Google's latest transparency report has a new look
Don't be surprised if Google's new Transparency Report for the June through December period in 2013 looks different to you, that's by design. The search giant explains in a blog post that after doing things the same way for nearly five years, it was time to give its Transparency Report an update. In addition to a new look, there are also some new features that are intended to make the information more meaningful.
There's even more than what Google's allowed to show
Everything changed when news of the U.S. government's PRISM spying program came to light. In an instant, we went from assuming our dealings online were mostly kept private (or as private as we wanted them to be) to knowing that virtually nothing is out of bounds, not even instant messaging conversations. The government will contend all this snooping is in the best interest of national security, which also happens to be the same reason why Google can't share certain statistics with us. What the company is able to share, however, is pretty staggering.
Edward Snowden is now officially a criminal on the run from the law, but the US extradition effort just became slightly more challenging. Despite having a canceled US passport, Snowden managed to legally secure transport to Moscow, and WikiLeaks is claiming they are behind the move. Lawyers for the controversial non-profit organization report they were approached by Snowden who requested their assistance, and they seem more than willing to take on the case once he reaches safe harbor. Presumably these are the same lawyers that have shielded WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Swedish authorities for the past several years, so the chances are high this saga will take a very long time to fully play out if he reaches a country such as Ecuador where extradition can be tricky.
They might not have a choice, but they are fighting it anyway.
Privacy concerns are front and center in the online world these days, and a deal taken by Facebook and Microsoft on government transparency doesn’t pass the Google sniff test. Google claims the offer comes with strings attached they can’t live with, and they appear to be holding out for a better offer.
The source of the NSA leaks have finally been identified, and 29 year old Edward Snowden has come forward as the man responsible. Snowden went on record during an interview with The Guardian, and he answered several questions to help us understand his motivation behind the leaks, and what he hopes it will accomplish.
The stolen cellphone trade is brisk business here in the U.S.; according to the FCC, a third off all robberies involves a burgled handset. Why are black market phones so popular? The answer is simple: they continue to work even after being pilfered -- at least for now. Today, the government is scheduled to announce a new initiative, backed by the four major carriers, which will turn swiped smartphones in nothing more than useless electronic bricks. Eventually, at least.
The Carpathia hosting company has already sunk over half a million bucks into keeping the user data stored on Megaupload's 25,000 servers, and that tally's rising by another $9k a day. Now, the company's looking to offset that cost by either: (A) selling 25 petabytes of data back to Megaupload; (B) get the court to help foot the maintenance bill; or (C) receive court protection from civil claims if it has to wipe the data to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately for Megaupload users on the up-and-up, the government and MPAA are blowing a raspberry at all three options.
One of the biggest improvements Apple made to the new iPad -- aside from the awe-inspiring display -- was the inclusion of a LTE radio. But while those blistering fast 4G have been a boon to Stateside tablet users, overseas iPad buyers are distinctly less excited -- prompting several foreign governments to consider false advertising investigations against Apple.
Assuming you don't owe Uncle Sam a cent and are looking forward to getting a chunk of change back in the form of a tax refund, you may have found yourself window shopping for what you'll buy. A new PC, perhaps, or maybe a long overdue upgrade, such as a new videocard. If that's the case, hopefully you're holding out for Ivy Bridge (Intel) and/or Keplar (Nvidia), because there's a chance your tax refund could be delayed.
The Obama administration on Thursday laid out its blueprint for a "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights" as part of a larger initiative to improve online privacy protections and to give users more control over how their personal information is used on the Internet. Part of this initiative involves an agreement with advertising networks and leading Internet companies to get on board with Do Not Track technology, which is baked into most major browsers.