuations. If you would have taken an alternative approach and asked for sources of the knowledge, I would have provided the same information. I still don't get the feeling that you want the knowledge, but rather you wish to make believe that you have it.

              Living in make believe is not necessarily a bad thing, assuming you maintained your fantasy in private. In public where it can dupe others into a false

              • Since you lack the knowledge

                Right, so what other fantasies do you have? Do you know about the black helicopters? What about the pyramid on the dollar bill? Is the government hiding alien technology? What do you think?

      • By 2013, Eric Schmidt—who had become publicly over-associated with the Obama White House—was more politic. Eight Republicans and eight Democrats were directly funded, as were two PACs. That April, $32,300 went to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. A month later the same amount, $32,300, headed off to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Why Schmidt was donating exactly the same amount of money to both parties is a $64,600 question.

        Well, I don't believe this is a question at all. This demonstrates very well what people have been saying for years. The R and D candidates are merely props put up by the same "elites" so that people get the illusion that they are really voting for something. I'm guessing that Schmidt was more sloppy than the better players making it this easy to see, and that is usually related to ego.

  • Summary (Score:2, Redundant)

    by msobkow ( 48369 )

    Powerful people associate with powerful people, including the government. Don't trust them.

    *yawn*

    1. Assange has a meeting with a few government officials and Schmidt from google; the meeting is boring from Assange's point of view, and he looks down on Schmidt.
    2. Later, he's publishing a leaks book and tries to give the White House a courtesy call about it. He gets a call back from one of the arrangers of the original meeting, calling to verify that it was actually him, and not someone pulling a hoax. Assange suddenly realizes that the government officials that Schmidt was coming along with might mean he "ha
  • "Whatever makes Google a âoekey member of the Defense Industrial Base,â it is not recruitment campaigns pushed out through Google AdWords or soldiers checking their Gmail."

  • Fishy Google Ideas (Score:5, Insightful)

    by internet-redstar ( 552612 ) on Thursday October 23, 2014 @06:37PM (#48216585) Homepage
    While I do think the article is too long, I think some of the actions of Google are to be expected. Microsoft is also lobbying massively in Washington, and Google has to put some counterweight on that - one could think.
    But what Assange lists about Google Ideas is disturbing.
    And when I look at the Google Ideas website, it seems to be a very valid point. And even more disturbing.

    Yet I do believe he thinks the CEO of Google has more power than he has in reality. And I might be naive. But, seriously, they should look better into what Jared Cohen is doing with the money of Google, there certainly is something fishy about this guy, his connection and interpretation of 'do no evil', thanks to Assange for pointing that out!
  • by towermac ( 752159 ) on Thursday October 23, 2014 @07:04PM (#48216745)

    Don't forget the internet was invented by DARPA. Just like missiles and nukes and subs and carriers, the internet is a weapon. It is slow, but very sure to penetrate and destroy dictatorships and repressive governments worldwide. It's slow enough to say that we just deployed it recently. Even so, a number of governments have already fallen or been pressured by it; we see repressive regimes like China throwing all kinds of defenses up against it. I don't see how even China can stand against it for very long.

    Assange gets this, at least on some level. That would mean America wins, and he sees America as the enemy. Oh well, suck it Assange. The business of America is business. The only real way to do business, is when people are free, and can spend their money on stuff they want. That's us winning. (Not to excuse our recent spate on NSA abuses; they are going to always try to do that, and it's up to us voters to keep them in check.)

    • by mbkennel ( 97636 )

      | It is slow, but very sure to penetrate and destroy dictatorships and repressive governments worldwide.

      Indeed, as a political tool, the largest success has been when very successfully deployed by ultra-fundamentalists to destroy dictatorships and repressive governments for the benefit of totalitarian religious repression and atrocity.

      Other than that, has there been any political outcome successful by the values of Western states? I am unaware of any.
      • "ultra-fundamentalists" & "totalitarian religious repression and atrocity"

        You're going to have to be more specific. You mean ISIS? Yeah, the internet is like that; actual information for it's own sake, that is free to everyone, even ISIS's information. But if you're worried about the bad guys using the internet for their propaganda, don't. In that case, it's just speeding things up that had to happen in any case.

        The internet brought down Mubarak and Qaddafi. Assad hangs on kind of powerless. We didn't d

    • Even so, a number of governments have already fallen or been pressured by it; we see repressive regimes like China throwing all kinds of defenses up against it. I don't see how even China can stand against it for very long. Assange gets this, at least on some level. That would mean America wins

      I don't think that follows. If a country ends up with a better government because of the internet, the citizens of that country win.

      • Yes. That's us winning. Winning citizens buy things, and sell things, and trade, and hang out, and go on vacations.

        That was our real goal the whole time. We're still the good guys.

    • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Friday October 24, 2014 @01:08AM (#48218443)

      Don't forget the internet was invented by DARPA. Just like missiles and nukes and subs and carriers, the internet is a weapon. It is slow, but very sure to penetrate and destroy dictatorships and repressive governments worldwide. It's slow enough to say that we just deployed it recently. Even so, a number of governments have already fallen or been pressured by it; we see repressive regimes like China throwing all kinds of defenses up against it. I don't see how even China can stand against it for very long.

      Assange gets this, at least on some level.

      Assange gets this more than you know. A lot of what you've said about the internet could also be said of WikiLeaks. Just like missiles and nukes and subs and carriers, WikiLeaks is a weapon. It is slow, but very sure to penetrate and destroy dictatorships and repressive governments worldwide. It's slow enough to say that we just deployed it recently. Even so, a number of governments have already fallen or been pressured by it; we see repressive regimes like China throwing all kinds of defenses up against it. I don't see how even China can stand against it for very long.

      That would mean America wins, and he sees America as the enemy. Oh well, suck it Assange. The business of America is business. The only real way to do business, is when people are free, and can spend their money on stuff they want. That's us winning.

      No, when people are free, that can be us losing in some cases. If the Saudi family loses power, that's us losing. If Iran or Venezuela are allowed to sell their own oil to whomever they like. Again, that's us losing. And that's really the main problem of either the internet or wikileaks. Either of those tools are indiscriminate in the repressive governments they can pressure, and even take down.

      You speak of free choice, the free market, and freedom, but that's really what WikiLeaks was originally all about. Knowing which government officials are corrupt protects the integrity of the free market. Knowing what our government does abroad with the military helps us make better informed decisions. It's all very simple really. Knowing that a politician's actions could be exposed to the people who voted him in is really one of the best ways of keeping that politician relatively honest. The same goes for dictators to some degree. After all, even if people can't vote someone out, they can still throw someone out (assuming, they have a big enough crowd behind them and their outrage is big enough).

      • Nothing to disagree with there. The Sauds will eventually fall or reform under the relentless pressure. Honestly, I wish we'd get the hell off Iran's back a bit; I'd give them anything they want, including respect, which is what they want most of all, if they agreed to leave Israel alone.

        But to your point, the internet can't just be aimed and fired. WikiLeaks hit us, but I'd say it was more of a graze. It turns out that most of our government are honest and hardworking, so the weapon of truth didn't hurt us

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Thursday October 23, 2014 @10:57PM (#48217937)

    ... disgreement may be why Assange is still effectively a prisoner. Schmidt probably went over at the behest of the NSA to assess the threat he might still pose. Assange, not being a sycophant, told him what he really thought. Not what would get his sentence reduced.

    • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

      What sentence? The only crime he is in the frame for is one of rape in Sweden and he hasn't even been charged with that yet, much less tried and sentenced.

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