Author Topic: The Goolag, Facebook, Youtube, Amazon, Twitter et al: the Orwellian Tech Octopus  (Read 41679 times)


ccp

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haven't been to burning man

can't say I have any desire to go

I am sure the googlelites have their own fancy tents and accommodations

read somewhere recently it has already lost its novelty and has become hokey.







Crafty_Dog

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Key point in the article:

"Social media platforms have been given a "sweetheart deal," according to Hawley, which includes "immunity from liability for illegal content posted by third parties." They were given special consideration, he said, because they promised to provide "a forum for a true diversity of political discourse.”"

DougMacG

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Government-run Facebook
« Reply #304 on: April 09, 2019, 07:32:11 AM »
https://reason.com/blog/2019/04/05/mark-zuckerberg-calls-for-government-reg

"Zuckerberg is joined not only by progressive Democrats such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) but conservative Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who are calling for the equivalent of a Fairness Doctrine for Twitter and similar services."

Good God.  Where was government when they bought their largest competitor?

G M

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Crafty_Dog

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Saw Ted Cruz on Laura Ingraham last night.  He responded to the argument made by many that FB et al are privately owned  by pointing out the difference between platform and publisher and that those who are granted protection from libel suits by being considered platforms should not then be censoring.

DougMacG

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Saw Ted Cruz on Laura Ingraham last night.  He responded to the argument made by many that FB et al are privately owned  by pointing out the difference between platform and publisher and that those who are granted protection from libel suits by being considered platforms should not then be censoring.

I'm not sure I agree with Ted Cruz on this [nor do I think he can get where he wants to go  partnering with Elizabeth Warren]. 

It is a widely used platform, but Facebook also is a product people can choose to join, avoid, or leave when dissatisfied. 

The issue is not which way FB leans which is obvious but what level of involvement government should have. 

When the company begs for "regulation", I smell a rat.

Unfair business practices, lack of privacy options and real consent agreements are areas for public policy to address, but let's not allow regulation, which can be government sponsorship, to make permanent a system we already know is incapable of being neutral.

Regulation generally locks in the monopoly status of the most entrenched players, cf oil companies, Wall Street, energy utilities.

I'd rather have Facebook be a bad company that takes our money and privacy than have it be a branch of government.

Crafty_Dog

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I understand Cruz's point to be a REMOVAL of governmental exclusion from libel laws.


DougMacG

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I understand Cruz's point to be a REMOVAL of governmental exclusion from libel laws.

In that case, good, I think. At least he is calling them out publicly on their bias which for Google and Facebook should chip away at their monopoly.

More:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/04/10/ted-cruz-threatens-regulate-facebook-twitter-over-alleged-bias/3423095002/

G M

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Where we are now
« Reply #311 on: April 14, 2019, 03:17:47 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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3 to 5 billion to facebook is punk change
« Reply #313 on: April 25, 2019, 03:00:58 PM »
response take a $  3 billion expense, chump change, and then pretend you want some regulation (with eagerness to help write it)

https://pjmedia.com/trending/the-federal-trade-commission-is-coming-after-facebook-to-the-tune-of-3-5-billion/

Look at the chart ;  from low right back up in a several months:

https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/FB/chart?p=FB#eyJpbnRlcnZhbCI6IndlZWsiLCJwZXJpb2RpY2l0eSI6MSwiY2FuZGxlV2lkdGgiOjkuNDIzMDc2OTIzMDc2OTIzLCJ2b2x1bWVVbmRlcmxheSI6dHJ1ZSwiYWRqIjp0cnVlLCJjcm9zc2hhaXIiOnRydWUsImNoYXJ0VHlwZSI6ImxpbmUiLCJleHRlbmRlZCI6ZmFsc2UsIm1hcmtldFNlc3Npb25zIjp7fSwiYWdncmVnYXRpb25UeXBlIjoib2hsYyIsImNoYXJ0U2NhbGUiOiJsaW5lYXIiLCJzdHVkaWVzIjp7InZvbCB1bmRyIjp7InR5cGUiOiJ2b2wgdW5kciIsImlucHV0cyI6eyJpZCI6InZvbCB1bmRyIiwiZGlzcGxheSI6InZvbCB1bmRyIn0sIm91dHB1dHMiOnsiVXAgVm9sdW1lIjoiIzAwYjA2MSIsIkRvd24gVm9sdW1lIjoiI0ZGMzMzQSJ9LCJwYW5lbCI6ImNoYXJ0IiwicGFyYW1ldGVycyI6eyJ3aWR0aEZhY3RvciI6MC40NSwiY2hhcnROYW1lIjoiY2hhcnQifX19LCJwYW5lbHMiOnsiY2hhcnQiOnsicGVyY2VudCI6MSwiZGlzcGxheSI6IkZCIiwiY2hhcnROYW1lIjoiY2hhcnQiLCJ0b3AiOjB9fSwibGluZVdpZHRoIjoyLCJzdHJpcGVkQmFja2dyb3VkIjp0cnVlLCJldmVudHMiOnRydWUsImNvbG9yIjoiIzAwODFmMiIsImV2ZW50TWFwIjp7ImNvcnBvcmF0ZSI6eyJkaXZzIjp0cnVlLCJzcGxpdHMiOnRydWV9LCJzaWdEZXYiOnt9fSwic2V0U3BhbiI6eyJtdWx0aXBsaWVyIjoyLCJiYXNlIjoieWVhciIsInBlcmlvZGljaXR5Ijp7InBlcmlvZCI6MSwiaW50ZXJ2YWwiOiJ3ZWVrIn19LCJjdXN0b21SYW5nZSI6bnVsbCwic3ltYm9scyI6W3sic3ltYm9sIjoiRkIiLCJzeW1ib2xPYmplY3QiOnsic3ltYm9sIjoiRkIifSwicGVyaW9kaWNpdHkiOjEsImludGVydmFsIjoid2VlayIsInNldFNwYW4iOnsibXVsdGlwbGllciI6MiwiYmFzZSI6InllYXIiLCJwZXJpb2RpY2l0eSI6eyJwZXJpb2QiOjEsImludGVydmFsIjoid2VlayJ9fX1dfQ%3D%3D
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 03:26:46 PM by ccp »


Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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FB goes after Michelle Malkin
« Reply #317 on: May 11, 2019, 10:56:55 AM »
FB bans MM  (I recall the day when that stood for Mantle - Maris   :-o)

F'er Z'er troops do it again to Conservatives:

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/05/10/michelle-malkin-censored-on-facebook-for-opposing-censorship/

G M

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Re: FB goes after Michelle Malkin
« Reply #318 on: May 11, 2019, 04:50:56 PM »
FB bans MM  (I recall the day when that stood for Mantle - Maris   :-o)

F'er Z'er troops do it again to Conservatives:

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/05/10/michelle-malkin-censored-on-facebook-for-opposing-censorship/

Of course.








Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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invoking Copyright?

who believes that?

I wouldn't waste my time with twitter

Crafty_Dog

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Louder w Crowder
« Reply #328 on: May 22, 2019, 07:34:42 AM »
If I have it right, Crowder is one of the ones sent down the memory hole by FB and Twitter.

To help him stay on the radar screen, here is his website:

https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/


ccp

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G M

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ccp

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5G advantages and "disadvantages"
« Reply #332 on: May 26, 2019, 07:01:03 AM »
https://www.tutorialspoint.com/5g/5g_advantages_disadvantages.htm

notice how as an afterthought the most gigantic disadvantage , privacy security and centralized control and certain state private criminal and corporate abuse is on the very last line :

" Security and privacy issue yet to be solved."

Why not just say there will NOT be privacy security and whatever patches will be will be forever too late, too insufficient and too feeble.


G M

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Samizdat in the Age of Digital Totalitarianism
« Reply #334 on: May 29, 2019, 07:30:16 PM »
https://gatesofvienna.net/2019/05/samizdat-in-the-age-of-digital-totalitarianism/

Samizdat in the Age of Digital Totalitarianism
Posted on May 27, 2019 by Baron Bodissey

 Samizdat: 'Chronicle of Current Events' #22 Nov 10 1971

A couple of days ago we posted about the blocking of BitChute in Australia via a process known as “DNS poisoning”. It seems that the emergence of BitChute as a source of uncensored videos was enough of a threat for the Powers That Be in Oz to decide that it must be neutralized.

During the same time period the process of de-platforming dissidents has accelerated. Almost anyone who is well-known and has a slightly right-of-center political opinion can expect to have Tweets and Facebook posts deleted, YouTube videos pulled, and — if he is prominent enough to require complete excommunication — the closing of his account. Dissidents with the greatest celebrity status, such as Tommy Robinson and Milo Yiannopoulos, can expect to lose their accounts on multiple platforms simultaneously, as if their suppression were being coordinated by some trans-national censorship board.

Vlad Tepes is on BitChute and BitTube now, which is why the topic of DNS poisoning came up. His videos are now going up and staying up, thanks to BitChute; hence the establishment’s efforts to cut off viewers’ access to BitChute.

As it happens, all of these methods of censorship and repression are being implemented not by the state, but by private corporations. This gives repressive governments cover so that they can deny responsibility: “Facebook [or Twitter, or Instagram, or Google, etc.] is a private company, and may enforce its terms of use without government interference.” The ISPs in Australia that are sabotaging BitChute’s IP on their domain name servers are also private corporations, as far as I know — the Australian government doesn’t have to do the dirty work.

Torquemada: The Spanish Inquisition
This doesn’t mean that governments are not arresting, charging, trying, and convicting citizens for “hate speech”. Britain, Sweden, and Germany seem to be vying with each other to see who can rack up the largest number of state prosecutions for hate speech. The rest of Western Europe, Australia, and Canada are no slouches, either. The USA has the First Amendment, so it’s not so bad here, but we’re only hanging on by the skin of our teeth. If Hillary had been elected in 2016, and had thus been able to appoint two Supreme Court justices, we’d probably be following the Canadian model right now.

Nevertheless, private companies are doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes suppressing free speech. Some of them are probably following the inclinations of their CEOs (think Mark Zuckerberg), but a quiet government word about antitrust action or a tax-evasion investigation must do wonders to convince them to help the state suppress Internet dissent.

A few days ago we posted an interview with a French communist MEP from back in 1992. This was one of Vlad’s videos, so it was uploaded to BitChute. However, I happened to find a mirror of it on a minor YouTube channel, and posted that instead.

Group of radio listeners
How was that channel able to post the video? Even if Vlad still had a YouTube channel, that video would have been immediately deleted by Google, because it said naughty things about the European Union. How come the other channel gets a pass?

The answer is obvious: Vlad’s channel was very popular, and had turned into a major influence in the realm of online videos. The other channel is relatively minor, and evidently doesn’t attract enough viewers to warrant being suppressed.

There’s a lesson for us dissidents in that.


If your opinions are politically incorrect, and you become prominent enough on the internet, you will be suppressed. You will be banished from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and all those other platforms that I can’t remember the names of. If you make public appearances, you will repeatedly find your venues being cancelled at the last minute. Your PayPal account will be closed. And — as part of the latest wave of corporate censorship — credit card companies may refuse your business.

All of this can happen without your being prosecuted. You might not even get milkshaked (milkshaken?) or beaten up by antifas, although both of those are likely to happen, too. But state action and violence are not necessary to incapacitate you. By shutting down all your normal means of electronic communication, private corporations can make you vanish from the public forum. To use an old-fashioned word, you become an unperson. You can still walk and talk and eat and drink and go about your daily routine, but to the larger world you no longer exist.

However, the YouTube video of the French communist provides us with an alternative way of doing things. A small channel without many subscribers can without consequence upload the same video that gets Alex Jones banned. And it may get only a thousand views. However, if 10,000 little YouTube channels do the same thing, it means that TEN MILLION PEOPLE will see that video.

Baran Nets -- Centralized, decentralized, and distributed networks
This is an example of the functioning of a distributed network, in which many thousands of small nodes are laterally connected without having to feed their messages up a hierarchical tree to a central clearinghouse. Information is thus propagated horizontally along multiple pathways, making it very difficult to suppress entirely.

This is a 21st-century digital version of samizdat, the underground communication that thrived in the Soviet Union without having access to the state’s monopoly on publishing and broadcasting. In order for it to work, however, ordinary people are going to have to become part of a process that’s different from what they’re used to. There are three main things you’ll need to do or think about differently:

1. Become a node in the distributed network.

Under the hierarchical model, a passive media consumer receives information from a central provider — a television network, a metropolitan radio station, a major newspaper. The same process has continued into the digital age, so that people can go to Huffington Post, PJMedia, or Rotten Tomatoes to get their news and entertainment. They have thousands more choices, but it’s still a hierarchical system: major providers deliver content to thousands or millions of passive consumers.

In contrast, a distributed network shuttles information from node to node in a lattice where no individual provider has a huge number of recipients. In order for such a system to work, consumers must also be producers — they need to pass along what they receive.

So you need to get yourself a YouTube channel. It’s easy enough; you just set up a Gmail email address, which automatically comes with a Google account and a YouTube channel. Yes, it means you’ll have to give some personal information to Google. But chances are, if you’ve ever used Google, it already knows a lot about you, anyway.

Then, when you see a video you think is important (on YouTube, BitChute, BitTube, or any other platform), you download a copy of the video file and upload it to your own channel. You may eventually acquire a couple of hundred subscribers — who will also be lateral nodes in the network — and thereby become one of the 10,000 providers that help the video propagate. As long as your audience remains relatively small, YouTube will leave you alone and not take your videos down.

If you don’t know how to download a video file, visit Vlad Tepes and look for information there. If you don’t see it, leave a comment asking Vlad about it, and he’ll explain.

The same principle applies to Facebook, Twitter, and any other platform: acquire an account, keep your audience small, and repost anything that seems useful and important. As long as you don’t get too many reposts or retweets, the provider will leave you alone.

2. Stop looking to Big Media as your main source of information.

Get in the habit of acquiring information without visiting Google News, CNN, Huffington Post, or any other major provider. This doesn’t mean you’ll never look at an MSM article, but that you’ll find out about it through the distributed network, rather than from the main aggregation pages of the MSM sites.

Sites such as Conservative Treehouse, Gateway Pundit, and Power Line do a great job of collecting interesting news from the MSM or otherwise. Yes, each uses its own filters, but they’re up front about that. If you check a variety of sites you’ll see everything you might want to know about, without having to visit Google News or any other major provider.

I’ve reached the point where Drudge is the only large site I visit, to make sure that I catch any breaking news about a major catastrophe or terrorist attack. [Drudge seems to have wandered off track nowadays, concentrating mainly on celebrity news and perversion, but that’s a topic for another post.]

I’m also fortunate to have such diligent tipsters for the news feed — they read all the news so I don’t have to.

3. Give up any idea of become rich and/or famous.

A node in the distributed network is by definition not prominent. If you become prominent, and you post something that violates the Narrative, you risk having your virtual head cut off, as has happened, to Tommy, Milo, Lauren Southern, and many others.

A blogger or YouTuber naturally wants to expand his audience, especially if he monetizes his content through advertising. But if he becomes too large, he gets squashed by the Powers That Be, and loses his effectiveness.

Gates of Vienna has a relatively small audience, and I aim to keep it that way. We don’t have ads, anyway; we just raise money once a quarter through fundraisers that tap our readers for individual donations. It provides enough for subsistence, but Dymphna and I are so old now that we don’t need all that much, anyway.


 Typists, 1888 (odd jobs)

Unfortunately, there is a time limit on everything I said above: I expect a window of opportunity that will last only two to five years. After that, the combination of 5G wireless technology and the universal use of sophisticated artificial intelligence will allow the major social media companies — not just the government — to observe everything you do and restrict your activities when you attempt to propagate forbidden thoughts.

1984
The connection of virtually all electronic devices to the Internet — commonly known as the “Internet of Things” will mean that everything you do will be known by the government, ISPs, and major corporations. Every phone call you place, every line of text you type, every trip in your car, every visit to a website, every retail purchase you make will become part of the Great Database in the Cloud.

Phone eavesdroppingRight now it still requires humans to examine and make decisions about how to act on all that information. There aren’t enough employees in the Ministry of Information to examine all the data on everybody, so the functionaries charged with suppressing dissent concentrate on the big fish — they spend their time thwarting Tommy Robinson and Alex Jones, and leave the little fish alone.

AI will change all that. With many thousands of artificial brains to monitor for dissent, even the smallest nodes in the net can be suppressed. Your little 100-subscriber YouTube channel could be shut down without the intervention of any flesh-and-blood corporate drone.

After that, dedicated dissidents will have to resort to old-fashioned non-digital forms of communication, such as two-way radio, handwritten messages, and possibly even carrier pigeons. If you want to be well-versed in alternative forms of secure communication, become a regular reader of Western Rifle Shooters.

The dedicated samizdatchik will want to use the next few years wisely. We can accomplish a lot in that time, but we need to remain small, and distributed, and savvy.

G M

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An accident, with very interesting timing
« Reply #335 on: June 01, 2019, 05:54:10 PM »
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/01/business/twitter-china-tiananmen.html

Twitter Takes Down Accounts of China Dissidents Ahead of Tiananmen Anniversary
Chinese tourists at the south gate of the Forbidden City, next to Tiananmen Square, in Beijing.

By Paul Mozur
June 1, 2019

SHANGHAI — Three days before the most sensitive political anniversary on the Chinese calendar, Twitter suspended the accounts of Chinese political commentators in what it said was an accident. The move showed starkly the global political ramifications of Silicon Valley slip-ups.

Twitter’s action, which one human rights worker said affected more than 100 users, came over several hours late Friday and early Saturday. It hit human rights lawyers, activists, college students and nationalists, who use workarounds to get access to Twitter, which is banned in China. Just about every part of the raucous, if small, Chinese language Twitter world was affected.

The accounts began rapidly disappearing just days before the 30th anniversary of the crackdown on a student-led pro-democracy demonstration in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Many online assumed the worst: a coordinated attack by Beijing to project its suffocating internet censorship outside its own digital borders. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, tweeted about his concern.

Yet the culprit was not Chinese censors but Twitter’s own overactive filters.

In a statement, Twitter said that as a part of its routine efforts to stop spam and inauthentic behavior, it had inadvertently gone after a number of legitimate Chinese-language accounts.

“These accounts were not mass reported by the Chinese authorities — this was routine action on our part,” the company said in a statement on Twitter. “Sometimes our routine actions catch false positives or we make errors. We apologize.”

Online, many users said they did not believe Twitter’s statement told the whole story. One human rights lawyer, whose account had been taken down, said that in protest he tweeted an image of Twitter’s bird mascot colored red with five yellow stars to evoke the Chinese flag.

The routine action set off real fears. In China, the June 4 anniversary of Tiananmen brings an extra dose of censorship to one of the world’s most controlled corners of the internet. Tools that help users jump the Great Firewall to get access to the broader online world often sputter inexplicably.

Within China, Twitter users have faced escalating pressures. At the end of 2018, China’s Ministry of Public Security began to target Chinese Twitter users. Although Twitter is blocked, many use virtual-private network software that enables access.

In a campaign carried out across the country and coordinated by a division known as the internet police, local officers detained Twitter users and forced them to delete their tweets, which often included years of online discussion, and then the accounts themselves. The campaign is continuing, according to human rights groups.


In the past, Twitter has come under fire for its political tone deafness, especially overseas. After the United Nations found that deliberate social media manipulation helped encourage a genocide in Myanmar, Twitter’s founder, Jack Dorsey, chose the country as the destination for a meditation retreat. While there, he declined to meet with organizers who were fighting violent propaganda and dangerous rumors spread on the platform.

Twitter said that all users in China who had their accounts recently suspended should be able to recover them, though a day later, some accounts remained locked, according to Yaxue Cao, editor of ChinaChange.org, a website dedicated to writings on civil society and human rights.

“I do believe Twitter is trying to do good,” Ms. Cao said. “No questions about that. But the results are mixed.”


SIGN UP
Lin Qiqing contributed research.





ccp

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I guess Cambridge Analytica might turn out to be a good thing
or all this would be squashed by Dems and their media friends

That is the only reason they are doing anything.

G M

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Escape the Silicon Curtain
« Reply #341 on: June 03, 2019, 08:33:30 PM »
Browser: Use Brave

www.Brave.com You can use Startpage as your default search engine in Brave.


Search engines:

www.startpage.com

www.Duckduckgo.com
 
Dump Goolagmail!

www.Protonmail.com

DougMacG

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Re: Escape the Silicon Curtain
« Reply #342 on: June 04, 2019, 05:52:58 AM »
Browser: Use Brave
www.Brave.com You can use Startpage as your default search engine in Brave.
Search engines:
www.startpage.com
www.Duckduckgo.com
Dump Goolagmail!
www.Protonmail.com

Thank you G M!  I will try these.

ccp

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I get duckduckgo  on my mac but it is nowhere near as good as a search function as Google search

so I wind up having to go to google anyway   :cry:

Crafty_Dog

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I've been using Firefox; why use Brave (of which I have never heard) instead?


ccp

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I have heard security is very bad on firefox  the worst of any of them

G M

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I get duckduckgo  on my mac but it is nowhere near as good as a search function as Google search

so I wind up having to go to google anyway   :cry:

https://support.startpage.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/List/Index/22/google

G M

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I've been using Firefox; why use Brave (of which I have never heard) instead?

https://thetinhat.com/blog/thoughts/brave-browser.html

G M

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Behind the Silicon Curtain, GoolagMail reads YOU!
« Reply #348 on: June 04, 2019, 07:05:19 PM »
https://easydns.com/blog/2019/06/03/googles-gmail-scans-parses-analyzes-and-catalogs-your-email/


Google’s Gmail scans, parses, analyzes and catalogs your email
June 3, 2019 by Mark E. Jeftovic



Recently I came across this story  by Todd Haselton that describes how the author located an obscure “purchases” page in his Google account settings and there found a methodical list of his online purchasing history, from third-party outside vendors, going back to 2o12.

The upshot of the story was that:

Google saves years of information on purchases you’ve made, even outside Google, and pulls this information from Gmail.
It’s complicated to delete this private information, and options to turn it off are hidden in privacy settings.
Google says it doesn’t use this information to sell you ads.
Naturally, I flagged this story for the next edition of our #AxisOfEasy newsletter.  Haselton reports that it isn’t easy to locate and delete this information, nor is there a straight-forward path to find it in your privacy settings to disable this behaviour.

This can’t be true (can it?)
The more I thought about this the more I thought “this can’t be true”. I apologize for doubting Haselton, but I thought he had to have it wrong, that maybe he had a stored credit card in his browser that he had forgotten or something, because the ramifications if true, are dire.

First, it means that in order to isolate and parse purchases, Google must then be scanning every email, otherwise, how would they know what’s a purchase and what isn’t?

Further, if they were scanning every email for purchases, what else where they scanning for? Either now, or in the future? The important mechanism, the infrastructure and methodology to scan and parse every inbound email is clearly in place and operational now, adding additional criterion is just a matter of tweaking the parameters.

Then, there is the matter that Google is doing this without informing their users. We can probably wager that there is buried down the rabbit hole of the ToS some clause that alludes to the possibility that Google reserves the right from time to time (including all the time) to do something or another with your email that may or may not involve machine reading it and dissecting it for your behavioural patterns; none of us have ever read it.

More importantly, it didn’t require an explicit opt-in to fire it up.

[ As a belated aside – everybody in tech already knew that the point of Gmail was it was free, and they would scan the contents to target ads. At some point I think they may have announced that they stopped doing that, I can’t remember. But the vast majority of normies (defined as people who don’t dream in XML), don’t realize this, or haven’t given it much thought. However this, parsing out financial transaction data specifically, takes it to a new level.]

I’ve personally verified this is happening
As I said, I initially thought that Haselton had perhaps stored credit cards in his Chrome browser and his purchase history was being populated from that. I still couldn’t believe that Google was in essence reading your email and cataloging your purchases on it’s own.

My Google purchases page existed, but was empty. To test it, I configured my gmail account (which I barely use, for anything other than Google news alerts) to receive any email from my Amazon account.  None of my web browsers have any credit cards stored. Then I went and picked up a new audiobook.

Sure enough…within seconds, my heretofore empty purchases page, suddenly had an entry:



Hovering over the “info” icon anticipates the question, how did this get here?



And so we click to find out…



We get it from Google’s mouth:

“This purchase was found in your Gmail” (emphasis added, because properly rendered it should read “We found this financial transaction sifting through your email”).

Why this is problematic
Before this revelation, I was already habitually remarking how it simply astounded me whenever I came across a law firm, or an investment fund, or medical professional, or financial services firm, or any outfit that routinely carries out propriety or confidential communications (you know them by the typical disclaimer they append to every single email they send):

“This email and any accompanying attachments contain confidential information intended only for the individual or entity named above. Any dissemination or action taken in reliance on this email or attachments by anyone other than the intended recipient is strictly prohibited.”

…and find they’re using Gmail? Yikes. Those disclaimers should be modified to read:

This firm’s email and all accompanying attachments and any of your replies to us will be scanned, parsed and analyzed by our email provider. Hope you’re cool with that.”.

Because that’s what’s actually happening. Here’s the shortlist of problems with this:

We don’t know what else they are scanning for, what else they are parsing out, where they are storing it and what they are doing with it.
Google says they are not using this info to target ads, as if that settles matters. Then what are they doing with it or why else would they even bother? Further, Google says a lot of things, some of them turn out to be disingenuous. Google once testified before the US Congress that they don’t manually intervene in search results, it was later revealed that they …manually intervene in search results.
Whatever data mining and collation and cataloging systems and resources are in place could be abused by Google staff. There are ample cases of tech giant employees abusing their positions and their visibility into user data.
These same systems could be abused or exploited by partners, as has been reported in #AxisOfEasy in previous instances.
These systems could be used (or are being used) under a larger umbrella of State surveillance, which we all know is happening – thanks to the likes of Edward Snowden (see his recent talk to Dalhousie University here). Google’s startup financing came in part from the US intelligence apparatus and, as is frequently observed here and elsewhere, now a major contractor to world governments and the US military.
[ Added – later] As pointed out by a reader, it may also violate data privacy laws of various locales, regardless of what’s actually in the ToS.
Objections and Rationalizations
There will no doubt be people who read this and object to this being a problem on three grounds:

“Everybody does it”, in the sense that any email provider who is running virus or spam filters at their edge are in essence scanning every inbound email. This is true, but only in the sense that they are actively seeking to separate noise, which costs everybody, including the recipient, from signal – stuff the recipient wants to receive. They are not parsing non-infected, purportedly non-spam email. Let’s call it “real email”.  They aren’t parsing, and cataloging your real email based on its contents.
It’s free so shut up. For most gmail users, this is true. But they should also realize that if they don’t want to shut up about this, then the correct response is to move one’s email away from Gmail and pay a provider you trust not to inspect and datamine your private and business correspondence.Remember the old adage: “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product”.
If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. Often quipped by people who have never read a history book. There isn’t much to say about these unfortunates other than, go read a few.
I frequently recommend the biography of Joseph Fouché, the man who ran Napoleon’s secret police, who also cast the deciding vote to behead King Louis XVI. He is credited therein with having invented the modern police state as we know it. If you want to see a long trail of people who had nothing to hide become separated from their wealth, their liberty and their heads… start there.
What to do about it
Maybe you know all this and you really don’t care, and that’s fine. As long as your cultural choices and your political beliefs and your lifestyle match the accepted norms of a rapidly shrinking Overton Window of what constitutes “acceptable”, then you shouldn’t have to worry about anything. Really.

If you’re an easyDNS client and you use Gmail, you should probably be made aware that many of the domain packages here come with email hosting included. If you have lots of historical email at Gmail (or anyplace else) you can use our IMAP migration tool to painlessly copy everything over from Google, except, alas, your purchase history.