Google: The Surveillance State of the Art?

Big Brother EarthStill using Google, gmail, and now Google+?  I’m not.  Google seems to have inverted its motto, “Don’t be evil” and has been engaging in wholesale collection of data it gathers on its users and is now polluting what was once its premier product, its search engine, with commercialized, proprietary garbage. This has been going on for some time but many people still do not seem to be aware of it. See The Guardian’s “Google ‘improperly’ accessed Kenyan rival Mocality’s database” and read The Case Against Google for a comprehensive argument against using Google by Mat Honan on Gizmodo.com, both written in 2012.

Google was taken to court in a class action suit in 2013 regarding its intrusive data-gathering practices, a case that it lost.  In a victory for online privacy, an article on Consumer Watchdog.org entitled, ““Gmail Judge Holds Internet Accountable To Wiretap Laws In Key Consumer Victory” sums up the ruling against Google thusly:

“This is a historic step for holding Internet communications subject to the same privacy laws that exist in the rest of society. The court rightly rejected Google’s tortured logic that you have to accept intrusions of privacy if you want to send email,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director. “The ruling means federal and state wiretap laws apply to the Internet.  It’s a tremendous victory for online privacy. Companies like Google can’t simply do whatever they want with our data and emails.” Read the decision here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/GoogleGmailOrder092613.pdf

Google may be involved in much more than anyone might have imagined, and its influence/involvement may likely far exceed data collection. For a very disturbing examination of the larger issues of what Google may be involved in politically, see Google is Not What it Seems for a 2014 Newsweek article containing an excerpt of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange’s book, “When Google Met Wikileaks” regarding Eric Schmidt, previous Google CEO.

After reading these articles, you may agree that Google has abandoned its motto and is now being evil by its own definition as well as by that of many of its erstwhile users.  This is an example of the kind of dismissal of ethics endemic in capitalism, where profit trumps all, and is the larger lesson we need to learn from this betrayal.  Some of us would argue that a system predicated on profit is inherently corrupt, self-serving, and, well, evil.  It is no small matter that the NSA spying has been piggybacking off information gathered by tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Apple and why these corporations need to be held accountable.  But even more disturbing, Google may be involved behind the scenes in larger world events.  This is why We the People need to take back control of our government and rein in these corporations who think they are “people” so that we can again have some privacy as well as some say in our lives.

BREAKING NEWS: Wikileaks Leaks the TPP Environmental Chapter!

Today in the wee hours of the morning Wikileaks leaked the text of the environmental chapter of the ultra-secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership.  It is every bit as bad as expected, allowing corporations to exploit and degrade natural resources without consequence.  See: 

http://wikileaks.org/tpp-enviro/

The Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council have analyzed it.  For their analysis, see:

TPP Environmental Chapter Analysis

We reiterate our opposition to the TPP and to FAST TRACK legislation, which has now been introduced into the Senate (S 1900) and the House (HR 3830).   Congress has constitutional authority over trade agreements and Fast Track is an attempt by the executive branch to evade Congressional oversight and is a subversion of the democratic process and a nullification of checks and balances put into place by Hamilton in order to avoid just this type of scenario.

We ask everyone to call her or his congress member at 202/225-3121 and OPPOSE FAST TRACK!  Also go to:  http://www.stopfasttrack.com/

BREAKING NEWS – MORE TPP LEAKS!

Just yesterday, Wikileaks again released secretive TPP text from the Salt Lake City talks.  See:

http://wikileaks.org/Second-release-of-secret-Trans.html

After four long years of secrecy and arm-twisting in TPP “negotiations” (more like bullying), the US Trade Representative in league with corporate elite is attempting to coerce other nations to sign against their own national interests for the benefit of the 1%!  Congress needs to assert its authority and end this global debacle.

Tell Congress4Years Is Enough!

Wikileaks Publishes Intellectual Property Chapter of TPP!

Yesterday Wikileaks published the chapter on intellectual property of the secretively negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty, an agreement that would usher in global corporate rule.  Probably the most controversial of all the TPP texts that have been leaked, it would impact medicine, Internet freedom, and more.  See the DemocracyNow! coverage in the video above and the following links for the text on both the IP chapter and the chapter on investment as well as analyses of both.

It is vital that anyone and everyone who cares about Internet freedom, civil liberties, and democracy post this information and call, email, and tweet your representatives in Congress to demand that they VOTE NO ON FAST TRACK, a Nixon-era relic that Obama is trying to resurrect in order to override Congressional oversight on this virulently elitist document that would enrich the few at the expense of the many worldwide and erect a global corporate state unanswerable to the people in the signatory countries.

Here is the link to the intellectual property chapter: http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/TransPacificIP1.pdf

Analysis of the TPP intellectual property chapter on access to medicines:
MSF/Doctors Without Borders’ Release and Memo on How the Trans-Pacific FTA Undermines Access to Medicines

Public Citizen’s Memo on Obama Administration Backtracking from Bush Era Access to Medicine Commitments

MSF/Doctors Without Borders’ White Paper “Trading Away Health”

Public Citizen’s Access to Medicine Analyses Comparing TPP Proposals with Existing Laws and Trade Pacts

The Global Treatment Access Group Paper on the TPP and Access to Medicines

Analysis of the updated TPP intellectual property chapter:
Public Citizen Memo “What’s New in the Wikileaks TPP Text?”

The TPP investment chapter can be found online here

Analysis of the TPP investment chapter:

Global Trade Watch Analysis of Leaked TPP Investment Text

Gordon Campbell on the Trans-Pacific Partnership leaks

Professor Jane Kelsey on the TPP Investment Chapter

Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network Statement on the TPP Investment Chapter

Health GAP Analysis of the TPP Investment Chapter

Free Bradley Manning!

Bradley Manning has endured over 3 years of imprisonment and cruel treatment, including the trial which just ended, which has been a far cry from open, fair, just, or impartial. Bradley Manning is a global hero for his personal sacrifice, an idealistic young whistleblower who deserves not only to be released immediately but praised for his unselfish defense of our Constitution and rule of law.  That he should be treated as he has been is a sign of how far this country has traveled from its ideals of freedom, civil liberties, and democracy towards authoritarianism and fascism.

Though his many supporters are infinitely relieved that he was found not guilty of “aiding the enemy,” a charge that could have led to life imprisonment or even the death penalty, it is very likely that this spurious charge was leveled against him mainly for the terrorizing effect on him and other whistleblowers and would-be whistleblowers, and in order to try to justify finding him guilty of 5 counts of “espionage.”  These charges likely may be used as a foundation in this administration’s attempt to charge other whistleblowers such as WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, given the opportunity.

As it stands right now, the estimates of his “guilty” charges are between 17-20 out of 22 charges and he still could be jailed for up to 136 years–an outrage.  The sentencing phase is estimated to take another few weeks and reportedly the defense has more witnesses set to take the stand in this portion than does the prosecution–20 in all.  The verdict will be appealed.

We say, “Free Bradley Manning” and sentence him to time which he has already unjustly served!

See the following for more information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23506213

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/07/30/wikileaks-bradley-manning-verdict.html

http://dncdn.dvlabs.com/ipod/dn2013-0731.mp4

http://youtu.be/pX6NyElC698