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Category Archives: Censorship

Leaked Google presentation shows company grappling with censorship and free speech

The Verge: “A leaked research presentation [note – the Verge includes a link to the entire presentation posted on Scribd] put together by employees of Google shows the extent to which the search giant is grappling with decisions around freedom of speech and censorship. The presentation, leaked to Breitbart News this week and published in full by the organization, is titled “The Good Censor,” and it’s a mix of findings and insights based on interviews and contributions from a number of journalists, academics, and cultural critics. The aim, according to the first slide of the presentation, is to “reassure the world that [Google] protects users from harmful conduct while still supporting free speech.” The slides are a rare and stark look at Google’s ongoing struggles, which are mirrored by many Silicon Valley tech platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, that now moderate a large swath of human conversation. Essentially, the company is asking itself whether it’s possible to protect against the negative aspects of free speech — violent threats, fake news, bots, trolling, propaganda, and election interference, to name just a few — while promoting a platform that gives everyone a voice. Google says in the presentation that the internet was founded on “utopian principles of free speech,” and that Silicon Valley was largely built under the guiding principles of those ideals…”

Google China Prototype Links Searches to Phone Numbers

The Intercept: “Google built a prototype of a censored search engine for China that links users’ searches to their personal phone numbers,thus making it easier for the Chinese government to monitor people’s queries, The Intercept can reveal. The search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, was designed for Android devices, and would remove content deemed sensitive by China’s… Continue Reading

White House’s website deleted the whole archive of its daily newsletters

Quartz: “American citizens can get daily updates on the government directly from the White House’s “1600 Daily” newsletter, which was launched in March 2017. The newsletter shares daily updates from the White House, together with a feed of positive news about Donald Trump’s administration (primarily from conservative outlets supportive of the government, such as Breitbart… Continue Reading

AP – EU proposed to give internet firms 1 hour to remove extremist content

Via ABCNews.com: “European authorities are planning to slap internet companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook with big fines if they don’t take down extremist content within one hour. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a speech Wednesday that the Commission is proposing the new rules as part of efforts to step up the bloc’s… Continue Reading

Pew – Americans are changing their relationship with Facebook

“Just over half of Facebook users ages 18 and older (54%) say they have adjusted their privacy settings in the past 12 months, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Around four-in-ten (42%) say they have taken a break from checking the platform for a period of several weeks or more, while around a… Continue Reading

Bias of Big Tech news not substantiated by the facts

NextDraft: “…This week, President Trump has been attacking Google (and by extension, all of big tech) for being biased against him and the other “victims” who support him. As Kara Swisher rightfully explains in the NYT, “the idea that Google and Twitter are rigging their platforms against him is patently false.” In The Atlantic, Alexis… Continue Reading

Federal Judge Strikes Down Portions of Trump’s Executive Orders Undermining Federal Employees

The Hill: “A federal judge on Saturday [August 25, 2018] struck down several key provisions in President Trump‘s executive orders that he signed earlier this year that would have made it easier to fire federal workers. In a court ruling, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote that unions were right in arguing that the provisions… Continue Reading

A Surveillance State Unlike Any the World Has Ever Seen

Spiegel Online: “In western China, Beijing is using the most modern means available to control its Uighur minority. Tens of thousands have disappeared into re-education camps. A journey to an eerily quiet region… Nowhere in the world, not even in North Korea, is the population monitored as strictly as it is in the Xinjiang Uighur… Continue Reading

Pew Survey – Public Attitudes Toward Technology Companies

“A majority of Republicans say technology firms support the views of liberals over conservatives and that social media platforms censor political viewpoints. Still, Americans tend to feel that these firms benefit them and – to a lesser degree – society In the midst of an ongoing debate over the power of digital technology companies and… Continue Reading

NSA Reports Call Detail Records (CDR) Deletion

NSA/CSS Statement, June 28, 2018: “Consistent with NSA’s core values of respect for the law, accountability, integrity, and transparency we are making public notice that on May 23, 2018, NSA began deleting all call detail records (CDRs) acquired since 2015 under Title V of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Government relies on Title… Continue Reading

Trump Refuses to Release Data on Immigration Crackdown

Bloomberg: ICE’s disappearing records make it difficult to examine whether reality meets the president’s rhetoric. “Five days into his presidency, Donald Trump took aim at illegal immigration with executive orders signaling a new era of heavy enforcement. Not only did he threaten to go after undocumented immigrants, many of whom he labeled violent criminals, he… Continue Reading

ICE Online Detainee Locator System

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement database – Online Detainee Locator System – Search Page Use this page to locate a detainee who is currently in ICE custody. Online Detainee Locator System cannot search for records of persons under the age of 18. “Fact Sheet: Zero-Tolerance Prosecution and Family Reunification Release Date: June 23, 2018 –… Continue Reading