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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Google pressed the government to allow it to publish more granular data on national security requests than Facebook or Microsoft published, and said anything less did not provide enough transparency.

We have always believed that it's important to differentiate between different types of government requests. We already publish criminal requests separately from National Security Letters: Lumping the two categories together would be a step back for users. Our request to the government is clear: to be able to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately.

For more background please read this New York Times piece:


The Aggregate Number of NSA Requests sent to Facebook and Microsoft.

The total for Facebook: About 18,000 accounts over a six month period, or one-thousandth of one percent of user accounts.

Microsoft's total was about 31,000 accounts over the same six month period ending December 31, 2012. A Google representative told CNET this evening that the search company is working on disclosing the same type of statistics, and plans to be more detailed than Microsoft and Facebook.

Facebook, Microsoft release NSA stats to reassure users

Facebook and Microsoft on Friday became the first Internet companies to disclose the total number of legal orders they receive for user data, including ones from the National Security Agency and from state, local, and federal police performing criminal investigations.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Prosecutors team up to combat smartphone thefts

Police and other law enforcement officials would be part of a new group dedicated to clamping down on the rise in smartphone thefts, says the Associated Press.

Prosecutors team up to combat smartphone thefts

NSA whistleblower: U.S has been hacking into China, Hong Kong

Former CIA employee Edward Snowden says the NSA's controversial PRISM program extends to China and Hong Kong, according to an interview with a Hong Kong newspaper.

NSA whistleblower: U.S has been hacking into China, Hong Kong

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Google to feds: Let us talk about government surveillance, please

Attorney General Eric Holder has prohibited tech companies from revealing what information they're legally required to disclose to the feds. Google wants to lift the gag orders.

Google to feds: Let us talk about government surveillance, please

Taiwan: Come for the tourism, stay for the free Wi-Fi

Taiwan is making it easy for foreign tourists to stay connected.

The government recently announced that international travelers to the country will be able to access free Wi-Fi at 4,400 hot spots at indoor public spaces throughout the country. By showing a passport, tourists can open an account on the 1Mbps iTaiwan Wi-Fi network that's found at major tourist spots, transportation hubs, cultural establishments, and government offices, covering much of the island nation.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hands On With iOS 7

Hands On With iOS 7 - YouTube

Google's CEO Larry Page Speaks Out Regarding PRISM - Cult of Android

Dear Google users—
You may be aware of press reports alleging that Internet companies have joined a secret U.S. government program called PRISM to give the National Security Agency direct access to our servers. As Google’s CEO and Chief Legal Officer, we wanted you to have the facts.
First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers. Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a “back door” to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.
Second, we provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law. Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don’t follow the correct process. Press reports that suggest that Google is providing open-ended access to our users’ data are false, period. Until this week’s reports, we had never heard of the broad type of order that Verizon received—an order that appears to have required them to hand over millions of users’ call records. We were very surprised to learn that such broad orders exist. Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.
Finally, this episode confirms what we have long believed—there needs to be a more transparent approach. Google has worked hard, within the confines of the current laws, to be open about the data requests we receive. We post this information on our Transparency Report whenever possible. We were the first company to do this. And, of course, we understand that the U.S. and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety—including sometimes by using surveillance. But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.
Posted by Larry Page, CEO and David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer

Google's CEO Larry Page Speaks Out Regarding PRISM - Cult of Android

Apple's new Mac OS X is called Mavericks. Our First Take, which we will be updating with all the latest info: #WWDC
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