Eric Schmidt on the NSA* (*translated from original bullshitese)


#1

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#2

Hmm. I don't see that option on Google translate.


#3

Ha, translating corporatist bullshitese is more of an art than algorithm.

Meanwhile:

Google CEO Eric Schmidt Dismisses the Importance of Privacy
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/12/google-ceo-eric-schmidt-dismisses-privacy

''If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

So basically what Eric Schmidt is suggesting is that there shouldn't be any activism or whistleblowers. That nice and pro-despotic of him, I think. No wonder Google is evil.


#4

I guess that also means that if I don't want him to know my bank account number, I shouldn't have a bank account. Makes perfect sense to me.

Mr. Schidt (not a typo), may I have your Social Security number please?


#5

C'mon man... include the whole quote.

....maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines -- including Google -- do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities.

He's not suggesting anything about activism or whistleblowers. He actually accounts for them and implicitly suggests there are legitimate reasons for wanting that privacy when he says "If you really need that kind of privacy ... " and then explains reality for those who are ignorant of it.

@Dave_Barak No, he's saying if you don't want him to know your bank account number then don't type it into a search engine or any google property. It's pretty salient advice.


#6

The biggest Internet companies don't offer real security because the U.S. government won't permit it.

You expect companies to say everything is fucked when, as Bruce points out, they're already losing millions of dollars because of the NSA's douchiness? Oh yeah... and Coke ads will soon tell you that it's just sugar water that will make you fat and you should drink water instead.

Can we get a reality check over here?


#7

That line has been pursued:


#8

He's not suggesting anything about activism or whistleblowers

He was obviously referring to the general public. Activists and whistleblowers are very much a part of that.

You can polish his turd for him all you'd like, but it's still a turd and google's track record of privacy invasion also says volumes about his mentality as well.

Nothing you added to the quote deminishes that fact.


#9

"If you really need that kind of privacy ... "

Seems to imply there's a legitimate need for privacy to me.


#10

The biggest Internet companies don't offer real security because the U.S. government won't permit it

You are sorely misinformed. Corporations are absolutely notorious for spying on activists and even trying to ruin lives and get them killed in extreme cases. Most activists I know get quite a chuckle at all the companies who are so terribly upset with government spying while hoping none of the public wakes up to what they're doing themselves.


#11

Right, except not with the world's largest search engine and if you've got something to hide, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.


#12

Hey man.. take it up with Bruce. It's a quote from his article. Did you read it?

Schmidt's comment is saying this: don't type anything that you want to be private into any search engine. He's saying that any time it's someone else's server your setting yourself up to be spied upon, read: anonymise yourself if it's something s00per s33kr1t.


#13

"The Dystopia will be Privatized!"


#14

Hey man.. take it up with Bruce. It's a quote from his article.

I'm taking it up with you because you quoted Bruce (hypocritically) out of context in a failed attempt to support your Eric Schmidt turd polishing.

Did you read it?

Yes, I did, and did you comprehend it?

He said much more than your quote that puts the ball deep into Google's court, not just the government.

Here's some parts you may have missed:

''Google could change that. It could encrypt your e-mail so only you could decrypt and read it. It could provide for secure voice and video so no one outside the conversations could eavesdrop. It doesn't."

''their assurances deliberately ignores the massive security vulnerability built into its services by design"

''The main focus of massive Internet companies and government agencies both still largely align: to keep us all under constant surveillance. When they bicker, it's mostly role-playing designed to keep us blasé about what's really going on."

''they're relying on their users not understanding what real security looks like"

If you still have questions about this, I suggest you bother to read the links/sources I already posted here as well. Do note and please read Schneier in the second link.

Schmidt's comment is saying this: don't type anything that you want to be private into any search engine.

He actually said this:

''If you've got something to hide, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

Did you not read that part? It's very clear.

He's saying that any time it's someone else's server your setting yourself up to be spied upon, read: anonymise yourself if it's something s00per s33kr1t.

That's not what he said. See above.

He's blaming the government for his own personal failings, which is pathetic. If he truly gave a fuck about the privacy and security of American citizens he would have run Google in a very different manner (which was most of what Bruce said). But, Eric didn't.

What Eric Schmidt is saying is that the public shouldn't expect privacy from Google and if you don't like it, tough shit because you shouldn't be doing anything that requires privacy in the first place on Google (or any other search engine). DuckDuckGo would disagree, thanks.

From that link via DuckDuckGo:

''... we will comply with court ordered legal requests. However, in our case, we don't expect any because there is nothing useful to give them since we don't collect any personal information."

Someone who isn't a pile of shit does the right thing, the ethical thing and protects the privacy, security and rights of those who entrust their personal communications and data to them. Eric chose the wrong path and wants to pass the buck at the feet of government because he also doesn’t believe in personal responsibility (at least when it comes to him, anyway).

Eric wants suckers to believe he has no choice but to make his services insecure and non-private. He wants suckers to believe that all other search engines have no choice either. He is a liar.

s00per s33kr1t.

Mock and make light of activists and whistleblowers all you want, but many of them risk their fucking ass for your freedoms whether you want to respect that or not.


#15

Mod note: Keep it civil.


#16

Yeah, Cory, geez, calling what people say is bullshit isn't very civil.


#17

"And, of course, we still have complete access to it all, and can sell it at will to whomever we want."

There are at least three reasons why it's unlikely that Google would want to do that at this time.

  1. It may be illegal under the terms of the user agreement. (I don't really know.)

  2. Even if it is legal, It would totally destroy the business model that Google is betting on for a ridiculously small immediate gain.

  3. (not a real "reason", but...) Just because it's fun to picture all large multinationals as evil, it doesn't mean it's true. Google may be unique in this respect, but it truly is "of a different cloth".

The real question, IMO, is what to do if and when Google becomes evil (xkcd.com/792). Then we have a problem. But let's not create a problem when there isn't one.

Disclaimer: I work at Google and, as my wife says, I may have drank the kool-aid. But at the same time I am not completely stupid, and it's even possible that I am right. I would humbly ask you to consider that possibility.


#18

Thanks for the info on DuckDuckGo. I didn't know they disposed of IP records, though I question the technical feasibility of guaranteeing that. I also question whether, if it was discovered that say the Boston bombers had used DuckDuckGo to do searches, the government would allow them to continue as they are, since the law says that they must keep data on users for at least 18 months.

In terms of the other stuff I think it's obvious to any thinking person that Google does not want to do that. Their business is advertising and targeted advertising is impossible without being able to inspect who the person using their service is. That's what I was getting at with my comment about Coke - don't expect someone selling snake-oil to tell you it's bullshit.

I'm not making fun of activists or whistleblowers. I am highly appreciative and have been consistently supportive of whistleblowers.


#19

IMO, you have many good questions for DuckDuckGo, but far too little for Google.

Their business is advertising and targeted advertising is impossible without being able to inspect who the person using their service is.

That's untrue and that's not what Google claims. Anonymous identifiers?

http://www.google.com/policies/technologies/ads/

I'm not making fun of activists or whistleblowers. I am highly appreciative and have been consistently supportive of whistleblowers.

Well, that "s00per s33kr1t" language hurt my feelings anyway. wink


#20

Just because it's fun to picture all large multinationals as evil

There's absolutely nothing "fun" about it and it's a tedious and rather upsetting process, actually. But, there's advantages to facing reality instead of wishing it away.

On the other hand, I think it's probably "fun" for people to keep their head in the sand and ignore their well-documented track record of committing various evil in the name of profits. It's profitable and perhaps "fun" to wish reality away, I'll grant you that.

when Google becomes evil

That's a foregone conclusion a long time ago. Here's some starters...

Some more of Google the Gorilla in action throwing its anti-competitive, monopolistic weight around:


Animation: How Google views user privacy