Google says FBI watching the Web (Update)

Mar 06, 2013
Google headquarters in Mountain View, California on September 2, 2011. Google says the FBI is monitoring the Web for potential terrorist activity. But it can't say how extensive the surveillance is.

Google says the FBI is monitoring the Web for potential terrorist activity. But it can't confirm the extent of the surveillance.

As part of the Google Transparency Report, the Internet giant released data this week on so-called National Security Letters—official requests for data under the Patriot Act passed after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

But Google said it was only allowed to provide broad ranges of numbers: in the years from 2009 to 2012, for example, it received between zero and 999 requests.

The requests affected between 1,000 and 1,999 accounts, except in 2010, when the range was 2,000 to 2,999 accounts.

"You'll notice that we're reporting numerical ranges rather than exact numbers," said a blog post from Google law enforcement and information security director Richard Salgado.

"This is to address concerns raised by the FBI, Justice Department and other agencies that releasing exact numbers might reveal information about investigations."

He thanked government officials for collaborating with Google in providing "greater insight" into the use of National Security Letters.

The numbers, while inexact, were believed to be the first data from a private company about the requests, criticized by civil liberties groups for giving the government too much power to conduct surveillance without a warrant.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls the letters "dangerous" and has challenged the authority, along with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Google's actions are "an unprecedented win for transparency," EFF's Dan Auerbach and Eva Galperin said Wednesday.

Despite a lack of exact data, "Google has helped to at least shed some limited light on the ways in which the US government uses these secretive demands for data about users," they added in a blog post.

"While we continue to be in the dark about the full extent of how the law is being applied, this new data allays fears that NSLs are being used for sweeping access to large numbers of user accounts—at Google, at least."

One inspector general review found "serious deficiencies" in the FBI's handling of the process and noted that the letters concerned tens of thousands of US citizens and non-Americans.

EFF said public records have documented the FBI's "systemic abuse" of the power.

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cantdrive85
2 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2013
God bless Amerika, comrades!
WirelessPhil
1 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2013
And from this very site which reported it yesterday:
Google urged to remove ads for ivory, whale products
Conservationists have urged Internet giant Google to remove thousands of advertisements promoting...
krundoloss
5 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2013
It seems to me that the US is going to lose its freedom, although Im not sure why. If they catch terrorists, great, but if that power is abused, I feel that there will be a rebellion. Read our emails, but dont take our freedom!
PhyOrgSux
2 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2013
The worlds largest advertising company warns about FBI having surveillance on the web. Just like the US Government likes to bring the worlds attention to other totalitarian governments. The oldest magic trick in the book - get the people to think they should keep their eyes focused elsewhere.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 06, 2013
In related news, drones may or may not be shooting domestic terrorists.
http://www.kmbz.c...15732152
It seems to me that the US is going to lose its freedom, although Im not sure why.
Freedom from the ability of people like mcvey to blow up buildings? You think its ok if the fbi sits outside your house in a car but its not ok if they use a drone or the internet to do the same thing.

This is why our taxes are so high.
Lurker2358
3 / 5 (6) Mar 06, 2013
This is why our taxes are so high.


Actually, taxes on average people are high because they lowered taxes on the wealthy.

Taxes on the wealthy were much higher before the Bush years, under Clinton, when we had the best economy of my lifetime and the budget was balanced.

History shows that very high taxes on the wealthy has been the best model for the United States.

===

We have a serious problem in the U.S. in the form of rogue shooters and other lunatics, never mind the officially labelled "terrorists".

Every mass shooter is a terrorist.

The only practical way to stop this insanity is to maximize surveillance, since mere gun bans aren't enough (though they are needed). The bad guys don't follow the law anyway, so they will obviously still have guns, but a gun ban would make it harder for them to keep those guns.

"Bourne Supremacy" aside, who are you going to trust?

The government has never shot me in the back.

The next rogue shooter may well do so...you too...
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.9 / 5 (9) Mar 06, 2013
@lurquer
We have a serious problem in the U.S. in the form of rogue shooters and other lunatics
-which would include you?
The only practical way to stop this insanity is to maximize surveillance, since mere gun bans aren't enough (though they are needed)
Gun bans are not needed. And guess how much they would cost? Gun violence per capita has been on a steady decline. Whining ideologues however are increasing per capita.

Where guns are restricted, non-gun violence increases (per capita). Why? Opportunists know they are less likely to get shot. Duh.

Three examples; chicago, DC, Camden.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (8) Mar 06, 2013
In the future crime will be impossible. This includes criminal countries that attempt to deviate...
http://www.youtub...a_player
cantdrive85
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 07, 2013
It seems to me that the US is going to lose its freedom, although Im not sure why.


$16 trillion and counting...

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."
― Elmer T Peterson

The Fed and it's masters want to get paid and removing our freedoms before the collapse is vital.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) Mar 07, 2013
It seems to me that the US is going to lose its freedom, although Im not sure why.


$16 trillion and counting...

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."
― Elmer T Peterson

The Fed and it's masters want to get paid and removing our freedoms before the collapse is vital.
You bet. Detroit is a prime example:
http://mobile.reu...irpc=932

-For decades the people voted for leaders who promised to spend the most money on them. A ponzi scheme. As a result, infrastructure was built which they can no longer afford to maintain. The govt is intrinsically corrupt. The ex-mayor is currently on trial.
VendicarE
3 / 5 (4) Mar 07, 2013
Otto is right. Why is the Republican Governor of Michigan trying to take the freedom of selecting their own mayor and local representatives from the people of Detroit.

Republicans hate the American Freedom.
cantdrive85
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 07, 2013
Otto is right. Why is the Republican Governor of Michigan trying to take the freedom of selecting their own mayor and local representatives from the people of Detroit.

Republicans hate the American Freedom.

And dumbo-crats love ponzi schemes, which lead to zero freedoms and dictatorships, great.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.4 / 5 (5) Mar 07, 2013
Otto is right. Why is the Republican Governor of Michigan trying to take the freedom of selecting their own mayor and local representatives from the people of Detroit.

Republicans hate the American Freedom.
Well because the people of detroit have proven themselves incapable of governing themselves. They have consistently elected criminals who have spent their city into bankruptcy.

But this is how democracy works. The people will always vote in their own best interests and if this doesnt work they will always bribe officials to get what they want. Either way the system will always collapse unless Maintained Artificially, by People who understand that corruption is Inevitable in any system of governance.

Even though the ex-mayor is going to jail, many would still vote for him because he gave them what they wanted.
http://www.freep....on-trial
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Mar 07, 2013
Even now they resist an emergency financial manager because it is 'undemocratic'. The people voted to bankrupt themselves and resent anyone telling them that they did something wrong.
"The resolution passed by council this afternoon says the city does indeed have a plan to fix the financial problems that have plagued the city for years."
http://www.freep....v%7Chead

-And yet they reject any reasonable offers of state assistance:

"When the Detroit City Council president... insisted that "Belle Isle is not about to sink into the Detroit River if we don't approve the lease," he was incorrect. And I mean literally: the city has not had the money to perform, in the words of The Detroit Free Press, the maintenance needed to keep the park "from sinking into the Detroit River."

-Because thats what the people WANT. And so belle isle will soon be unusable.
VendicarE
1 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2013
Well, when you are free, you are free to do stupid things.

"Well because the people of detroit have proven themselves incapable of governing themselves. They have consistently elected criminals who have spent their city into bankruptcy." - Otto

Are you saying that the American people need to be saved from their own stupidity?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Mar 08, 2013
Well, when you are free, you are free to do stupid things.

"Well because the people of detroit have proven themselves incapable of governing themselves. They have consistently elected criminals who have spent their city into bankruptcy." - Otto

Are you saying that the American people need to be saved from their own stupidity?
I'm saying this is true for most any democracy which allows the people to think they can elect people who will GIVE them things. It is an extension of the idea that praying to a personal god will get you stuff.
http://www2.macle...uly-mad/

-In god we trust. This is why all democracies are sponsored by some god or other.

'You cannot PETITION the lord, with prayer.

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