Tag Archives: Google

Google Employees Resign In Protest Of Pentagon AI Project

Mountain View, CA — At least a dozen Google employees have resigned in protest over the company collaborating with the Department of Defense by supplying artificial intelligence for a controversial military pilot program for the DoD known as Project Maven, after thousands of employees signed a letter last month asking the company to cancel the Pentagon contract and institute a policy against working for the military.

‘We can no longer ignore our industry’s and our technologies’ harmful biases, large-scale breaches of trust, and lack of ethical safeguards. These are life and death stakes,” the petition read.

[Related: US Army Developing Drones With AI Targeting]

Project Maven, developed to scan images in drone footage and identify targets and classify images of objects and people— was launched in April 2017, and according to a Pentagon memo, aims to “augment or automate Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination (PED) for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in support of the Defeat-ISIS campaign” in order to “reduce the human factors burden of [full motion video] analysis, increase actionable intelligence, and enhance military decision-making.”

More than 1,000 academics and researchers penned an open letter in support of the Google employees and calling on the company to cease work on Project Maven. The letter touches on the implications of Google working with the Pentagon:

With Project Maven, Google becomes implicated in the questionable practice of targeted killings. These include so-called signature strikes and pattern-of-life strikes that target people based not on known activities but on probabilities drawn from long range surveillance footage.

While the reports on Project Maven currently emphasize the role of human analysts, these technologies are poised to become a basis for automated target recognition and autonomous weapon systems. As military commanders come to see the object recognition algorithms as reliable, it will be tempting to attenuate or even remove human review and oversight for these systems. According to Defense One, the DoD already plans to install image analysis technologies on-board the drones themselves, including armed drones. We are then just a short step away from authorizing autonomous drones to kill automatically, without human supervision or meaningful human control. If ethical action on the part of tech companies requires consideration of who might benefit from a technology and who might be harmed, then we can say with certainty that no topic deserves more sober reflection – no technology has higher stakes – than algorithms meant to target and kill at a distance and without public accountability.

The DoD contracts under consideration by Google, and similar contracts already in place at Microsoft and Amazon, signal a dangerous alliance between the private tech industry, currently in possession of vast quantities of sensitive personal data collected from people across the globe, and one country’s military. They also signal a failure to engage with global civil society and diplomatic institutions that have already highlighted the ethical stakes of these technologies.

A few of the Google employees that chose to resign in protest spoke to Gizmodo anonymously about the reasoning behind their decision.

“At some point, I realized I could not in good faith recommend anyone join Google, knowing what I knew. I realized if I can’t recommend people join here, then why am I still here?” one resigning Google employee told Gizmodo.

“I tried to remind myself right that Google’s decisions are not my decisions. I’m not personally responsible for everything they do. But I do feel responsibility when I see something that I should escalate it,” another said.

“Actions speak louder than words, and that’s a standard I hold myself to as well. I wasn’t happy just voicing my concerns internally. The strongest possible statement I could take against this was to leave,” a resigning employee added.

Facebook COO Sells $23M in Shares, Company Declines to Attend House Hearing on “Social Media Filtering Practices”

Facebook’s chief operations officer, Sheryl Sandberg, recently sold $23 million in the company’s stock on Wednesday as governments in the EU move to quickly implement new online privacy laws that would significantly limit the social network’s advertising practices and thus its income.

Sandberg is arguably one of the most powerful and influential women in technology. As Mark Zuckerberg’s COO and the head of the company’s advertising operations, she has been recently blasted by experts for her role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. She has since profusely apologized once news of her involvement was made public. However, despite usually being comfortable in the spotlight, Sandberg has retreated from center stage amid the legal probes Facebook is currently facing, resulting in Mark Zuckerberg’s solo appearance before Congress last week.

In a string of appearances scheduled before the congressional hearings, Sandberg— the social media site’s 2nd in command— affirmed that Facebook’s main source of income comes from advertising. In other words, collecting data of its users is how and why the service remains free.

”The service [Facebook],” Sandberg reminded the public in an interview last Friday, “depends on your data.” Completely opting out of data-based targeted ads, she asserted, would have to be a paid option.

Experts have been quick to analyze and point out the aggressiveness of Facebook’s data collection practices, especially surrounding shadow profiles, which can collect data on users even if they don’t have an account with the social network. Before Congress, Mark Zuckerberg flatly denied any knowledge of the shadow profiles, even though the practice has been well-known since 2013 when the company’s data collection on non-users was revealed during a similar data-mishandling ordeal.

[Related: Facebook Dodges New EU Privacy Regulations]

Regarding the responsibility of the current misuse of data and future regulation regarding people’s privacy, Sandberg has been almost overly apologetic. However, it is still unclear what steps the company has taken since the story first broke in March.

“We know that we did not do enough to protect people’s data. I’m really sorry for that,” she’s said. In a separate instance she apologized yet again saying, “This was a huge breach of trust. People come to Facebook everyday and they depend on us to protect their data, and I am so sorry that we let so many people down.” She couldn’t promise that data was complete safe for now, adding that “We are going to find other things” and “there will always be bad actors.”

Sandberg would not comment about if anyone had lost their jobs at Facebook because of the scandal, saying that “We don’t talk about this publicly and we’re not going to; we don’t think it’s the right thing to do.” Hired in 2008, the former Google advertising chief joined the social network precisely to consolidate the company’s ad-based business model. Facebook’s then 20-something Mark Zuckerberg, who was reclusive and struggling with investors, brought Sandberg on to be the mature face of the company.

Analysts are still in disagreement over the immediate financial future of Facebook, whose stock price took a sharp dip after the harrowing news about personal data leaks. On Wednesday, Sandberg sold 163,500 shares of Facebook stock for a total value of just over $23,000,000. Over the course of 2017, Sandberg sold $316 million worth of shares, with over half that amount being sold in the first half of the year, according to CNBC. Sandberg has sold shares on a consistent basis over the past several years, yet the future of the company remains uncertain in light of dramatic changes and controversies.

A report from CNBC on April 10 highlighted a claim from Brian Wieser, a senior research analyst at Pivotal Research Group, that predicted a role shift for either Sandberg or Zuckerberg. “The company is not well managed,” said Wieser, also claiming that “one of Zuckerberg or Sandberg will not be in the same jobs in 12 months time.”

Most recently, Facebook has seen a modest uptick in active users, as it was reported April 25 that “Facebook’s daily active users in North America rose slightly last quarter to 185 million, a sign that the company’s News Feed algorithm tweaks and data privacy issues may not have deterred consumers.” This news may signal that the public is relenting to Facebook’s conduct; however, it may be worthy for these users to note that Facebook has declined an invitation to offer testimony at the upcoming “Examining Social Media Filtering Practices and their Effect on Free Speech” House of Representatives hearing that will discuss “what metrics social media platforms use to moderate content, how filtering decisions are made, and whether viewpoints have been silenced on some of the most popular and widely used platforms.”

Civil Liberties Groups Warn CLOUD Act In Spending Bill Erodes Privacy

Last Friday, President Donald Trump signed the controversial $1.3 trillion government spending bill into law, despite opposition from concerned citizens and senators who complained the public did not have adequate time to read the 2,232-page bill. The massive bill was handed to representatives on Wednesday night and put to a vote the following morning. The bill passed the House with a 256-167 vote and the Senate with a 65-32 vote, before being sent to Trump.

The vast majority of the funds— about $700 billion— will be going to the Department of Defense to continue funding America’s expanding empire. However, as is typical in Washington D.C., the bill was not only focused on government spending.

“In the final pages of the bill—meant only to appropriate future government spending—lawmakers snuck in a separate piece of legislation that made no mention of funds, salaries, or budget cuts,” The Electronic Frontier Foundation reported. “Instead, this final, tacked-on piece of legislation will erode privacy protections around the globe.”

The bill in question is The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act, or CLOUD Act, and its stated goal is to establish new standards for how the government acquires data outside of its jurisdiction. The CLOUD Act was heavily supported by the Department of Justice and major tech companies who stated the bill would advance consumer rights.

[RELATED: Trust Lost: How Social Media Users’ Data Should Be Protected]

Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY) released a joint statement demanding the CLOUD Act not be included in the spending bill, and a coalition of 24 human rights and privacy advocates led by the American Civil Liberties Union condemned the bill. However, as the EFF noted, the bill was never reviewed or marked up by any committee in the House or the Senate before being put to a vote. Instead of being given time to debate the nuances of the bill, lawmakers voted on the bill as part of the trillion-dollar spending bill.

The EFF and the American Civil Liberties Union have both come out against the CLOUD ACT, with the EFF stating that the bill will give U.S. and foreign law enforcement “new mechanisms to seize data across the globe.” Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel with the ACLU, wrote in an op-ed for The Hill that the bill “would allow countries to wiretap on U.S. soil for the first time, including conversations that foreign targets may have with people in the U.S., without complying with Wiretap Act requirements.”

This includes private emails, instant messages, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and any other communications or photos individuals have shared on the internet. The CLOUD Act will also allow foreign nations to access personal data that is stored on servers in the United States without approval by a judge. Finally, the bill grants the U.S. president the authority to sign “executive agreements” which give foreign agents access to data in the U.S., regardless of U.S. privacy laws.

The EFF outlined how the bill might work in real time:

London investigators want the private Slack messages of a Londoner they suspect of bank fraud. The London police could go directly to Slack, a U.S. company, to request and collect those messages. The London police would not necessarily need prior judicial review for this request. The London police would not be required to notify U.S. law enforcement about this request. The London police would not need a probable cause warrant for this collection. Predictably, in this request, the London police might also collect Slack messages written by U.S. persons communicating with the Londoner suspected of bank fraud. Those messages could be read, stored, and potentially shared, all without the U.S. person knowing about it. Those messages, if shared with U.S. law enforcement, could be used to criminally charge the U.S. person in a U.S. court, even though a warrant was never issued.

What are the implications for digital privacy and security? How might the CLOUD Act impact privacy protections guaranteed by the 4th Amendment?

Google to Ban Cryptocurrency Ads, Deepening “Crypto Blackout”

(Dash Force News) Google has announced that it will be cracking down on cryptocurrency-related advertising, furthering the “crypto blackout” online.

According to new policies relating to financial services to be rolled out in June, among newly banned content will be anything related to cryptocurrency:

“Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)”

While the spirit of the ban appears to be targeted at ICOs and speculation, it will also affect other cryptocurrency information as well, from simple usage guides to wallets, news sites, general information, and more.

Google joins Facebook in the crypto ad blackout

Google follows in Facebook’s footsteps in the crypto ad crackdown. Earlier this year, Facebook similarly banned cryptocurrency-related advertising. Now with Google joining in the ban, two of the most powerful online advertising networks have blocked out cryptocurrency. This united front will make reaching new users considerably more difficult, and will increase the value of earned media, solidifying gatekeeper status by major publications. Additionally, it may also give rise to more covert approaches to dodging ad filters, with cryptocurrency-related content packaged as something else.

Ad difficulties increase the importance of Dash’s partnerships and in-person promotions

Dash’s competitive advantage over other cryptocurrencies is its significant treasury, which can fund all manner of promotional initiatives in-house. However, the recent ad blackout has significantly complicated purely advertising-related proposals, reducing the ability to simply fund Dash ads to increase its user base. This situation increases the importance of other promotional measures such as conference sponsorships and speaking opportunities, as well as grassroots promotional initiatives including meetup programs.

Additionally, difficulties in running normal advertisements increase the value of strategic media partnerships. For example, rather than simply advertising on major ad networks utilized by media outlets, Dash sponsored US-based radio show and podcast Free Talk Live directly, bypassing ad bans by partnering directly with the media platform. Similarly, Dash exclusively sponsored independent journalist Ben Swann, lending his impressive reach to Dash, as well as making a strong statement about uncensored media made possible only by Dash’s DAO.

Award-Winning Journalist Tackles Root of 2016’s “Fake News” Dilemma

Las Vegas, NV— A recent Tedx talk given by Emmy-winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson at the University of Nevada examined the “fake news” narrative that took the U.S. by storm during and following the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

While Attkisson acknowledged that fake news has long existed in various forms, she said that noticed something different taking root within U.S. mainstream media in 2016. Suspecting that the origins of this growing “fake news” narrative were less than organic, Attkisson began researching and said that she connected the origins of this phenomena to a non-profit organization called “First Draft,” which, she notes, “appears to be the about the first to use ‘fake news’ in its modern context.”

“On September 13, 2016, First Draft announced a partnership to tackle malicious hoaxes and fake news reports,” Attkisson said. “The goal was supposedly to separate wheat from chaff, to prevent unproven conspiracy talk from figuring prominently in internet searches. To relegate today’s version of the alien baby story to a special internet oblivion.”

First Draft was assembled back in June 2015, according to a report from Fortune. The coalition included Facebook, Twitter and 30 other news and tech companies.

Just a month later, then-President Barack Obama proclaimed “fake news” to be a threat.

“He insisted in a speech that he too thought somebody needed to step in and curate information of this wild, wild West media environment,” she said, pointing out that “nobody in the public had been clamoring for any such thing.”

Attkisson noted how quickly the topic of “fake news” came to dominate US mainstream media as if corporate media had received “marching orders.”

“Fake news, they insisted, was an imminent threat to American democracy,” Attkisson said, noting that “few themes arise in our environment organically.”

“What if the whole anti-fake news campaign was an effort on somebody’s part to keep us from seeing or believing certain websites and stories by controversializing them or labeling them as fake news?” Attkisson questioned.

Upon investigation, Attkisson discovered that one of the major financial backers of First Draft’s anti-fake news coalition was none other than Google, whose parent company, Alphabet, was chaired by major Clinton supporter Eric Schmidt until Dec. 2017. Schmidt “offered himself up as a campaign adviser and became a top multi-million donor to it. His company funded First Draft around the start of the election cycle,” Attkisson said. “Not surprisingly, Hillary was soon to jump aboard the anti-fake news train and her surrogate, David Brock of Media Matters, privately told donors he was the one who convinced Facebook to join the effort.”

Attkisson noted that “the whole thing smacked of the roll-out of a propaganda campaign.” The award-winning journalist then explained that Trump accomplished a “hostile takeover” of the term. “Something happened that nobody expected. The anti-fake news campaign backfired. Each time advocates cried fake news, Donald Trump called them ‘fake news’ until he’d co-opted the term so completely that even those who [were] originally promoting it started running from it, including the Washington Post.”

Attkisson advised that “powerful interests might be trying to manipulate” perceptions of society. “When interests are working this hard to shape your opinion, their true goal might just be to add another layer between you and the truth,” Attkisson said.

h/t PJ Media

Facebook, Twitter Among Companies Supporting Apple in Fight Against FBI

The CEOs of several major tech companies have voiced their support for Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook after he openly opposed a federal order to “build a backdoor” into the iPhone.

Cook released a statement in response to U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym’s order that Apple must help the FBI break into an encrypted iPhone that belonged to one of the suspects in the San Bernardino shooting.

[RELATED: Apple Rejects Government Order to Create ‘Backdoor’ for iPhone]  

Arguing that creating a way to break into an encrypted iPhone “has implications far beyond the legal case at hand,” Cook claimed that once “a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.”

Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey voiced his support for Cook’s decision on Thursday, writing that he and his company “stand with Tim Cook and Apple,” and “thank him for his leadership.”

Facebook issued a statement late Thursday, in which it said it will “continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems.”

[pull_quote_center]We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services. We also appreciate the difficult and essential work of law enforcement to keep people safe. When we receive lawful requests from these authorities we comply. However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products.[/pull_quote_center]

Google CEO Sundar Pichai released a series of Tweets Wednesday in which he called Cook’s statement “important,” and said that forcing companies to enable hacking “could compromise users’ privacy” and “could be a troubling precedent.”

WhatsApp CEO and cofounder Jan Koum released a statement on Facebook saying that he “couldn’t agree more” with Cook’s statement, and he believes tech companies “must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set.”

[pull_quote_center]I have always admired Tim Cook for his stance on privacy and Apple’s efforts to protect user data and couldn’t agree more with everything said in their Customer Letter today. We must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set. Today our freedom and our liberty is at stake.[/pull_quote_center]

[RELATED: McAfee: I Will Decrypt Information on the San Bernardino Phone for Free]

Computer programmer and 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate John McAfee called the FBI’s claim that the technology to decrypt an iPhone would only be used on the San Bernardino shooting suspect’s phone “a laughable and bizarre twist of logic,” and said his team would decrypt the information on the suspect’s phone for free.

“I will, free of charge, decrypt the information on the San Bernardino phone, with my team,” McAfee said. “We will primarily use social engineering, and it will take us three weeks. If you accept my offer, then you will not need to ask Apple to place a back door in its product, which will be the beginning of the end of America.”

While White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest argued that the FBI is “simply asking for something that would have an impact on this one device,” Cook said he believes that once a way to decrypt the iPhone is created, “the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”

“The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor,” Cook said. “And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

[RELATED: Bill Gates Sides with FBI, Downplays Order to Create ‘Backdoor’ for iPhone]

Follow Rachel Blevins on Facebook and Twitter.

Google’s New Search Feature Gives Party Candidates Power to Control What Information You Receive

By Edgar Wilson – I wrote before that Google’s search algorithm didn’t play politics — facts spoke for themselves, and searcher/voter intent determined the results they found.

That, unfortunately, is no longer the case.

The world’s most popular search engine has announced that a new, experimental feature will give presidential candidates (Republicans and Democrats only) a way to feature their own images, and up to 14,400 characters of their own text, at the top of relevant searches.

Similar to how a search for, say, a celebrity will yield a Knowledge Graph above all other organic results (typically a Wikipedia page), featuring images, biographical information, and related links, the idea is to bring voters directly to the candidates they are searching for with real-time updates.

These Candidate Cards will not be drawn from other popular search results, as the current Knowledge Graphs are; rather, they will be taken from the candidates themselves. That means they will determine independently what the primary search results for their names look and sound like.

It is well documented, researched, and discussed how important social media’s role was in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. By making a public search for facts and resources redundant to social media, Google is compromising the future and development of political engagement online.

The difference between online search and social media was, until now, the difference between campaigns controlling the message and people electing to engage directly, versus the sum of what is being said both by and about candidates, correlated with how the public at large is receiving these many different narratives and messages. Or put differently, Google is bridging the gap between public relations and public scrutiny, and putting PR on top.

Relying on candidates for self-representation is a poor alternative to aggregating reporting, commentary, and the full record of their own comments arranged through Google’s traditional search mechanisms. Of course, traditional search still exists, it just won’t feature above the new Candidate Cards.

[quote_box_center]By making a public search for facts and resources redundant to social media, Google is compromising the future and development of political engagement online. Edgar T. Wilson, IVN Independent Author[/quote_box_center]

It is roughly akin to a newspaper giving its front page away to politicians to write whatever they please (alongside whatever photographs they choose), and relegating traditional news to the interior. All the power and significance that comes with being on the front page is signed away to partisans. The real news isn’t gone, it is just buried.

Candidates are historically — and in this race particularly — poor resources for an accurate account of their historical positions or accomplishments. By featuring them above organic search results, Google is lending credibility where none belongs.

A myriad of other channels — from social media to their own campaign websites — already exist to give candidates an unfiltered, direct route to potential voters.

Google might have been a counterweight, a route to find robust skepticism, alternative points of view, and of course comparing claims against reality. And while the immediate aftermath of any major debate is always an avalanche of articles providing more grounded analysis and fact-checking of the many claims and quotations exchanged in the heat of the pageant, Google is giving precedence to the raw, redundant outflow of propaganda generated by the candidates themselves.

In yet another medium, the voices of the leading parties are being hoisted above the voices of everyone else.

By providing this new feature exclusively to the leading party candidates, Google is mirroring the focus on whatever selection of aspirants the television networks deem “legitimate” hopefuls, and marginalizing all the rest. Just as mainstream news prefers to ignore alternative parties, reject rule changes that would let lesser-known candidates feature in debates, and generally behave as though Republicans and Democrats provide sufficient variety to satisfy American voters — now Google will, too.

Google presents its Candidate Cards feature as something that “levels the playing field for candidates to share ideas and positions on issues they may not have had a chance to address during the debate.” This effort might come off as more sincere if it did in fact level the playing field, rather than cementing the dominance of two parties over the spectrum of American political ideas.

Google may not be directly endorsing a single candidate — yet — but it is endorsing the stymied, dysfunctional two-party system that disenfranchises voters, fuels cynicism, and hurts democracy.

The Information Age would seem to be a key component to realizing greater democratic participation: if an educated electorate is central to the success of democracy, then access to information would be a logical next step. Active voters ought to be able to learn about their choices; the de facto gatekeeper of that information can’t reinforce the system that limits those choices by limiting that information.

The structure of Google search results gives weight to certain information; that which provides the most value is supposed to float to the top. If this new kind of formatting is to be filtered through partisan favoritism and become a standard element of Google’s political search results, then the voters have been abandoned by the last truly democratic outlier there was: the Internet.

 

This article was republished with permission from IVN

EU Files Charges Against Google For Market Abuse, Antitrust Violations

On Wednesday, the European Commission sent a Statement of Objections to Google, claiming that the company has abused its dominant position in the market place, and has manipulated the operating systems on Android devices to create favor for Google’s Apps.

A statement from the Commission claimed that Google has infringed on EU antitrust rules by stifling competition and harming consumers in the European Economic Area through the practice of “systematically favoring its own comparison shopping product in its general search results pages.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Union Commissioner in charge of competition policy, released a statement saying that the Commission wants to ensure that the EU’s antitrust rules are being followed.

The Commission’s objective is to apply EU antitrust rules to ensure that companies operating in Europe, wherever they may be based, do not artificially deny European consumers as wide a choice as possible or stifle innovation,” Vestager said.

Vestager added that she is concerned Google “has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules.”  

“Google now has the opportunity to convince the Commission to the contrary,” Vestager said. “However, if the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe.”

In an investigation the Commission started in Nov. 2010, it came to the conclusion that Google “gives systematic favorable treatment to its comparison shopping product,” called “Google Shopping,” on its search results pages, by “showing Google Shopping more prominently on the screen.”

In addition to the charges regarding market abuse, the EU has opened a formal antitrust investigation into Google’s involvement with the operating system on Android devices.

The Commission noted that since 2005, Google has “led development of the Android mobile operating system,” which has resulted in smartphone and tablet manufacturers who use the Android operating system entering into agreements with Google to “obtain the right to install Google’s applications on their Android devices.

According to the Commission, the investigation will focus on “whether Google has entered into anti-competitive agreements or abused a possible dominant position in the field of operating systems, applications and services for smart mobile devices.”

Vestager said that because smartphones and tablets “play an increasing role in many people’s daily lives,” she wants to make sure the markets in Europe “can flourish without anticompetitive constraints imposed by any company.”

RT noted that companies such as Microsoft, TripAdvisor, and Streetmap have also made antitrust allegations against Google, claiming that “it uses its search engine to promote its own products, giving an unfair advantage over its competitors.”

Google released a statement on Wednesday, in response to the European Commission’s questions about Google’s partner agreements. The company highlighted the fact that all partner agreements are voluntary, and that while Android devices can be used without Google, the company’s Apps “provide real benefits to Android users, developers and the broader ecosystem.”

Google has 10 weeks to respond to the Statement of Objections, and it has the option to challenge the Commission in court.

The New York Times reported that if Google is found guilty of the charges, the Commission would have the option to levy a fine that “could exceed €6 billion,” which is about 10 percent of Google’s most recent annual revenue, and could be the “largest single fine yet levied in such a case.”

Don’t See Evil: Google’s Boycott Campaign Against War Photography and Alternative Media

by Dan Sanchez, March 29, 2015

What happens when a dynamic company, started by a couple of idealistic friends in grad school, succeeds so wildly that it becomes a mega-corporation that pervades the lives of hundreds of millions? In imperial America, it would seem, it eventually becomes corrupted, even captured. Tragically, that seems to be the unfolding story of Google.

By being the first dot-com to really get the search engine right, Google unlocked the nascent power of the internet, greatly liberating the individual. It is easy to take for granted and forget how revolutionary the advent of “Just Google it” was for the life of the mind. Suddenly, specific, useful knowledge could be had on most any topic in seconds with just a quick flurry of fingers on a keyboard.

This was a tremendous boost for alternative voices on the internet. It made it extremely easy to bypass the establishment gatekeepers of ideas and information. For example, I remember in the mid-2000s using Google to satisfy my curiosity about this “libertarianism” thing I had heard about, since the newspapers and magazines I was reading were quite useless for this purpose. In 2007, by then an avid libertarian, I remember walking through the campus of my former school UC Berkeley, seeing “Google Ron Paul” written in chalk on the ground, and rejoicing to think that hundreds of Cal students were doing just that. A big part of why today’s anti-war movement is more than a handful of Code Pink types, and the libertarian movement is more than a handful of zine subscribers, is that millions “Googled Ron Paul.”

Google and the Security State

In its early years, Google, ensconced in Silicon Valley, seemed to blissfully ignore Washington, D.C. It didn’t have a single lobbyist until 2003. Partly out of the necessity of defending itself against government threats, it gradually became ever more entangled with the Feds. By 2012, as The Washington Post reported, it had become the country’s second-largest corporate spender on lobbying.

Read the rest here: antiwar.com/blog/2015/03/29/dont-see-evil/

Google Suspends Ads on Antiwar.com for Publishing Newsworthy Photo of Ukraine Massacre

Google’s AdSense network is a crucial monetization tool for many websites that provide free content to the public. Antiwar.com, a site that has relentlessly promoted non-interventionist foreign policy views through the publication of news and world events that relate to the outbreak of war, has relied on AdSense to pay the bills of late. However, Google controversially suspended the site from its network on Wednesday, initially for publishing Abu Ghraib prison photos, citing AdSense’s policy against violent and gory images.

Google outlined its policies on violence and gore in an email to Antiwar.com, which said, “VIOLENCE/GORE: As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with violent or disturbing content, including sites with gory text or images.”

Gawker‘s Alex Pareene covered the controversy over Antiwar.com‘s content and pointed out, “Either Google is incorrectly enforcing its own policies, or their policies do not allow for controversial — but clearly and objectively newsworthy — content.”

Antiwar.com appealed Google’s decision to ban the site from its ad network over the Abu Ghraib photos and was told on Thursday that it would be allowed back on board with AdSense. However, Google suspended Antiwar.com again the following day, this time citing an Associated Press photo of a massacre by the Ukrainian government as the basis for reigniting the ban.

Gawker pointed out the distinction that Google’s policies specifically require sites to either remove offending content from the site entirely or to remove ads from the specific page on which the content appears. Eric Garris at Antiwar.com says that the pages singled out by Google do not feature ads, meaning Antiwar.com is not in violation of Google’s policies. However, there were some remnants of ad code eventually found by Antiwar.com on some of the pages, but ads were not being delivered. Google’s process for appealing these types of bans is so complex that the tech giant requests that appeals come via snail mail.

Antiwar.com is continuing to appeal the suspension, conducting a fundraising drive to make up for lost ad revenue, and calling on supporters to push back against the policy on Google’s online forum. Said Eric Garris about the conflict, “Antiwar.com has no intention of allowing Google to dictate our content. We are looking into alternate sources of advertising and will not likely be working with Google AdSense in the future.”

While it is understandable that Google would have policies to prevent advertisers from being linked to offensive content, the fact that the policies are being implemented in such a way that there is no distinction between newsworthy content and that which is gory-for-gore’s-sake presents challenges for news and political advocacy sites that naturally deal in edgy subjects. Google’s suspension of Antiwar.com raises questions as to exactly what those policies are and what they should be.

Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Protect Journalists’ Electronic Information

A bill introduced in Montana’s House Judiciary Committee on Thursday would prevent state government agencies from using companies such as Google and Yahoo to obtain a Journalist’s sources and information.

The Associated Press reported that “no one spoke in opposition to the bill,” which would prohibit all state government officials from “asking for a member of the media’s emails or other electronic communications from companies that store that information.”

Representative Daniel Zolnikov, a Republican from Billings, Montana, proposed the bill. He claimed he is not looking to change the existing law; rather he wants to close a loophole in the current law.

“My bill does not change existing law, but adds to it based on a new age of digital communications,” said Zolnikov. He explained that the existing media shield law does not protect a reporter’s emails or other electronic information that might be stored on the servers of Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook.

According to Courthouse News, after proposing a bill in 2013 that was later labeled “anti-business,” but would have “given consumers control over their personal data and prevented companies from reselling it behind their backs,” Zolnikov is “no stranger to privacy issues.”

The Associated Press reported that this bill is one of several Zolnikov is sponsoring to “protect privacy rights in the state.” His other proposed bills would secure privacy for the citizens of Montana by banning license plate readers in the state and by prohibiting state officials from gathering electronic data without a warrant.

On his website, Zolnikov wrote that after seeing “unprecedented attacks on the rights of the press in recent years at the federal level,” he felt it was best to show support for reporters by starting at the state level.

Freedom of the press is one of the most crucial rights contained in the First Amendment,” wrote Zolnikov. “We can’t change the Federal Government’s attitude towards the important of the reporter’s privilege, but we can strengthen Montana’s shield laws.

Police want app ‘Waze’ to be disabled

A smartphone app called Waze, which allows drivers to mark where they spot police cars along roadsides, is under fire by police officers who want the app disabled.

Waze, which was bought by Google in 2013 for $966 million, is a free, social media type app which allows drivers to interact in real-time with other drivers on the road. The app currently has 50 million users in over 200 countries.

Traffic conditions are constantly updated within the app and any route detours or bad road conditions are also made visible for other drivers to see. The app also allows users to mark where they spot police cars on the road, but whether the police cars are part of a speed trap or a DUI checkpoint is not viewable.

Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, Virginia has a problem with the app though. According to the Inquisitr, Brown said, “The police community needs to coordinate an effort to have the owner, Google, act like the responsible corporate citizen they have always been and remove this feature from the application even before any litigation or statutory action.”

A reserve deputy sheriff in Southern California is also calling the app a “stalking app” according to Gulf News. Sergio Kopelev believes allowing people to mark where police officers are puts officers in danger because anyone with a grudge against police can then easily locate officers.

Jim Pasco, an executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, agrees with Kopelev saying, “I can think of 100 ways that it could present an officer-safety issue. There’s no control over who uses it. So, if you’re a criminal and you want to rob a bank, hypothetically, you use your Waze.”

While police officers are asking for the app to be disabled, others are defending the app.

Nuala O’Connor, the head of the Washington Civil Rights group the Center for Democracy and Technology, has said according to NBC Washington, “I do not think it is legitimate to ask a person-to-person communication to cease simply because it reports on publicly visible law enforcement.”

O’Connor did raise concerns about how much privacy Waze users can expect since their movements are being tracked when the app is turned on.

As of now, Google reportedly has no plans to disable the app or restrict it in anyway.

Prosecutors Say 1789 George Washington Law Requires Google, Apple to Decrypt Smartphones for Cops

Ever since whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency has been spying on Americans’ private digital communications in a widespread, warrantless, and indiscriminate manner, technology companies like Google and Apple have begun to respond to consumer demand for anti-government snoop prevention tools by developing smartphones that come with unbeatable security measures that prevent anyone other than the phone’s owner from unlocking it and accessing its data. As courts wrestle with the question of whether judges can order cell phone companies to help cops gain access to suspects’ smartphone data, tech giants are stepping out in front of the issue by developing smartphones and tablets that they themselves can not even unlock.

In response to mobile technology companies’ self-interested attempts to protect users’ privacy, according to Ars Technica, federal prosecutors have successfully argued two times so far that an obscure catch-all law, signed in 1789 by George Washington during his first year in office, requires tech firms to assist the government in obtaining suspects’ private smartphone and tablet data. The All Writs Act, which first made its way into federal statute as a part of the Judiciary Act of 1789 and which was later tweaked into its current form in 1911, grants federal courts the power to “issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.” The above-provided video by Cybersecurity Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation Jonathan Mayer breaks down the logic that prosecutors might use when arguing that the All Writs Act could be utilized to compel a tech company to unlock a phone or decrypt its data on behalf of the government.

The Wall Street Journal notes that, on October 31 of this year, prosecutors successfully utilized George Washington’s law to this effect when a judge ordered an unnamed cell phone company to unlock a smartphone in order to assist the court in effectuating a warrant in a New York credit card fraud case. Said US Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein, who presided over the case, “It is appropriate to order the manufacturer here to attempt to unlock the cellphone so that the warrant may be executed as originally contemplated.”

Ars Technica also provided court documents from a November 3, 2014 case in which federal attorneys used the All Writs Act to compel Apple to assist police in accessing data on an iPhone 5s that was seized from a suspect. Assistant US Attorney Garth Hire argued in the case, “This Court has the authority to order Apple, Inc., to use any capabilities it may have to unlock the iPhone.”

While Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore did order Apple to help prosecutors obtain data from the phone during the proceedings, she placed limits on that compulsion that could set a precedent rendering this usage of the All Writs Act totally useless in future situations involving newer smartphones that tech companies do not have the ability to decrypt or unlock. Judge Westmore required Apple to “provide reasonable technical assistance to enable law enforcement agents to obtain access to unencrypted data.” She also limited the degree to which the government can compel Apple to help by saying, “It is further ordered that, to the extent that data on the iOS device is encrypted, Apple may provide a copy of the encrypted data to law enforcement but Apple is not required to attempt to decrypt, or otherwise enable law enforcement’s attempts to access any encrypted data.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey criticized tech companies for developing decryption-proof phones for customers in comments cited by The Register, “What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law.” It is not yet known how the All Writs Act will be applied in the future in cases involving phones that companies like Apple and Google can not unlock.

ACLU attorney Alex Abdo, in comments to Ars Technica, argued that the government should not be using an 18th century law to address a technological issue that could not possibly have been imagined by those who penned it. Said Abdo, “It is disconcerting that the government is relying on a catch-all law to seek surveillance powers that it should be seeking from Congress and the public… If the government wants new spying tools, it should allow our democratic process to debate them openly first.”

Some have raised concerns that the All Writs Act could be used to compel tech companies to provide backdoors into their devices, granting the government general access to all users’ data. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has argued that such an effort to twist a Founding Father’s words to undermine the Fourth Amendment would be “unreasonably burdensome” on tech companies, therefore failing to meet a crucial test in the law’s application in that it would require a company to weaken its own security measures, rendering its product ineffective at its advertised purpose.

FBI Director: We Need A “Regulatory Or Legislative Fix” To Battle Phone Encryption

Washington, DC- Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey gave a speech at Washington’s Brookings Institution, warning against the consequences of smartphone encryption and discussing the disconnect between technology advancements and law enforcement abilities.

Comey titled the disconnect “Going Dark”, saying that although law enforcement has the authority to access electronic communications through court orders, certain advancements have obstructed agencies from access. With new technology “comes a desire to protect our privacy and our data—you want to share your lives with the people you choose. I sure do,” said Comey. “But the FBI has a sworn duty to keep every American safe from crime and terrorism, and technology has become the tool of choice for some very dangerous people.”

Comey was mainly referring to advancements including Apple’s iOS 8 operating system that allows users to lock their phones with a passcode that neither Apple nor the federal government can bypass. Google has also recently announced similar encryption plans on Android devices. “Encryption is nothing new. But the challenge to law enforcement and national security officials is markedly worse, with recent default encryption settings and encrypted devices and networks- all designed to increase security and privacy,” said Comey.

“In the past, conducting electronic surveillance was more straightforward,” said Comey. “We identified a target phone being used by a bad guy, with a single carrier. We obtained a court order for a wiretap, and, under the supervision of a judge, we collected the evidence we needed for prosecution.”

Today, said Comey, there are many more networks, apps and providers. “We have laptops, smartphones, and tablets. We take them to work and to school, from the soccer field to Starbucks, over many networks, using any number of apps. And so do those conspiring to harm us.”

Comey said the public’s presumption that the FBI has “phenomenal capabilities to access any information at any time—that we can get what we want, when we want it, by flipping some sort of switch” is not true, and despite following the rule of law it remains difficult to access important evidence.

Comey went on to cite examples of when accessing data such as text messages has helped law enforcement solve crimes. He noted a case in Louisiana when a sexual predator murdered a 12-year-old boy, and using the data from both phones provided enough evidence to convict the man. He also discussed a case in California where text messages revealed that a 2-year-old’s murder had been covered up by the child’s parents.

Comey said that such access can also vindicate innocent people, describing a case of several teens accused of rape being exonerated because of cell phone video evidence.

“Perhaps it’s time to suggest that the post-Snowden pendulum has swung too far in one direction—in a direction of fear and mistrust. It is time to have open and honest debates about liberty and security,” said Comey. “Some have suggested there is a conflict between liberty and security. I disagree. At our best, we in law enforcement, national security, and public safety are looking for security that enhances liberty. When a city posts police officers at a dangerous playground, security has promoted liberty—the freedom to let a child play without fear.”

Comey said that solutions to the “Going Dark” issue involves cooperation from companies such as Apple and Google “so that criminals around the world cannot seek safe haven for lawless conduct. We need to find common ground.”

“We understand the private sector’s need to remain competitive in the global marketplace. And it isn’t our intent to stifle innovation or undermine U.S. companies. But we have to find a way to help these companies understand what we need, why we need it, and how they can help, while still protecting privacy rights and providing network security and innovation. We need our private sector partners to take a step back, to pause, and to consider changing course.”

“We also need a regulatory or legislative fix to create a level playing field,” Comey said, “so that all communication service providers are held to the same standard and so that those of us in law enforcement, national security, and public safety can continue to do the job you have entrusted us to do, in the way you would want us to.”

The NSA Created Its Own Secret Google

A new batch of classified documents obtained by The Intercept shows that the National Security Agency is using a search engine similar to Google, called “ICREACH” to deliver data to U.S. government agencies.

ICREACH was created to function as the “largest system for internally sharing secret surveillance records in the United States, capable of handling two to five billion new records every day.”

A top-secret document provided by The Intercept from 2007 stated that the ICREACH team “delivered the first-ever wholesale sharing of communications metadata within the U.S. Intelligence Community.”

The Intercept reported that the classified documents regarding ICREACH provide the first “definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies.

These documents were among the ones leaked by NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden, and they reinforced the fact that the NSA was collecting phone calls, e-mails, cellphone locations, and Internet chats from hundreds of millions of innocent Americans.

While a document from 2010 shows that ICREACH “has been accessible to more than 1,000 analysts at 23 U.S. government agencies that perform intelligence work,” a document from 2007 cites the Central Intelligence Agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation as key participants.

This team began over two years ago with a basic concept compelled by the IC’s increasing need for communications metadata and NSA’s ability to collect, process and store vast amounts of communications metadata related to worldwide intelligence targets,” the document revealed.

This is not something that I think the government should be doing,” said Brian Owsley, an assistant professor of law at Indiana Tech Law School, who said he was shocked that agencies like the FBI and DEA were involved.

Perhaps if information is useful in a specific case, they can get judicial authority to provide it to another agency. But there shouldn’t be this buddy-buddy system back-and-forth,” Owsley said.

A spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Jeffrey Anchukaitis, maintained that the mass sharing of information has become “a pillar of the post-9/11 intelligence community.”

Anchukaitis also insisted that by using ICREACH, “analysts can develop vital intelligence leads without requiring access to raw intelligence collected by other IC [Intelligence Community] agencies.”

A co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice, Elizabeth Goitein, said that she found the mass scale of the ICREACH system “extremely troublesome.”

The myth that metadata is just a bunch of numbers and is not as revealing as actual communications content was exploded long ago,” said Goitein. “This is a trove of incredibly sensitive information.”

Collectivists Posing As “Anarchists” Demand $3 Billion From Google

San Francisco, CA- A group of anti-capitalist protesters referring to themselves as “anarchists” demonstrated outside the home of Digg founder and Google Ventures partner Kevin Rose on Sunday, and demanded that Google hand over $3 billion to fund the creation of “autonomous, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist communities throughout the Bay Area and Northern California.”

The protest was allegedly organized by a group called The Counterforce, and they call Rose a “meta-leech” who is to blame for the rising cost of living in the Bay Area. Rose has invested heavily in several tech startups, and these startups have moved to the Bay Area to run their businesses. The protesters claim that the tech companies that Rose invested in are overtaking the area and driving out people who are less wealthy:

“Venture capitalists enable these tech-workers by funding their startups. With the success of each startup, more and more ambitious tech-workers flock to the city and displace underemployed service workers to the cities at the far reaches of the BART line. These workers must then commute back to San Francisco or Oakland every morning, in most cases to perform menial tasks for the entitled scum who drove them out in the first place.”

The Counterforce group abhors capitalism, technological companies and innovations, and entrepreneurs. In their public statement, they believe this $3 billion will create a society where “no one will ever have to pay rent and housing will be free. With this three billion from Google, we will solve the housing crisis in the Bay Area and prove to the world that an anarchist world is not only possible but in fact irrepressible.” The Counterforce takes themselves seriously, too- if Google doesn’t acquiesce to their demand, they say to “get ready for a revolution neither you nor we can control.”

Rose has agreed with the group in their frustration over the Bay Area’s cost of living. “That said, I did agree w/ them that we need to solve rising rents, keep the SF culture, and crack down on landlords booting folks out,” said Rose on Twitter. “SF is such a great place, definitely need to figure out a way to keep the diversity.”

This isn’t the first time The Counterforce has targeted Google. In January, a Google engineer faced protests from them concerning his work on the company’s self-driving car.

Interestingly, this protest group was able to make their demonstration possible because of Google. In their statement, it’s noted that Microsoft Word, MacBook, Samsung Nexus (powered by Google), Gmail, and Youtube are among different tech products and services used by The Counterforce in their protests.

 

 

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U.S. GOVERNMENT ASKS GOOGLE TO REMOVE ALMOST 4,000 POLITICAL ITEMS FROM SEARCH

U.S. GOVERNMENT, JUDGES, POLICE DEPTS, CITY COUNCILS ASK GOOGLE TO REMOVE ALMOST 4,000 POLITICAL ARTICLES FROM SEARCH SERVICES

Reports came out yesterday in the UK covering Google’s newest release of their “Transparency Report.”  Turkey has been known for it’s total lack of press freedom, and now reports show the U.S. is approaching the same leagues as Turkey.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/transparency-report-more-government.html

The report was presented on the blog of Susan Infantino, the Legal Director of Google.  She and her legal team launched the annual Transparency Report three years ago, in hopes it would “shine light on the scale and scope of government requests for censorship and data around the globe.”

From January to June 2013, the search giant received 3,846 government requests to remove content from its search services, which represents a 68% increase over the second half of 2012.

http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/government/?hl=en

Google’s Legal Director, Susan Infantino, goes on: “Over the past four years, one worrying trend has remained consistent: governments continue to ask us to remove political content.  Judges have asked us to remove information that’s critical of them, police departments ask us to take down videos or blogs that shine a light on their conduct, and local institutions like town councils don’t want people to be able to find information about their decision-making processes.”

“These officials often cite defamation, privacy, and even copyright laws in attempts to remove political speech from our services,” says Infantino.

One example is a request from a UK law firm representing a former member of Parliament to remove a preview from Google Books that allegedly defamed the MP by suggesting he was engaged in illegal activity.  The preview was removed.

“We have removed content in response to less than one third of requests,” Infantino adds.

From January to June 2013, the following countries made the most requests to remove content:

  • Turkey (1,673 requests detailing 12,162 items)
  • United States (545 requests detailing 3,887 items)
  • Brazil (321 requests detailing 1,635 items)
  • India (163 requests detailing 714 items)
  • Russia (257 requests detailing 277 items)
  • UK (117 requests for 556 items)

Google’s Rubin Buys Eighth Robotics Company, Boston Dynamics

New York Times broke the story yesterday that internet giant Google purchased military robotics contractor Boston Dynamics. The deal was reported Saturday and apparently closed on Friday, Dec. 13th.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/technology/google-adds-to-its-menagerie-of-robots.html?_r=0

Boston Dynamics is the eighth robotics company Google has bought in the last six months. Tech heads are very familiar with Boston Dynamics for their groundbreaking robots such as humanoid PetMan, BigDog, Cheetah, and WildCat. They even have their own YouTube channel with views in the millions of their humanoid and animal-like robots that run faster than humans. Boston Dynamics from Waltham, Mass., has designed mobile research robots for the Pentagon’s DARPA. The 21-year-old company has designed robots that can climb walls and trees. Marc Raibert, who is a huge figure in robotics, started the company as a spin-off from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology.)

Pet Man Robot

According to the NYT story, Google executives stated they will “honor existing military contracts, but that it did not plan to move toward becoming a military contractor on it’s own.”

Bigdog Robot

Google has also bought robotics companies Holomni, Redwood Robotics, Schaft, Industrial Perception, Meka, Bot & Dolly, and AutoFuss. The desire for robotics comes from their 50-year-old executive & robotics engineer Andy Rubin, who is famous for building Google’s Android software into the world’s dominant force in smartphones.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/04/technology/google-puts-money-on-robots-using-the-man-behind-android.html

For now Google is staying quiet on specific uses for the robotics technology, however they indicate it will not be aimed for consumers but rather manufacturing, such as electronics assembly. This may help Google compete against retailers like Amazon in the future, and help them automate parts of the supply chain that are currently performed by humans. The robotics may replace jobs in manufacturing and distribution centers, as well as the stock rooms of retail stores. Google has started experimenting with package delivery. In San Francisco, Google already makes home deliveries for Walgreens, Target, and American Eagle Outfitters. Mr. Rubin says Google has a 10-year vision. There’s talk of the robots even doing elder care and disaster recovery. The eight current acquisitions include US & Japanese firms that pioneer robotic arms, vision, and grasp. Mr. Rubin is also interested in sensor technology. Google will not currently state how much they paid for Boston Dynamics.

Google's Andy Rubin

For those interested in seeing robots live, fly to Miami next weekend for the Robotics Challenge sponsored by Pentagon’s DARPA. The competition is open to the public, has a $2 million prize, and will feature 17 robotics teams performing human tasks in eight simulated disaster response scenarios. Google will be entering Boston Dynamics robot “Atlas”which is similar to humanoid “Petman.”

 

BOSTON DYNAMICS YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Top Searches For Our Favorite Politicians (Is Lindsey Graham A Woman?)

We’ve all done it. Whether we are searching our own names to see what comes up, or simply laughing at the search results, Google can be quite entertaining. Google commands the internet. In fact, one could even argue that Google is the internet.

According to Alexa, a leading web analytics company, on average users spend almost 18 minutes a day on Google, making it the number one visited site in the world. The amount of data processed by Google in a single day is astronomical. The tech giant processes more than 20 petabytes in a single day. That’s 20,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of data a day. Impressive right? Not so fun fact, only the NSA singularly touches more data than Google. The NSA touches 29.21 petabytes, or 29,210,000,000,000,000 bytes of data a day.

So, when all that data is processed and arranged these are the results for some of the most talked about politicians in Washington. Your search results may slightly vary.

Google3
Rand Paul has made waves within the past few months. Many expect him to launch a presidential run in 2016. The search results seem to suggest an electorate seeking to learn more about him, or clear up whether or not he’s a racist.
Google4
Well… These speak for themselves.
Google6
It seems many in the country wonder whether or not the minority house speaker may be just plain stupid, or if she is just on drugs.
Google7
Many seem to believe that the president is connected to conspiracy and end times.
Google8
More conspiracy surrounds Bush. Oh, and in fact, George W. is related to Obama. (Click on this picture to see how)
Google9
Clinton is so far considered the favorite to receive the democratic nomination for a presidential bid. People are also concerned with her dietary habits.
Google10
Speculation has been accumulating that the vice president may himself seek the White House next year. However, he will encounter quite the challenge if Hillary does indeed throw her hat into the race.
Google1
Senator Cruz has become the latest political target for the left, and hero to the right. Many question his citizenship because they expect the Senator may mount a run for the White House. The birther results are undoubtedly a byproduct of irony.
Google2
After having an extremely successful TV series search results for the Tea Party favorite show many results dealing with her personal life.
Google5
Is J’Mac a liberal? If voting records count- then yes.