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Re: Censorship in China is a Nightmare

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:41 pm
by WhiteWarlock
Senior Google Scientist Resigns Over “Forfeiture of Our Values” in China

A senior Google research scientist has quit the company in protest over its plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China.

Jack Poulson worked for Google’s research and machine intelligence department, where he was focused on improving the accuracy of the company’s search systems.

In early August, Poulson raised concerns with his managers at Google after The Intercept revealed that the internet giant was secretly developing a Chinese search app for Android devices. The search system, code-named Dragonfly, was designed to remove content that China’s authoritarian government views as sensitive, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.

After entering into discussions with his bosses, Poulson decided in mid-August that he could no longer work for Google. He tendered his resignation and his last day at the company was August 31.

He told The Intercept in an interview that he believes he is one of about five of the company’s employees to resign over Dragonfly. He felt it was his “ethical responsibility to resign in protest of the forfeiture of our public human rights commitments,” he said.

Poulson, who was previously an assistant professor at Stanford University’s department of mathematics, said he believed that the China plan had violated Google’s artificial intelligence principles, which state that the company will not design or deploy technologies “whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights.”

He said that he was concerned not just about the censorship itself, but also the ramifications of hosting customer data on the Chinese mainland, where it would be accessible to Chinese security agencies that are well-known for targeting political activists and journalists.

In his resignation letter, Poulson told his bosses: “Due to my conviction that dissent is fundamental to functioning democracies, I am forced to resign in order to avoid contributing to, or profiting from, the erosion of protection for dissidents.”

“I view our intent to capitulate to censorship and surveillance demands in exchange for access to the Chinese market as a forfeiture of our values and governmental negotiating position across the globe,” he wrote, adding: “There is an all-too-real possibility that other nations will attempt to leverage our actions in China in order to demand our compliance with their security demands.”

“I am forced to resign in order to avoid contributing to, or profiting from, the erosion of protection for dissidents.”

In the six weeks since the revelations about Dragonfly, Google has still not publicly addressed concerns about the project, despite facing a major backlash internally and externally. Earlier this month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai refused to appear at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, where he would have been asked questions about the China censorship. The company has ignored dozens of questions from journalists about the plan and it has stonewalled leading human rights groups, who say that the censored search engine could result in the company “directly contributing to, or [becoming] complicit in, human rights violations.” (Google also did not respond to an inquiry for this story.)

Poulson, 32, who began working for Google in May 2016, told The Intercept that the company’s public silence fueled his sense of frustration. “There are serious worldwide repercussions to this,” he said. “What are Google’s ethical red lines? We already wrote some down, but now we seem to be crossing those. I would really like to see statements about what Google’s commitments are.”

Google launched a censored search engine in China in 2006, but stopped operating the service in the country in 2010, citing Chinese government efforts to limit free speech, block websites, and hack people’s Gmail accounts. At that time, Google co-founder Sergey Brin made clear that he was strongly opposed to the censorship. Brin had spent part of his childhood in the Soviet Union, and said that he was “particularly sensitive to the stifling of individual liberties” due to his family’s experiences there. In 2010, after the company pulled its search engine out of China, Brin told the Wall Street Journal that “with respect to censorship, with respect to surveillance of dissidents” he saw “earmarks of totalitarianism [in China], and I find that personally quite troubling.”

Poulson said that he “very much agree[s] with the case Sergey made in 2010. That’s the company I joined, the one that was making that statement.” If the anti-censorship stance is shifting, he said, then he could no longer “be complicit as a shareholder and citizen of the company.”

Only a few hundred of Google’s 88,000 employees knew about Dragonfly before it was publicly exposed. Poulson was one of the majority who were kept in the dark. But because he was focused on improving the company’s search systems — specifically in an area called “international query analysis” — it is possible his work could have been integrated into the censored Chinese search engine without his knowledge or consent.

Once news of Dragonfly spread through Google, there were protests inside the company. More than 1,400 of the internet giant’s employees signed a letter demanding an ombudsman be appointed to assess the “urgent moral and ethical issues” they said were raised by the censorship plan. The letter condemned the secrecy surrounding Dragonfly and stated: “We urgently need more transparency, a seat at the table, and a commitment to clear and open processes: Google employees need to know what we’re building.”

Google bosses have tried to contain the anger by shutting down employee access to documents about the China search engine. Following leaks from an all-hands staff meeting last month, sources said, the company has tightened rules so that employees working remotely can no longer view a livestream of the meetings on their own computers — they can only watch them inside a designated room at a Google office overseen by managers.

Poulson said he considered staying on as an employee of Google and trying to raise his protests from within. Some of his colleagues argued that the decision to launch the Chinese search engine may still be reversed, and encouraged him to wait before making his call on resigning. “But then I have no chance of changing that decision,” he said, “whereas if I resign beforehand, then there’s some chance of impact.”

Between May 2016 and July 2017, Poulson worked out of Google’s Mountain View headquarters, before he relocated to company offices in Toronto. He said he views his former Google colleagues as some of the smartest and most hardworking people he has ever met. But he is surprised more of the company’s employees have not quit over Dragonfly.

“It’s incredible how little solidarity there is on this,” he said. “It is my understanding that when you have a serious ethical disagreement with an issue, your proper course of action is to resign.” ... rt+News%29

According to reports, Google’s censored Chinese search engine, which has been in development since Spring 2017, “will blacklist access to certain websites and restrict search terms related to human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest.”

Employees working on the project were ordered to “keep quiet about it,” and “deflect questions,” and following the revelation, over a dozen human rights groups condemned Google for the project.

Re: Censorship in China is a Nightmare

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:22 pm
by WhiteWarlock
EU Votes for Memes Ban and Censorship Machines — What Now?
The European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs just voted ‘yes’ on highly controversial parts of the EU’s new Copyright Reform. The controversial articles — 11 and 13 — effectively establish link tax, censorship machines, and ban memes.

There was heavy resistance to the contested articles from internet activists, lobbyists, and members of European Parliament (MEPs), but all was for nought and the articles passed with a 13:12 and 15:10 majority.

Opposers of the link tax and censorship machines argued that it threatened the openness of the internet and made it less free. You can read TNW’s detailed dive into the viewpoints of the articles’ lovers and haters, but the opposition can be shortly summed up like this:

Article 11 (a.k.a. link tax) would force anyone using snippets of journalistic online content to get a license from the publisher first — essentially outlawing current business models of most aggregators and news apps. This can also possibly threaten the hyperlink and give power to publishers at the cost of public good.

Article 13 (a.k.a. censorship machines) will make platforms responsible for monitoring user behavior to stop copyright infringements, but basically means only huge platforms will have the resources to let users comment or share content. People opposed to the proposal worry that this could lead to broader censorship, threatening free speech via parody, satire, and even protest videos.

So is it all over?

The committee’s vote doesn’t automatically make the Copyright reform and its controversial articles law. Instead, it cements the European Parliament’s stance on the issue — which is highly influential — before entering the final stage of the legislation process.

However, there is a way to change that. Plenary is the European Parliament’s tool to bring matters out of committee and put up for a vote in the Parliament itself, i.e. have all 751 MEPs vote instead of only 25. But there needs to be enough support in Parliament for this to happen, so opposers have already started campaigning for a plenary session.

The Copyright Reform and its impact on our internet is an important issue, so hopefully it will be brought before the representatives of all European citizens.

What you can do to make that happen is to contact your MEP and make your voice heard.

#Article13, the #CensorshipMachines, has been adopted by @EP_Legal with a 15:10 majority. Again: We will take this fight to plenary and still hope to #SaveYourInternet
Good thing that the EU Overlords are Tech idiots..
this is a ploy to "monopolize" EU Internet Service Providers
via making them buy new extremely expensive censorship machines for scanning all file data uploads
if they can't afford the new upgrades mandated by EU law
then they will be bought out and consolidated into Monopoly EU Corp
get your own VPN now in the EU!

Re: Censorship in China is a Nightmare

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:08 pm
by WhiteWarlock


Re: Censorship in China is a Nightmare

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:26 am
by WhiteWarlock

Re: Censorship in China is a Nightmare

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:40 pm
by WhiteWarlock

Re: Censorship in China/EU/UK/US is a Nightmare

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:02 pm
by WhiteWarlock
Image ... -internet/
Don’t share this! EU’s new copyright law could kill the free internet

It's basically a battle between billionaires Axel Springer SE and Google. But it is ordinary internet users who will fall victim to the EU's new copyright law, which urgently needs modification.

It's good to share. But the European Parliament clearly doesn't think so. Its new copyright legislation, passed last week, clamps down quite severely on sharing things online. The dynamism of the internet is at threat. When Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, warns us of the dangers the new law poses, we should all sit up straight and pay attention.

For a start, the legislation shifts the responsibility for the uploading of copyright material to the internet platforms themselves. Beforehand it was the job of the companies who thought their copyright was infringed to do this. Many don't bother, and are happy to see their material uploaded to sites like YouTube as they know it promotes an artist's work and boosts sales. But all that is likely to change.

Under Article 13, platforms would have to install “upload filters”. YouTube could be shorn of much of its content. Big sites would probably survive but, as ZDNet warns here, smaller sites could easily be put out of business by “copyright trolls”.

Not that there's anything wrong of course, with sensible protection of copyright. As a prolific five-articles-a-week writer and author I can't tell you how frustrated and angry I feel when I see my work “pirated” by a commercial website which hasn't even asked my permission to reprint it, let alone offer me payment. Copyright law needs reform for the digital age. There needs to be an easy way for creators of content to receive payment from those who have stolen their work. The trouble is, the EU has used a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Look at the way the ability to link to, and quote from, other work without payment, is threatened by the directive.

Sites like RT's ‘Op-ed’ section, which you are reading now, would be adversely affected and may be even put out of action. One of the advantages of writing an article for an online site over print is that links to articles mentioned can easily be inserted. This enables the reader to see for him/herself the original source. But Article 11 of the Directive raises fears that payment may, in certain circumstances, have to be paid to sites which are linked to. Being able to quote freely from other articles, so long as they are credited, is surely a good thing. It's essential for instance when you are writing a piece dissecting another. But under the new legislation all but the very briefest quotes may have to be paid for. Think how much that would restrict quality journalism and hinder the free exchange of knowledge.

Then there's the threat to memes, one of the most entertaining aspects of online life. It's true that memes are often based on material which technically is copyrighted. But isn't legislating against them taking it all too far? Article 13 states that “online content sharing service providers and right holders shall cooperate in good faith in order to ensure that unauthorised protected works or other subject matter are not available on their services.” That could mean you tweeting a GIF of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho showing great disinterest in a topic could fall 'foul' of the law.

So to get over this, you might think of going to a football match yourself, taking a photo of the player, manager, team, or the stadium, and then tweeting that. Be careful, you could be “red-carded” under Article 12a, as Wired in their 'Explainer' piece points out here (do we have to pay them for the link, Ed?).

The overall impact of the legislation, if it becomes law in member states, will be stultifying. We'll all be turned into nervous wrecks, worried that we have infringed the new laws in one way or another. Don't we have enough stress already in our lives without the European Parliament adding to it? What's made the Internet so fandabidozi (will we have to pay The Krankies copyright to use that term?!), is that it has, up to now, been free to grow organically. Blogs that attract readers thrive, those that don't go to the wall. But the very fact that it's been a relatively free space, alarms the control freaks and brain-washers.
Read more
Alex Jones of Infowars © Jim Bourg Twitter exiles Alex Jones to Internet Archipelago as crackdown on American discourse heats up

The EU legislation, bad as it is in its own right, must be seen as part of a wider attempt to clamp down on free expression and the free exchange of ideas in the West at a time when fewer people than ever before believe establishment narratives. This month a British MP by the name of Lucy Powell, launched a bill in Parliament entitled the 'Online Forums Bill' to ban private Facebook groups which promote “hate”, “racism” and “fake news”. But who defines what these terms actually mean?

The authorities, that's who, and they will use their powers selectively and hypocritically to silence anyone who poses a threat to those living very comfortable lives inside the castle. Just look at how the 'fake news' debate has been framed in such a way to equate 'fake news' with 'Russian news', ignoring the promulgation of 'fake news' by non-Russian media about Iraqi WMDs which led to a war which killed over 1m people.

Powell's bill comes on top of the enormous pressure that companies like Facebook have been placed under to toe the line and flag up content from non-approved providers. We were told that in July, Twitter had purged of about 70 million accounts. Censorship is coming back under the guise of “fighting extremism”,“countering fake news”, or “countering the scourge of anti-Semitism.” If they want to censor it they'll find a noble sounding, virtue-signaling excuse. We need to resist this, and resist it strongly.

In free societies it should be up to internet users themselves to decide what articles and outlets they read, what Facebook groups they join (closed or otherwise), and what Twitter accounts they follow, and not Big Brother or any other kind of politically correct thought police. And the EU should be concerning itself not with trying to control the internet, through manufactured 'concerns' over copyright, but in solving the pressing problems affecting Europe's economies. Youth unemployment stood at around 43 percent in Greece, 33 percent in Spain and 32 percent in Italy, the last time I looked. What help will the Copyright Directive be to the young jobless?

Re: Censorship in China/EU/UK/US is a Nightmare

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:51 am
by WhiteWarlock

Re: Censorship in China/EU/UK/US is a Nightmare

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:36 am
by WhiteWarlock
Apple Begins Tracking Your Calls and Emails to Assign You a ‘Trust Score’
Apple has rolled out a new policy to analyze your data and determine a “trust score” based on what it finds, Venture Beat reported this week.

In an update to its privacy policy issued last week, the company warned users it would be tracking emails and calls in order to prevent fraud.

“To help identify and prevent fraud, information about how you use your device, including the approximate number of phone calls or emails you send and receive, will be used to compute a device trust score when you attempt a purchase,“ the text reads.

Venture Beat notes that this new text “appears in the iTunes Store & Privacy windows of iOS and tvOS devices,” observing that this is not a run-of-the-mill update:

“This provision is unusual for a few reasons, perhaps the least of which is that Apple TVs don’t make phone calls or send emails. As such, it’s unclear how Apple computes the device trust score for iTunes purchases made through Apple TVs, but there’s other potential ‘information about how you use your device’ that could be scraped and abstracted.”

The outlet continued:

“It’s equally unclear how recording and tracking the number of calls or emails traversing a user’s iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch would better enable Apple to verify a device’s identity than just checking its unique device identifier. Every one of these devices has both hardcoded serial numbers and advertising identifiers, while iPhones and cellular iPads also have SIM cards with other device-specific codes.”

In a statement to Venture Beat, Apple said: “[T]he only data it receives is the numeric score, which is computed on-device using the company’s standard privacy abstracting techniques, and retained only for a limited period, without any way to work backward from the score to user behavior.”

The company also said that “No calls, emails, or other abstractions of that data are shared with Apple.”

Apple has insisted it does not share private user data and has had a long, public battle with the FBI over its refusal to submit to demands they violate their encryption technology.

Nevertheless, some social media users compared the concept of a “trust score” to an episode of the dystopian Netflix show Black Mirror. That episode details a society where people rank each other, generating scores that affect their ability to buy homes, use transport, and even engage with other individuals.

In real life, China has imposed a social credit score that has already restricted the ability of citizens to function, including banning travel. It can also be used to ban low-ranking people from using dating apps, attending schools, and luxury hotels.

While Apple’s new ranking system is far from anything that "overtly" dystopian, its adoption is yet another sign of the ubiquitous technology and data analysis/collection/spying on consumers wielded by monolithic intrusive tech companies in modern life.

Don't "Trust" Apple!

Re: Censorship in China/EU/UK/US is a Nightmare

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:46 pm
by WhiteWarlock

Re: Censorship in China/EU/UK/US is a Nightmare

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:11 pm
by WhiteWarlock

Google Search Competitor ‘DuckDuckGo’ Reaches 30 Million Searches a Day

Privacy-based Google Search competitor DuckDuckGo has reached 30 million searches on its engine per day.

According to DuckDuckGo’s traffic page, the search engine’s daily search record is now 30,602,556 searches.

As of writing, 22,938,106,279 searches have been made in total through DuckDuckGo since its launch in 2008. DuckDuckGo’s popularity has been slowly increasing over the years, with 2017 being its most popular year yet.

“You deserve privacy. Companies are making money off of your private information online without your consent. At DuckDuckGo, we don’t think the Internet should feel so creepy and getting the privacy you deserve online should be as simple as closing the blinds,” declares the search engine on its about page. “Too many people believe that you simply can’t expect privacy on the Internet. We disagree and have made it our mission to set a new standard of trust online.”

In August, DuckDuckGo raised $10 million following increasing Big Tech privacy concerns, which the company claimed would be used to expand globally.

“To make any real progress in advancing data privacy this year, we have to start doing something about Google and Facebook. Not doing so would be like trying to lose weight without changing your diet. Simply ineffective,” declared DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg in an op-ed for CNBC this year. “The impact these two companies have on our privacy cannot be understated.” ... rt+News%29

Re: Censorship in China/EU/UK/US is a Nightmare

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:38 pm
by killing raven sun
i switched to duck duck go during the election when the search results were being too obviously manipulated, not as comprehensive but good enough, i use pretty specific terms which helps

semi related...
New Samizdat: RT brings you a new censorship buster

If the establishment media were truly balanced, social media’s purge of alternative news outlets would be a front-page splash. The fact it isn’t proves that those who shout loudest about “free speech” may be its greatest enemies.

Sadly, RT saw something like this coming. And for that reason, we have developed a new site to promote the free exchange of information and views. The fact it launches on the same weekend that US social media giants Facebook and Twitter clamped down on dissent is merely a coincidence.

New Samizdat is a news aggregator with a difference. The website will attempt to bring you the most important and interesting stories across the English-speaking web, which are either undervalued or ignored by legacy outlets.

Sources will vary, but inquiring minds who challenge groupthink will be favored. However, you’ll see the MSM often featured too, as one of its greatest tricks is to cover vital and radical news but bury it in the mainstream.

New Samizdat will post the most interesting links, across all spectrums, with the intention of stimulating debate and providing access to information. And we hope it can play a small part in fighting modern censorship by giving you a trusted page where the most interesting news and views can be found. ... ensorship/

Re: Censorship in China/EU/UK/US is a Nightmare

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:03 pm
by jliat
Why is it assumed - "a given" that free speech is a "good" thing?

Why is it assumed " a given" that privacy is a good thing? (especially in the music business! )

Why should anyone bother about companies making money out of selling data?

Or is it just dogma (AKA a given, AKA brainwashing, AKA ideology...)?

Re: Censorship in China/EU/UK/US is a Nightmare

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:05 pm
by melkobukva
jliat wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:03 pm
Why is it assumed " a given" that privacy is a good thing? (especially in the music business! )
What's so special about the music business?

Re: Censorship in China/EU/UK/US is a Nightmare

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:25 pm
by WhiteWarlock
LOFLBWAHAHAHAHA he thinks that he is in "The Music Business"
OMFGs not as if he ever worked in any capacity for the "Industry" in his life
this is part of the reasons why it becomes impossible taking him seriously at all anymore

Re: Censorship in China/EU/UK/US is a Nightmare

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:57 pm
by jliat
melkobukva wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:05 pm
jliat wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:03 pm
Why is it assumed " a given" that privacy is a good thing? (especially in the music business! )
What's so special about the music business?

Well not 'special' in any sense of more significant, but in that within such industries publicity is normally sort after. Same goes
for being in any entertainment business unless its banned, in which case some secrecy is required. But in other activities, privacy is more important, So crooks tend to want to keep secret the source of their wealth.

I've been reading Wal Thonhill (Electric Universe Guy) who is very into 'common sense'. Just a thought - surely in any entertainment business which is legal publicity trumps privacy?