Saturday, September 12, 2015

OpenStack 09/12/2015 (p.m.)

  • The "opinion piece for Newsweek" is an excerpt from Assange's new book, When Google met Wikileaks.  The chapter is well worth the read. http://www.newsweek.com/assange-google-not-what-it-seems-279447

    Tags: surveillance state, internet freedom, Google, NSA

    • Back in 2011, Julian Assange met up with Eric Schmidt for an interview that he considers the best he’s ever given. That doesn’t change, however, the opinion he now has about Schmidt and the company he represents, Google.
      In fact, the WikiLeaks leader doesn’t believe in the famous “Don’t Be Evil” mantra that Google has been preaching for years.
      Assange thinks both Schmidt and Google are at the exact opposite spectrum.
      “Nobody wants to acknowledge that Google has grown big and bad. But it has. Schmidt’s tenure as CEO saw Google integrate with the shadiest of US power structures as it expanded into a geographically invasive megacorporation. But Google has always been comfortable with this proximity,” Assange writes in an opinion piece for Newsweek.
    • “Long before company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Schmidt in 2001, their initial research upon which Google was based had been partly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). And even as Schmidt’s Google developed an image as the overly friendly giant of global tech, it was building a close relationship with the intelligence community,” Assange continues.
      Throughout the lengthy article, Assange goes on to explain how the 2011 meeting came to be and talks about the people the Google executive chairman brought along - Lisa Shields, then vice president of the Council on Foreign Relationship, Jared Cohen, who would later become the director of Google Ideas, and Scott Malcomson, the book’s editor, who would later become the speechwriter and principal advisor to Susan Rice.
      “At this point, the delegation was one part Google, three parts US foreign-policy establishment, but I was still none the wiser.” 
      Assange goes on to explain the work Cohen was doing for the government prior to his appointment at Google and just how Schmidt himself plays a bigger role than previously thought.
      In fact, he says that his original image of Schmidt, as a politically unambitious Silicon Valley engineer, “a relic of the good old days of computer science graduate culture on the West Coast,” was wrong.
    • However, Assange concedes that that is not the sort of person who attends Bilderberg conferences, who regularly visits the White House, and who delivers speeches at the Davos Economic Forum.
      He claims that Schmidt’s emergence as Google’s “foreign minister” did not come out of nowhere, but it was “presaged by years of assimilation within US establishment networks of reputation and influence.” 
      Assange makes further accusations that, well before Prism had even been dreamed of, the NSA was already systematically violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act under its director at the time, Michael Hayden. He states, however, that during the same period, namely around 2003, Google was accepting NSA money to provide the agency with search tools for its rapidly-growing database of information.
      Assange continues by saying that in 2008, Google helped launch the NGA spy satellite, the GeoEye-1, into space and that the search giant shares the photographs from the satellite with the US military and intelligence communities. Later on, 2010, after the Chinese government was accused of hacking Google, the company entered into a “formal information-sharing” relationship with the NSA, which would allow the NSA’s experts to evaluate the vulnerabilities in Google’s hardware and software.
    • “Around the same time, Google was becoming involved in a program known as the “Enduring Security Framework” (ESF), which entailed the sharing of information between Silicon Valley tech companies and Pentagon-affiliated agencies at network speed.’’
      Emails obtained in 2014 under Freedom of Information requests show Schmidt and his fellow Googler Sergey Brin corresponding on first-name terms with NSA chief General Keith Alexander about ESF,” Assange writes.
      Assange seems to have a lot of backing to his statements, providing links left and right, which people can go check on their own.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

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