Alternative Media
Google: Gmail Users ‘Have No Legitimate Expectation of Privacy’ Tags: GMail Users ‘Have No Legitimate Expectation of Privacy’

Google: Gmail Users ‘Have No Legitimate Expectation of Privacy’

sage

googlesage:  I use GMail and I noticed awhile ago that ads on every page always correlated to something I had searched recently; but lately my spam box has been filled with unsolicited offers that are along the same lines as the contents of my emails.  At first I thought nothing of it – much like the offers to enhance parts of my anatomy that I don’t have – but they have started to get very pointed and obvious.  Now I know why.  How blatant can they get?

Russia Today – August 13, 2013

http://rt.com/usa/google-gmail-motion-privacy-453/

As tensions worsen among privacy-focused email users amid the escalating scandal surrounding government surveillance, a brief filed by attorneys for Google has surfaced showing that Gmail users should never expect their communications to be kept secret.

Consumer Watchdog has unearthed a July 13, 2013 motion filed by Google’s attorneys with regards to ongoing litigation challenging how the Silicon Valley giant operates its highly popular free email service.

The motion, penned in hopes of having the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismiss a class action complaint against the company, says Gmail users should assume that any electronic correspondence that’s passed through Google’s servers can be accessed and used for an array of options, such as selling ads to customers.

“Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use Web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient’s [email provider] in the course of delivery,” the motion reads in part. “Indeed, ‘a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.’”

 

Google Motion 061313

Elsewhere, Google’s legal counsel says the plaintiffs are attempting “to criminalize ordinary business practices” that the company has implemented for nearly a decade, specifically the automated scanning of emails.

According to Google, federal wiretap laws provide third-party email providers with liability from litigation if their practices are done “in their ordinary course of business.” An Electronic Communication Service (ECS) such as Gmail must scan emails sent to and from their systems, says Google, as part of providing the services they offer.

“While plaintiffs go to great lengths to portray Google in a sinister light, the complaint actually confirms that the automated processes at issue are Google’s ordinary business practices implemented as part of providing the free Gmail service to the public. This is fatal to plaintiffs’ claims,” the attorneys write.

Plaintiffs claim that an illegal interception is committed each time an email sent to or from a Gmail account is scanned, but the company counters that claim by saying the automated scanning is not only outlined in the Terms of Service agreement, but necessary for the product to function in the way it does.

Gmail customers, the company claims, “are contractually bound to Google’s terms. Indeed, they devote much of the Complaint to attacking the disclosures in the TOS and Privacy Policy in an effort to avoid this express contractual consent.”

“In short, there is no illegal ‘interception’ here because Plaintiffs’ own allegations confirm that the alleged practices at issue are part of Google’s ordinary course of business,” attorneys write.

“In practice, plaintiffs’ theory would prevent ECS providers from providing a host of normal services that Congress could not possibly have intended to criminalize as an illegal interception,’” they continue. “For example, an ECS provider could not allow users to sort their emails using automated filters because any such system would require scanning the contents of the emails being delivered to the user, thus running afoul of plaintiffs’ theory. Nor could an ECS provider provide even basic features like allowing users to search their own emails for particular key terms because doing so would, again, involve the scanning of email content”

Google is now asking for the court to reject the plaintiffs’ claims because their interpretation of what constitutes an illegal interception would make it “virtually impossible” for any email company to provide normal services. By saying customers lack no right to privacy, however, Consumer Watchdog is up in arms.

“Google has finally admitted they don’t respect privacy,” John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director, said in a statement “People should take them at their word; if you care about your email correspondents’ privacy don’t use Gmail.”

“Google’s brief uses a wrong-headed analogy; sending an email is like giving a letter to the Post Office,” added Simpson. “I expect the Post Office to deliver the letter based on the address written on the envelope. I don’t expect the mail carrier to open my letter and read it. Similarly when I send an email, I expect it to be delivered to the intended recipient with a Gmail account based on the email address; why would I expect its content will be intercepted by Google and read?”

News of Google’s motion to dismiss the complaint comes just days after two pay-for-use providers of highly encrypted and seemingly secure email services announced they’d be calling it quits. Vaguely citing a federal investigation, Texas-based Lavabit said on Thursday last week that they’re shutting down its email service, reportedly used by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. Hours later, competitor Silent Circle said they’d be doing the same.

“I feel like there is a rising tide of surveillance out there, and we need to push back against it,” Silent Circle COO Vic Hyder told RT this week.

Bitcoin Comes Under Full Scale Attack by Regulators Tags: Bitcoin

Bitcoin Comes Under Full Scale Attack by Regulators

Activist Post

Digital cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, still have a long way to go before mainstream use, but they seem to pose a huge threat to the existing financial paradigm as evidence by the recent frantic reaction by regulators.

To be clear, cryptocurrencies are threatening because no central entity can fully control them and they also represent a nearly free and anonymous payment application.  It's an algorithm that has the potential to make central banks, commercial banks, private banks, and the tax collectors obsolete.

In other words, cryptocoins may be epoch changing for society.  In the same way the Internet killed publishing or how VoIP killed long distance telephone carriers, cryptocoins may in fact kill debt-based money and brick-and-mortar banking.

As Bucky Fuller said "You never change things by fighting the existing reality.To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

The banking cartel along with the government are scrambling to protect their territory and regulate Bitcoin so it doesn't have an unfair market advantage (and to protect the public from fraudsters of course).

The industry leaders in the Bitcoin digital currency community just got subpoenaed yesterday by financial regulators in New York.  New York's Department of Financial Services declared that Bitcoin is "a virtual Wild West for narcotraffickers and other criminals."

 

 


"We believe that – for a number of reasons – putting in place appropriate regulatory safeguards for virtual currencies will be beneficial to the long-term strength of the virtual currency industry," said NY Financial Services superintendent Benjamin Lawsky in a statement.

The formal reasons for the subpoenas were described:

First, safety and soundness requirements help build greater confidence among customers that the funds that they entrust to virtual currency companies will not get stuck in a digital black hole. Indeed, some consumers have expressed concerns about how quickly their virtual currency transactions are processed. Taking steps to ensure that these transactions – particularly redemptions – are processed promptly is vital to earning the faith and confidence of customers. 
Second, serving as a money changer of choice for terrorists, drug smugglers, illegal weapons dealers, money launderers, and human traffickers could expose the virtual currency industry to extraordinarily serious criminal penalties. Taking steps to root out illegal activity is both a legal and business imperative for virtual currency firms. 
Finally, both virtual currency companies – and the currencies themselves – have received significant interest from investors and venture capital firms. Similar to any other industry, greater transparency and accountability is critical to promoting sustained, longterm investment.

This statement seems conflicted because everyone already knows the big banks are the "money changers of choice for terrorists, drug smugglers, illegal weapons dealers, money launderers, and human traffickers" -- despite futile efforts to regulate them.

Secondly, Bitcoin became an over $1.2 billion currency without the "protection" of the regulators. Now that there is money to be made with Bitcoin, here come the vultures.

The subpoenas came shortly after a federal judge ruled that Bitcoin is a currency in a ponzi-scheme case involving Bitcoin. "It is clear that Bitcoin can be used as money,” writes Judge Mazzant in the ruling. "It can be used to purchase goods or services, and as Shavers stated, used to pay for individual living expenses."

What's more, Congress just announced it's opening an investigation of Bitcoin today.

Politico reports:

A Senate committee is pressing federal regulators and law enforcement officials to explain how they plan to oversee Bitcoin and other virtual currencies as the issue gains increasing attention from government officials concerned about the role these new markets will play in the future. 
The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Monday sent letters to several agencies requesting that they disclose their virtual currency policies, how they developed them, how agencies are coordinating and finally what they plan to do going forward.


"The more folks that we talked to related to this issue, it became very clear to us that this is not a sort of technology that’s going away,” a committee aide told Politico. "This isn’t something that’s a flash in the pan. It’s something that’s going to be with us."

Meanwhile, Bitcoin entrepreneurs are attempting to set up their own digital currency regulatory body called DATA - the Digital Asset Transfer Authority.

The committee for DATA will "work proactively with regulators and policymakers to adapt their requirements to our technologies and business models," the group said in an announcement late last month.

"We must develop and implement common risk management and compliance standards that address the public policy concerns associated with our businesses. And our firms must build risk management and compliance programs that meet those standards," it added.

Many of the entrepreneurs in this working group have also received subpoenas to appear in New York in front of regulators.

List of companies subpoenaed by the New York State Department of Financial Services:

BitInstant
BitPay
Coinabul
Coinbase Inc.
CoinLab
Coinsetter
Dwolla
eCoin Cashier
Payward, Inc.
TrustCash Holdings Inc.
ZipZap
Butterfly Labs
Andreesen Horowitz
Bitcoin Opportunity Fund
Boost VC Bitcoin Fund
Founders Fund
Google Ventures
Lightspeed Venture Partners
Tribeca Venture Partners
Tropos Funds
Union Square Ventures
Winklevoss Capital Management

To make matters worse, authorities are already seizing bank accounts of Bitcoin exchanges and vendors prior to any formal regulations.  They are even holding up cryptocurrency mining equipment at customs.

What do you think will happen to Bitcoin if it get's regulated like other currencies? Will the transfer fees explode? If Bitcoin gets over regulated, will a different cryptocurrency replace it as the "private" option?

Fukushima now in state of emergency, leaking 300 tons of radioactive water into the ocean daily Tags: Fukushima radioactive leak state of emergency

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)

(NaturalNews) Japan's nuclear watchdog has now declared the leak of radioactive water from Fukushima a "state of emergency." Each day, 300 tons of radioactive water seeps into the ocean, and it's now clear that TEPCO has engage in a two-and-a-half-year cover-up of immense magnitude.

"I believe it's been leaking into the ocean from the start of the crisis two-and-a-half years ago," disclosed a 12-year TEPCO veteran named Suzuki-san (SOURCE)

"There are still reactor buildings we haven't gotten into yet," said another worker named Fujimoto-san. "So there's always the possibility of another explosion..."

 

TEPCO workers sprayed with wildly radioactive water while waiting for a bus

Just how out of control is the situation at Fukushima? It's so out of control that TEPCO recently had to admit 10 of its workers were somehow -- yeah, see if you can figure this out -- sprayed with highly radioactive water while waiting for a bus.

"The workers' exposure above the neck was found to be as much as 10 becquerels per square centimeter," reports Bloomberg.com

How exactly did highly radioactive water manage to find its way to a bus stop in the first place? TEPCO isn't sure. It's confusing with all those radiation alarms going off all the time. In order to concentrate, the company has found it's easier to just disable all the alarms and pretend nothing's wrong.
 

The TEPCO cover-up

To fully grasp the extent of the TEPCO denial, realize that only recently did the company finally admit that radioactive groundwater has been leaking into the ocean. This follows years of stark denials from the company, whose executes have exhibited a remarkable ability to deny reality even when their own workers are dying in droves from cancer.

It's no exaggeration to say that TEPCO's downplaying of the full extent of the Fukushima disaster has put tens of millions of lives at risk -- people who should have been warned about radiation but were denied that information due to the TEPCO cover-up.

"At this current time in July of 2013, Fukushima is 80 to 100x more expansive and more intense -- letting out about 100x more of the radiation of Chernobyl," reports Dr. Simon Atkins Phoenix Rising Radio on a BlogTalkRadio interview.

"The problem with Fukushima is that it's not only continuing for 865 days... I mean, let's wrap our minds around that for a second -- it has been leaking out radiation in increasing volumes for 865 days."
 

Japan is a society that shuns whistleblowers

Why has TEPCO been able to cover up the truth about Fukushima for so long? Because Japan is a society of mass conformity. The idea of keeping your head down and not "rocking the boat" is deeply embedded in Japanese culture.

Japan is not a nation of "rugged individualism" but of conformist acquiescence.

As a result, whistleblowers are shunned, and there is immense peer pressure to defend the status quo... even when it's a terrible lie. This culture of conformity at all costs is precisely what allows companies like TEPCO to continue operating extremely dangerous nuclear power plants with virtually no accountability.

While Japan has entire museums dedicated to the horrifying history of two Japanese cities being bombed by the United States at the end of World War II, when Japan's own power company is involved in a radiological disaster of similar magnitude, the entire incident gets swept under the rug. Radiation? What radiation? If the government says there's no radiation, then there's no radiation! After all, it's invisible!
 

Why the U.S. government plays along with the cover-up

The U.S. government, of course, plays along with the charade because its own top weapons manufacturer -- General Electric -- designed and built the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in the first place. And the design decisions made by GE, such as storing spent fuel rods in large pools high above the ground, now look not just incompetent but downright idiotic. It turns out there was never any long-term plan to dispose of the spent fuel rods. The idea was to just let them build up over time until someone else inherited the problem.

So while Japan and the USA play this game of "let's all pretend nothing happened," citizens of both countries continue to be exposed to a relentless wave of deadly radiation that now dwarfs the total radiation release of Chernobyl (which the U.S. media played up in a huge way because the disaster made the Russians look incompetent).

The only reason TEPCO is finally getting around to admitting the truth in all this is because you can't rig all the Geiger counters forever. Radiation follows the laws of physics and atomic decay, not the whims of lying politicians and bureaucrats. As a result, the real story eventually comes out as we're starting to see right now.
 

The Fukushima disaster is likely to get far worse, if you can believe that

The upshot is that the Fukushima disaster is not only far worse than you've been told; it's very likely going to be worse than you could ever imagine. The radiation leak isn't plugged, in other words, and another explosion -- which many experts believe might be imminent -- would release thousands of times more nuclear material into the open environment.

Ultimately, the entire Northern hemisphere has been placed at risk by a bunch of corporate bureaucrats who thought building a nuclear facility in the path of a sure-to-happen tidal wave was a fantastic idea. Instead of acknowledging the problem and working to fix it like a responsible person would, our world's top politicians and ass-coverers have decided it is in their best short-term interests to play along with the TEPCO fairy tale which ridiculously pretends that radioactive leaks can be controlled by wishful thinking.

Remember: Governments can lie about the national debt, health care costs, inflation and unemployment, but they cannot lie about radiation for very long. Sooner or later the physics of it all simply cannot be denied.

Sources for this story include:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-12/fukushima-workers-exposed-to...

http://birthofanewearth.blogspot.se/2013/07/americans-are-in-grave-da...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-12/fukushima-plant-workers-raise-s...

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/phoenix3333/2013/07/24/phoenix-rising-ra...

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