Australian news, and some related international items

Google in bed with American Intelligence? Assange’s new book

Book-WikileaksIn his latest book, Julian Assange brings some much-needed transparency to one of the most nebulous global corporations. 

Wikileaks meets Surveillance Valley: An interview with Julian Assange      Czech News Agency  BY JOSEPH FLATLEY ON OCTOBER 12, 2014 “The problem,” says Julian Assange, is that “a lot of groups that would normally criticize Google, the nonprofits that are involved in the tech sector, are funded directly or indirectly by Google. Or by USAID. Or by Freedom House. Google and its extended network have significant patronage in the very groups that would normally be criticizing it.”…….

A great many readers of Assange’s latest book, When Google Met WikiLeaks (OR Books) will have their assumptions about technology, Silicon Valley, and Google challenged – and find out that the world is a much scarier place than they had believed. And those who are disillusioned with Silicon Valley will find themselves with plenty of reasons to remain disillusioned………
American history is lousy with corporations who have gone to bed with the American Intelligence Community and State Department in order to expand their global reach. Indeed, it’s impossible for a large corporation to operate overseas without cutting deals with governments — and for a corporation as ambitious as Google, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility (or probability) that Schmidt and Co. would take it to the next level. Or, as WikiLeaks partner Al Akhbar put it, develop the Google Ideas think tank to pursue “global expansion — blurring the lines between business and political action.”……..

 a look at the history of the tech sector betrays this notion for the con job that it is. As long as American intelligence has needed computers, it has needed Silicon Valley – who has been paid handsomely for its part in this marriage born out of the Cold War.

“It’s not surprising that Silicon Valley would be collaborating with the biggest industries in society,” says Assange. “Including intelligence agencies, which are an industry in terms of their need to or their desire to purchase large amounts of data.”………..

At the very beginning, Google was anything but a politically connected company. Years (and billions of dollars) later, the company is trying to have it both ways: courting politicians and groups on either side of the aisle while simultaneously claiming that this somehow means they’re apolitical or post-partisan. …….

From the very beginning, Google’s self-professed mission has been “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Of course, this can only happen if the company can suck up and process all the world’s data. And what will it take to achieve this goal? If you look at the company’s track record, this includes paying off everyone from the EFF to Obama, to climate change deniers like ALEC and The Heritage Foundation; developing its own Wi-Fi drone Air Force; working with Apple to create a cartel that kept high-tech workers’ wages artificially low; andsharing user information with the NSA…….

“The gloss is coming off Google in terms of its public presentation,” Assange maintains. “The PRISM revelations really kicked that off. There are a number of antitrust cases, and Springer (the publishing house) has decided to make major attacks, a deliberately public confrontation with Google’s market domination.”

While it might be hard to imagine a world before Google, it’s nearly impossible to understand Google’s role in the world. This is no accident — the company has gone out of its way to make its operations opaque. In his latest book, Julian Assange brings some much-needed transparency to one of the most nebulous global corporations.

October 13, 2014 - Posted by | Resources

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