If you have seen The Lives of Others, a powerful film about the great lengths that the East German Stasi went to to spy on its own citizens (and if you haven’t seen it, you should…), you may find the linked story below to be very disturbing. For a company that is purportedly all about “doing no harm”, it seems apropos to point out that what is “harmful” (or not) depends very much on your world view: if you are a collectivist, spying on your fellow citizens private lives might seem to be preventing “harm”–it may be especially helpful to Google’s bottom line assuming the Obama apparatchiks are paying them for their snooping. But just read this–then you tell me what is “harmless” about it:
In a letter to Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Ranking Member Joe Barton, the nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group’s John M. Simpson wrote:
“Based on today’s Washington Post, it appears that Google holds classified U.S. government contracts to supply search and geospatial information to the U.S. government. In addition, White House records show that Google executives have been holding meetings with U.S. national security officials for undisclosed reasons. Finally, it also appears that Google’s widely criticized efforts to collect wireless network data on American citizens were not inadvertent, contrary to the company’s claims.”
“As history has repeatedly shown, alliances between the U.S. intelligence community and giant corporations that collect data on American citizens can be a toxic combination where the U.S. Constitution is concerned,” the letter said.
In a June 9 letter to the Energy and Commerce Committee, Google director for public policy Pablo Chavez asserted that Google “mistakenly included code in our software that collected samples of ‘payload data'” from private WiFi networks. But review of a patent application from Google covering the gathering of WiFi data published Jan. 28 shows that the data collection program was a very deliberate effort to assemble as much information as possible about U.S. residential and business WiFi networks.
The letter continued:
“…what the patent does show is that Google’s recent claims about how the Street View program was designed are not accurate, and that the company always intended to collect and store the ‘packets’ of wireless data that contain so-called payload information.
“The patent makes repeated reference to ‘capturing’ packets, including paragraph , which states that the system will enable geolocations so long as the equipment being used ‘is able to capture and properly decode a packet…’
“This raises serious questions about whether Google has engaged in a reckless effort to amass private data without giving any thought to the possible misuse of that information, and whether it can be trusted to safeguard the information it collects from the prying eyes of the U.S. government.”
Rather than “doing no harm” the breaking story today reeks of Google being a willing accomplice to tyranny; especially given an administration that has proven over and over again that they are willing to go to any lengths to establish an irreversible hegemony over We the People “Clueless”, despite the overwhelming disapproval of public opinion for virtually every single thing Obama, Pelosi and Reid have attempted to do. Did they care?
Bills written in secret which never see the light of day until the fix is already in on the final vote; a stubborn refusal to do anything–and I mean anything–to create financial incentives for the private sector to actually create jobs and to begin hiring the ever-growing ranks of the unemployed and desparate. Instead this Government seems hell-bent on doing everything it can to destroy the private sector. This is “doing no harm”?
Google seems all too content to become a contributing member of the most destructive regime in American history. I suppose if you are among the elites, it is “good” for you; but if you are driving around being paid by a the Government to spy on your own fellow citizens, it sure sucks for the rest of we taxpayers who are paying for this abomination. Or perhaps I should say “this Obama nation”….