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EFF Condemns Google For Circumventing Safari Privacy Protections

from the but,-i-thought-they-were-a-mouthpiece... dept

One of the common statements that we heard time and time again from SOPA/PIPA supporters in the last couple months was that all of the many civil liberties groups that worked against the bills were really "Google fronts." The key target in these attacks was almost always EFF -- a group which is pretty widely respected. It's also kind of strange, because looking over the EFF's most recent (public) financial statement (pdf), there isn't much evidence of Google support. Not only is corporate funding only about 15% of EFF's total budget, but Google isn't even listed as a company sponsor in the listing of companies which donated.

Either way, I'm curious how those who continue to insist that EFF is a Google front have to say about EFF's extremely pointed, open letter to Google for its latest privacy failure -- circumventing Safari's privacy settings for millions of users to track web browsing habits of people who specifically opted-out of such tracking.

For what it's worth, this does appear to be a pretty big screw-up on Google's part -- and knowing how quickly some Google haters assume any privacy issue is nefarious and make a big deal of it, I fully expect that Google is going to end up having to pay big time for this mistake. It's worth noting, of course, that at least three other ad companies, including giant WPP, were spotted using the same technique to get around restrictions. But since there's been so much focus on Google and privacy, Google-haters will certainly make quite a lot of noise about this particular issue.

I also absolutely agree with the EFF's statement that Google not only needs to acknowledge that it can do a better job on privacy issues, it should, in fact, be expected to do a lot more concerning privacy issues (though I'm not convinced the "Do Not Track" is really the proper solution). Google's privacy efforts often seem to lag behind its open and consumer-first focus on other issues. I think that's unfortunate.

The EFF doesn't mince words on this:
Google, the time has finally come. You need to make a pro-privacy offering to restore your users' trust.

Internet users worldwide have loved your products for years, and we've often praised your stance on free expression and transparency and your efforts to limit government access to users' information. But when it comes to consumer choice around privacy, your commitment to users has been weaker. That's bad for users, for the future of the Internet, and ultimately, for you. We need to create an Internet that gives users meaningful choice about sharing their personal data, and we need your help to do it.

It's time for a new chapter in Google's policy regarding privacy. It's time to commit to giving users a voice about tracking and then respecting those wishes.
Either way, I'm curious how those who continue to insist that EFF is merely a front group for Google respond to issues like this one -- which is probably an even more "core" issue for Google. EFF has been on the opposite side of Google on privacy issues in the past. Isn't it possible that EFF is an entirely separate organization from Google and has its own views on a variety of issues -- some of which align with Google and some of which do not? One would hope that issues like this would put to rest the silly claims that EFF's involvement in the SOPA/PIPA fights were really just about acting on behalf of Google.


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    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

    Even with this, I still agree with this statement...

    "I welcome our Google Overlords, because if they ran the world, at least they'd do it right."

     

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    Glen Foster, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    I love what Google does about 85% of the time. This would be in the "15%" category.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:06pm

    Either way, I'm curious how those who continue to insist that EFF is merely a front group for Google respond to issues like this one -- which is probably an even more "core" issue for Google.

    Didn't you just have another article where you were pointing out (and putting down) that people talk of the mythical "they" without saying who "they" are. You're doing the same thing. Who are you talking about? Why not make that clear?

    That said, it seems likely to me that "they" simply disagree with Google on privacy, but see eye-to-eye on copyright matters. Not sure why you think "they" have to be in cahoots with Google on all issues.

     

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    Dementia (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:09pm

    Re:

    Reading comprehension, try again...

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:13pm

    It's not, for the moment, that Google's ads are littering the landscape with this kind of thing or that they may or may not be the only ones. They aren't.

    But still, from a company whose slogan is Do No Evil there's something seriously wrong here when an ad on a site bypasses a browser's privacy settings. So now there's one more things to guard against.

    For the post's other point that the EFF and Google are and always have been joined at the hip, according to certain people, I'm sure the same people who make that argument will find ways to spin it so that the EFF and Google are still joined at the hip no matter what this open letter shows.

    While the two are allies in a number of things that doesn't now and never has meant that they have never been on the opposite side of serious issues. Most often privacy in how the ad cookies get set and why and how. The EFF has taken a round or two out of facebook too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Could you explain precisely what you mean? My point is that Mike didn't identify who "they" are, and it's possible that the EFF is with Google on the copyright issue but not the privacy issue. Can you coherently comment on the substance of my post?

     

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    bob, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:29pm

    That's because the money comes from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation

    Brin as in Sergei Brin. So he probably gets a big fat tax deduction for funding his astroturfing.

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/12/join-now-and-eff-gets-4x-power

    Get a clue.

     

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    minerat (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

    Re:

    I'm a huge defender of privacy; I use browser plug-ins to block tracking cookies and I would be the first to criticize anyone who violates privacy, but didn't this bypass allow them to do exactly what's automatically allowed on every other browser? From what I read, no one selected these settings - it's just the default, abnormal behavior of Safari. Working around it only affects people signed into Google services - allowing them to do things like +1 ads. If I've misunderstood the situation, I'd definitely like to know.

     

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    Zos (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:39pm

    Re:

    agreed. if we're down to picking sides, i'm going with google. It's in their interest that we're all connected up to a fat uncensored data pipe.

     

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  10.  
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    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The sentence you quoted contains the definition you are looking for...

    "They" = "those who continue to insist that EFF is merely a front group for Google."

    I don't think it can be much clearer than it already is which seems to be the substance of Dementia's post. To further the definition though, I believe Mike is referring to the legion of trolls that come here and insist that the EFF is in Google's pocket and that the EFF is Google's private lobbying group. To be even more specific, daryl, bob, and "chubby" seem to stick out as frequent offenders...

    My question to you is what do you mean when you say "it's possible that the EFF is with Google on the copyright issue"? Could you elaborate on "the copyright issue"?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "They" = "those who continue to insist that EFF is merely a front group for Google."

    This isn't difficult. What are their names? Who exactly are "they"?

    At this point I'm sorry I asked. I forgot that simple questions are met with a host of hostility on Techdirt.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "At this point I'm sorry I asked. I forgot that stupid questions are met with a host of hostility on Techdirt."

    FTFY

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:56pm

    Re:

    For the post's other point that the EFF and Google are and always have been joined at the hip, according to certain people, I'm sure the same people who make that argument will find ways to spin it so that the EFF and Google are still joined at the hip no matter what this open letter shows.

    The thing (well, one of the things) I never understood about those people is how they ever expect to defeat Google after acknowledging that they have a time machine. I mean how else could Google have gone back in time to create the EFF eight years before Google even existed?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:59pm

     

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    Migzy, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:59pm

    Can't forget that facebook does the same thing and even had a link on their now-deleted best practices page about how to do it!

    Google for facebook safari cookies - the first page that pops up should be the one(at least for me it was and for now) - you will notice it is deleted.

    For those curious about what it had here is the google cache(search for safari): http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:kpIZ0J5ubvkJ:developers.facebook.com/docs/best- practices/+facebook+safari+cookies&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca&client=firefox-a

     

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    bob, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re:

    BFD. The RIAA and the MPAA predate the Internet themselves but when Internet piracy came along, they looked around and said, "Gosh, what will make our funders happy?"

    None of these organizations are fixed in stone. If the donations to the EFF dry up from Big Search, they'll find new funding from someone else. And the EFF will hang out with them and start to see how they can help. It's not all bad.

    The important thing is to realize it's going on and that the EFF and these other organizations are not neutral public service organizations. They tend to bark if someone threatens their food supply. They're like everyone else.

    This is not a battle between good and evil-- the way the anti-SOPA folks contend-- it's between big sumo wrestlers.

     

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    bob, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:06pm

    Re:

    Wow, they're not even shy about it. Mike's the last one to know!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:14pm

    How about a half million from the Wojcicki Brin Foundation? Does that count?

    https://www.eff.org/pages/eff-mission

     

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    Prashanth (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:15pm

    Obligatory XKCD: Conspiracy Theories

    [sarcasm] The EFF is a front group for Google! They just so happen to be solipsistic conspiracy theorists: http://xkcd.com/842/. [/sarcasm]

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

    How about directly funding EFF staff attorney positions? Does that count Masnick?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

    Well, somebody certainly has dug up a lot of "dirt" on the EFF. Too bad most of it seems pretty harmless.

    Reminds me of Scientology tactics: dig up ANYTHING you can from your opponent, and then hype it up as much as you can.

    Kinda sad really.

     

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  22.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Dude, that's easy.

    "They" means you.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:28pm

    Re:

    Ummmm, I think it was largely a rebuttal to this absurdity:

    It's also kind of strange, because looking over the EFF's most recent (public) financial statement (pdf), there isn't much evidence of Google support. Not only is corporate funding only about 15% of EFF's total budget, but Google isn't even listed as a company sponsor in the listing of companies which donated.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    >What are their names? Who exactly are "they"?

    That isn't difficult either.

    >I forgot that simple questions are met with a host of hostility on Techdirt.

    If you've been around long enough to come to that sort of conclusion you should have noticed how the usual shills insist that everything is a Google conspiracy.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How is it a stupid question. I'm simply asking who exactly this article is referring to. You guys are really, really hostile to anyone who asks even simple questions. I don't get it.

     

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  26.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:33pm

    Re:

    Didn't you just have another article where you were pointing out (and putting down) that people talk of the mythical "they" without saying who "they" are. You're doing the same thing. Who are you talking about? Why not make that clear?

    Um. How about "bob" below and the other AC who are working over time to try to prove some connection... but neither of whom can explain away the fact that if EFF was merely a front group for Google it wouldn't be attacking Google over this.

    Didn't you just have another article where you were pointing out (and putting down) that people talk of the mythical "they" without saying who "they" are. You're doing the same thing. Who are you talking about? Why not make that clear?

    The argument that bob and the AC and many others have made is that because EFF gets money from Google, they are a mouthpiece for Google. ie., EFF holds its position and does what it does because Google gives it money.

    But if that's true, than EFF wouldn't then turn around and attack Google on privacy, would it? If Google is giving EFF money to be its mouthpiece, wouldn't it stop doing that when EFF attacks it?

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why do you even bother to answer my question to Mike if you don't even know the answer. I don't get this place. And for the record, I've never said that the EFF is a mouthpiece for Google, so I'm not "they." It never ceases to amaze me how unwelcome you guys make anyone who dares to ask even a simple question. It's really sad.

     

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    TechnoMage (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:34pm

    Except...

    (from my understanding) Google only did this for pages where people with google accounts had logged in and chosen to "stay logged in" (aka.. a cookie) which Safari said 'no'... So Google figured out how to make the browser work like people expected (if you chose to stay logged in).

    Now... What policy should a software system use when a user chooses two opposing choices... Can't blame Google entirely for this. Safari's settings were precisely chosen to try and block Google (and other ad networks) from being able to what Google users want.

    If I used Safari ever (which I don't) then Google's behavior is what I would have wanted.

    but... lets all bash Google, and not realize that they only did this because the browser wasn't working the way Google users would expect.

     

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  29.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:39pm

    Re: That's because the money comes from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation

    Get a clue.


    Could you try actually responding to the point? Or is that too hard?

    If EFF was simply a mouthpiece of Google, why is it attacking Google?

     

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  30.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:40pm

    Re:

    https://www.eff.org/event/eff-mixer-google

    Um. So they had an event at Google. Not quite sure what you think that proves. And, again, this all seems to argue against what you're claiming. If EFF is nothing but a mouthpiece, why did EFF attack Google?

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re:

    I appreciate the response, and I do see your point. I think the EFF and Google have similar feelings about copyright and its enforcement on the 'net, but I wouldn't say that the EFF is Google's mouthpiece. I'm not really sure that there's more than a handful of people claiming that though, so that's why I asked. And while the EFF isn't Google's mouthpiece per se, it's my understanding that there's some connection between the two. That might explain the view that some hold.

     

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  32.  
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    Modplan (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So how does EFF criticising Google on this fit in to your narrative bob? What about other issues:

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/02/what-actually-changed-google%27s-privacy-policy

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/02/google-gets-healthy

    Or this?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8200624.stm

    Evil, evil EFF standing up for privacy.

     

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  33.  
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    bob, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Re: That's because the money comes from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation

    Uh, one of your points was that Google didn't even give the EFF any money. So I was just illustrating how wrong that point happens to be.

    But if you want me to address your other point, I can only say that it's common for astroturfing groups to disagree on minor points just to preserve some illusion of distance. I'm sure the RIAA and the MPAA have some petty disagreement with some of the big content companies too.

    It's about time the EFF started calling Google on the massive surveillance going on at Google. After all of these years of being willfully silent, it has gotten plain embarrassing to watch them scold the NSA and everyone else while ignoring their benefactor. But that's how business is done.

    The real difference is between talk and action. It took someone 10 minutes to type up that press release. If they start blacking out their site to protest Google's surveillance, if they start writing Congress, if they start holding fund raisers to lobby against Google, then you'll start to have a point. Right now it's just cosmetics.

     

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  34.  
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    bob, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Standing up for privacy? Sure, the EFF does that but they've been turning a blind eye to Google for years and years. I guess they finally decided to actually say something. In one of your links, they actually applaud Google for following the law and disclosing that the users actually have little privacy.

    If they really cared about privacy, they wouldn't be applauding disclosure, they would be arguing that it should be changed.

     

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    lucidrenegade (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Keep on troll'n baby.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:17pm

    Re: That's because the money comes from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation

    Don't forget the half million that also went to the Wikipedia right about the same time, just a few weeks before they also came out hard on SOPA.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2396625,00.asp


    Yet I'm sure somewhere deep in the Wikipedia is a page saying something not-so-nice about Google.

     

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  37.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I enjoyed it more when you were /OOTB/

     

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  38.  
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    Modplan (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: That's because the money comes from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation

    It's about time the EFF started calling Google on the massive surveillance going on at Google. After all of these years of being willfully silent, it has gotten plain embarrassing to watch them scold the NSA and everyone else while ignoring their benefactor. But that's how business is done.

    You mean like when they criticised Eric Schmidts statements?

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/12/google-ceo-eric-schmidt-dismisses-privacy

    An d his statements about how much information Google wants?

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2007/05/google-ceo-we-want-all-your-personal-information

    What about the criticism of the Google reader agreement, that included criticism of Google wanting to track reading?

    https://www.eff.org/cases/authors-guild-v-google
    FF is representing a coalition of authors and publishers — including best-sellers Michael Chabon Jonathan Lethem and technical author Bruce Schneier — in urging the Court to reject the proposed settlement unless it is amended or Google enforceably commits to ensure better reader privacy. The group of more than two dozen authors and publishers represented by EFF the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Samuelson Law Technology and Public Policy Clinic at the University of California Berkeley School of Law (Samuelson clinic) filed an objection to the settlement in September 2009.

    Are you really going to keep claiming the EFF is in Googles pcokets? Because your claims are wearing even thinnger than they were before bob.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re:

    Ah, you're probably bummed that they didn't hold your event at Crave. Maybe one of the downscale food places.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100621/0327579886.shtml

     

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  40.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: That's because the money comes from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation

    We know it's you, bob.

     

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  41.  
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    Modplan (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You mean how they specifically argued for change in the Google reader agreement?

    EFF is representing a coalition of authors and publishers — including best-sellers Michael Chabon Jonathan Lethem and technical author Bruce Schneier — in urging the Court to reject the proposed settlement unless it is amended or Google enforceably commits to ensure better reader privacy. The group of more than two dozen authors and publishers represented by EFF the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Samuelson Law Technology and Public Policy Clinic at the University of California Berkeley School of Law (Samuelson clinic) filed an objection to the settlement in September 2009.

    https://www.eff.org/cases/authors-guild-v-google

     

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  42.  
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    bob, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: That's because the money comes from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation

    Wow, those are hard hitting links.

    This one about Schmidt praises Google for deleting some moldy log files and calls it a "first step in the right direction."

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/12/google-ceo-eric-schmidt-dismisses-privacy

    The one about the new Google policy is laughable. Google is "applauded". Then the EFF explains that it's all okay because you can set up multiple accounts. Apparently disclosure is all it takes to make the EFF happy.

    The one about the book settlement is a bit harsher but it only addresses a very narrow part of the debate. It complete ly ignores copyright.

    BFD. Given how the EFF attacks other groups about privacy, these are like lashings with a wet noodle.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re:

    The argument that bob and the AC and many others have made is that because EFF gets money from Google, they are a mouthpiece for Google. ie., EFF holds its position and does what it does because Google gives it money.

    No Chubby. The argument is that you are full of shit. As in:

    It's also kind of strange, because looking over the EFF's most recent (public) financial statement (pdf), there isn't much evidence of Google support.

    You point to a single source in the midst of a mass of evidence of patronage.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:43pm

    Wait... isn't EFF supporting MORE circumvention?

    Or is this a case of "stuff they like, stuff they don't"? Seems they are being fussy about how much freedom there is out there. If the browser can do it, then Google should be free to do it, plain and simple. That would match up with EFF's stated desire to get rid of anti-circumvention deals.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Anyone who dares question the echo chamber is vilified and does not get the (strangely) coveted head-pat from Masnick.

     

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  46.  
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    Modplan (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That's because the money comes from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation

    This one about Schmidt praises Google for deleting some moldy log files and calls it a "first step in the right direction."

    It helps your cases if you can read, Nowhere in that link is this stated. I shouldn't be surprised that in the face of evidence, you outright lie about something that is actually linked.
    The one about the new Google policy is laughable. Google is "applauded". Then the EFF explains that it's all okay because you can set up multiple accounts. Apparently disclosure is all it takes to make the EFF happy.

    And yet again, bob can't understand the difference between calling transparency a positive step to actively endorsing Googles policy.

    The one about the book settlement is a bit harsher but it only addresses a very narrow part of the debate. It complete ly ignores copyright.

    And now this is where you really stretch things, primarily by changing the topic from privacy to copyright, making no sense in the process.

    Oh yeah...
    By automatically suspending allegedly pseudonymous accounts, Google was taking a bad idea one step further, with a potential for even more widespread chilling effects on freedom of expression than we’d seen on Facebook. This clash between Google and Google Plus users became known at Nymwars, which has expanded into a catch-all term for the debate over the role of pseudonymity online.

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/12/2011-review-nymwars

    At the same time, let’s be clear: Google+’s latest changes are a good first step toward supporting pseudonyms, but they are not an acceptable end game. While some users will be satisfied, there is still no support for individuals who wish to establish new pseudonyms. For new activists, or people creating new identities with which to explore a new issue—such as gay rights or politics—Google+ is not a welcome place for them to build that identity.

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/01/google-pseudonyms-step-right-direction-not-end-ro ad

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Chris Dodd for one.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Chris Dodd AC.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    TamTroll, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:31pm

    but ... but ... but ... the Eff is the lobbying arm of google and they always support Google since Google and the eff always work together.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I've been reading techdirt comments for some time now and I remember reading many comments, though perhaps from Anonymous commentators, claiming what the OP says. So don't give me your nonsense, you and I both know that you are telling lies and guess what, most all techdirt readers know this as well. In fact, they probably all do because you know it too and so do those who support your position, it's just that you IP extremists are dishonest.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I'm not really sure that there's more than a handful of people claiming that though"

    I'm not really sure that there's more than a handful of IP extremists that support IP expansion laws (or even our current overarching IP laws), but the point is that Mike was referring those few who did claim that. So what's your point?

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 8:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    IP extremists are a very small minority who so happen to have disproportionate government influence (IE: they lobbied the government to pass 95+ year copy protection lengths, among very many other bad laws) so even a small handful of IP extremists that claim something is a relatively large percentage of them.

    Take Creative America. IP extremist organizations tried to start an astroturphing campaign to get people to sign a pro-SOPA petition and they had to inflate the number of signatures (even IP extremists seemed to have been fooled and not a single IP extremist on Techdirt mentioned the MPAA's later response before the MPAA did, so it was not at all obvious what the MPAA meant even to IP extremists) and many people who did sign the petition seemed to have been tricked into doing so and after later discovering the trick demanded that their signatures be removed. Creative America even got so desperate for signatures that it resorted to paying people to get signatures, $1 per signature that someone got. Yet anti SOPA petitions reached millions of signatures in very little time.

    SOPA was initially negotiated in secret, with industry interests present, and was eventually released only after the documents leaked exactly because the government-industrial complex knows that people do not like these laws. Otherwise there is absolutely no good reason to negotiate this in secret and there is no good reason for the government established mainstream media to abuse its government established monopoly power to censor these topics from being communicated over broadcasting airwaves and cableco infrastructure and there is no good reason for the government-industrial complex (ie: the FCC) to prevent me from freely broadcasting this information over public airwaves as I please. That's censorship. Government established broadcasting (and cableco) monopolies that prevent me from freely broadcasting over public airwaves is a form of censorship.

    and here is another more recent example

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120207/12140117689/portuguese-artists-association-stru ggles-to-get-even-100-members-list-favor-exorbitant-new-private-copying-levies.shtml

    Mike was merely responding to a few Techdirt IP extremists and, given that there really aren't that many IP extremists (both in general and on Techdirt) even if it was just three that he was responding to, that's still a relatively large percentage of them.

     

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  53.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The simple fact is, we'd love to tell you the names or at least psudonyms of the posters Mike is refering to as, "They."

    But they're all named Anonymous Coward.

    Thus, your question has no answer. At least no good ones.

     

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  54.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You point to a single source in the midst of a mass of evidence of patronage.


    That source being the definitive yearly statement from the EFF which shows their total revenue and the sources of the *largest* amounts, with Google nowhere on the list.

    In other words, even if EFF gets *some* revenue from Google, it's a tiny amount percentage wise. The idea that this influences their position is so insane that it shouldn't even enter the conversation unless you're a complete kook. Or, you know, paid to spout a particular opinion. As you actually are... unlike the EFF.

     

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  55.  
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    nasch (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And while the EFF isn't Google's mouthpiece per se, it's my understanding that there's some connection between the two.

    What sort of connection?

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    This is not a battle between good and evil-- the way the anti-SOPA folks contend-- it's between big sumo wrestlers.

    You can certainly make the argument that when you have a billion dollar industry on one side and individual members of the public on the other, there may not be anyone to stop the industry from crushing the public under their jackboots, whereas the public has a better chance when you have two titans in battle and the opportunity is created for public sentiment to be able to turn the tide. But the public interest does not cease to be the public interest just because it coincides with the interests of a major industry. It is not the case that the ACLU is in the pocket of News Corp. when they argue for press freedom, and so it is with the EFF and Google.

    SOPA is objectively bad legislation for the numerous reasons that have been repeatedly articulated in the recent past. It is not a matter of Hollywood vs. Google. It is a matter of Hollywood vs. Us, where Us is a very large group that so happens to include Google.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:15pm

    "Either way, I'm curious how those who continue to insist that EFF is merely a front group for Google respond to issues like this one ...."

    I guess you got your answer. The trolls are very, very hungry ...

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm sure half a million dollars, plus funding staff attorneys, plus funding other positions, plus sponsoring events, plus widespread employee support, plus whatever else doesn't appear in the "definitive yearly statement" (which obviously is a joke in terms of disclosure) has no influence over the organization at all. Is that your position Chubby?

    Why do you think the Consumers Union doesn't take money from companies?

    But don't believe me Masnick, go read their 990. They get about 2 million plus per year from all grants. When Google lays down a half million for their building and pays lawyers and other staff salaries (probably another couple of hundred thousand) that's a pretty significant portion. But you're right no corrupting influence there. However, if the MPAA or RIAA donates $2500 to a candidate (among hundreds of thousands or millions raised) they're "bought" Right?

    You're such a sanctimonious bag of shit Masnick.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and now the Australian Government is holding secret anti-piracy meetings. If the public really wants these laws then why are all these meetings held in secret?

     

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  60.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I don't get this place."

    It's called "a series of tubes".

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I'm sure half a million dollars"

    What are you taking about? Are you still referring to this.

    "plus funding other positions"

    Funding other positions ... which has to do with their influence on the EFF ... how exactly? What might be more relevant is how much they are funding the EFF, not how much they are funding other positions or organizations, especially if those other positions are positions other than ones the EFF would tend to support.

    "plus funding staff attorneys"

    Yes, Google hires attorneys to defend itself from lawsuits. Who are they supposed to hire, plumbers?

    "plus sponsoring events"

    Sure, they sponsor various events. So does just about every corporation. Again, what does that have to do with their influence on the EFF?

    "plus widespread employee support"

    Organizations are composed of various employees that support different charitable and other organizations. Sure, some Google employees might support the EFF, some Wal-Mart Employees might support the ACLU and others the EFF, etc... which says very little about Google's or Wal-Mart's influence on either organization or any other organization for that matter.

    You act like Google is a monolithic entity, some employees may disagree with some things Google does and agree with others, very few people agree with absolutely everything their corporation does. Two people can hardly agree on anything.

    "which obviously is a joke in terms of disclosure"

    Yes, because people are automatically guilty until proven innocent. Just like you are guilty of bribing politicians.

    "if the MPAA or RIAA donates $2500 to a candidate"

    I'm not sure where you're getting your numbers, it must be that Hollywood accounting again, but the RIAA/MPAA donate considerably more money in campaign contributions to politicians than does Google. and there is a difference between donating money to the EFF and donating it to a candidate.

    But lets not forget about all the money Disney and other MPAA members donate to the RIAA/MPAA, which are organizations that (at least almost) never criticize their corporate constituents. The EFF has no problems criticizing Google because the EFF doesn't unconditionally defend Google. Sure, the EFF and Google may agree on some positions, but that's different than saying that the EFF unconditionally defends Google, unlike the apparent relationship between the MPAA/RIAA and its members, or that the EFF's position is substantially affected by Google's influence. You have provided little evidence to support your position.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 10:48pm

    Re: Re:

    "But if that's true, than EFF wouldn't then turn around and attack Google on privacy, would it? If Google is giving EFF money to be its mouthpiece, wouldn't it stop doing that when EFF attacks it?"

    That is a very simple minded view of the universe. I don't EFF is willing to be seen as anyone's lapdog, and as a result, when a company like Google goes fairly far over the line, they react.

    A failure to react or say something would be pretty telling about EFF's true standing.

    EFF is attacking Google in an area where Google can "take it". It does make it all look good, doesn't it?

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 10:52pm

    Re: Re:

    You keep asking the same question.

    EFF attacked Google in an area that Google can easily extract itself from, can easily "make it better" by making a small modification, and then can get praised for being "responsive".

    Meanwhile, it helps to create more distance between EFF and Google, so it is less likely that Brin's "charitable" donations won't show up on the radar.

    It's a nice way of doing things. You really do need to learn more about politics and lobbying, you seem lost. That's a bad thing for an undeclared lobbyist like yourself.

     

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  64.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 11:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Interesting conspiracy theories... Maybe the truth is that EFF and Google differ on certain things and aren't as close as you think.

     

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  65.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 12:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm sure half a million dollars,

    Which was part of a legal settlement punishing Google and not a voluntary payment -- which, uh, kinda shoots a big fucking hole in your idiotic conspiracy theory, doesn't it?

    plus funding staff attorneys

    Citation please?

    plus funding other positions

    Citation please?

    plus sponsoring events

    I recognize that you're from DC and not Silicon Valley so perhaps you're too ignorant to know this, but this is what Silicon Valley does: pretty much every tech company "sponsors" events of various groups. It's meaningless in the long run. There's rarely any money involved. Sponsorship means "letting you use our space." And every company does it. If it wasn't Google, it would have been Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, CNET or someone else. All of those companies regularly let various groups use their space in exchange for putting a "sponsor" logo on the announcement. Reading corruption into that is just stupid.

    plus whatever else doesn't appear in the "definitive yearly statement" (which obviously is a joke in terms of disclosure)

    You think that a 501(c)3 would flat out lie on its annual statement? Not only that but a 501(c)3 made up almost entirely of lawyers? You're out of your mind.

    But don't believe me Masnick, go read their 990.

    Hahah. Their 990 matches their yearly report published on the site, which confirms that it's likely accurate -- contrary to your claim.

    They get about 2 million plus per year from all grants. When Google lays down a half million for their building and pays lawyers and other staff salaries (probably another couple of hundred thousand) that's a pretty significant portion.

    Again, the half mill was a one-time legal settlement (which similarly had Google give a bunch of money to EPIC -- a known Google antagonist), not a grant. And where is the evidence of this "staff salaries"? And, you're wrong. You ignore the fact that individual membership are the bulk of their revenue -- and not corporate grants. So, you're basically full of it.

    But you're right no corrupting influence there. However, if the MPAA or RIAA donates $2500 to a candidate (among hundreds of thousands or millions raised) they're "bought" Right?

    The MPAA and RIAA's sole purpose is to influence Congress as a lobbying organization. The EFF is a litigation shop, not a lobbying shop. Furthermore, the RIAA and MPAA solely represent the very few corporate sponsors they have and only support their interests. EFF's charter is to support the public interest.

    If you can't tell the difference, well...

    And, since you're suddenly all about full disclosure, who pays your bills?

    I bet you won't say.

     

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  66.  
    icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:09am

    From what I've read, this sounds like an honest mistake. Most likely, some QA guy tried the functionality in Safari saw that it didn't work and sent a bug to the developer saying: "The feature is broken in Safari. Fix it!" The developer looked at what Safari was doing, and said: "Hm... Safari is acting weird. Stupid non-standard browser behavior. As though IE wasn't enough of a pain in the neck!" Then he wrote some code that made the feature work and forgot about it.

    I seriously doubt anyone actually though this Safari behavior was a feature not a bug. If you develop for the web, a ridiculous amount of time is spent working around individual browser quirks. You rarely actually sit down and think: "Well maybe it's a feature that our application won't work in a major but quirky web browser out of the box."

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:19am

    Google-EFF love spat. How cute.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:21am

    Re:

    "I welcome our Google Overlords, because if they ran the world, at least they'd do it right."

    Translation: "If you're going to spy on me, you'll do it better than anyone else ever has!"

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:22am

    Re:

    Google: "Do No Evil".

    Google: "Spying isn't evil".

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What's not to get? Google's business model is to buy the idiot masses compliance with 1984 behavior via illicitly obtained free content.

    They'll continue to laugh all the way to the bank, because they know they've figured out the price for people accepting the kind of spying that has never been known in the existence of man.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:43am

    Re: Re:

    It's PR. A false flag.

    No one ever accused Google of being stupid; they're actually very cunning. And this is a prime example.

    This attempted fake notion being thrown around today that the EFF is actually angry at Google is hilarious.

    The EFF is a joke and this little bit of theater is a bad example of acting.

    The fact they ignore how Google generally operates is blatant to everyone but the deaf and blind.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:49am

    Re: Re:

    I'm a huge defender of privacy

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Where are your diatribes against Google then??? The most invasive corporation in the history of the world???

    Where are your diatribes against the tool that runs this blog, Masnick? A douchebag that will violate anonymity whenever it suits his purposes- looking at IP addys of supposedly "anonymous" posters?

    You people will never have the high ground, ever.

     

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  73.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 3:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hang on - are we talking about the MAFIAA and Congress, or EFF and Google?

    'Cause I swear I just had a deja vu moment.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    art guerrilla, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 3:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    not that the estimable pirate mike needs any help defending his positions, etc...
    ...but i find it EXTREMELY illuminating that when techdirt's resident MAFIAA goon gets cornered, one of two things happen:
    1. a short personal smear is the 'response',
    or,
    2. no response at all is forthcoming...

    that happens nearly EVERY TIME that slimy, worm-tongued POS gets confronted with actual factuals, rational thinking, or basically *anything* which traduces the IP maximalist's playbook...
    happens over and over and over...
    fucker gets in his nastygrams, but then when he (presumably a male of the species) gets called out on lies and bullshit, he disappears quicker than a viable competitor to legacy media extortion rackets...
    ...but *that's* an honest broker ! ? ! ? ! ?
    hee hee hee
    ho ho ho
    ha ha ha
    ak ak ak
    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    art guerrilla at windstream dot net
    eof

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The EFF and Google are far more manipulative and evil than the "mafiaa" have ever been.

    Hello to ugly reality.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and we know that the 'entertainment' industry donates considerably more money to politicians than the tech industry, despite the fact that the entertainment industry is a much smaller industry than the tech industry.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, this is going to be fun Chubby:

    "I'm sure half a million dollars,"

    Which was part of a legal settlement punishing Google and not a voluntary payment -- which, uh, kinda shoots a big fucking hole in your idiotic conspiracy theory, doesn't it?

    Here's how The Register views it, accurately characterizing it as : "Google offered $8.5m to settle several class action suits last September. The Court made a preliminary settlement late last year and decided on the dispersal of money in February. The lawyers took a cut of just over $2m, leaving $6m to be spread around some 77 organisations. Only 12 made the cut.

    Amongst the groups that failed to squeeze its snouts into the trough was EPIC, which complained that the selection process favored “organizations that are currently paid by [Defendant] to lobby for or to consult for the company”.

    "To say the least, that's an interesting description of the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which both hit the jackpot, receiving $1m each."

    "And $1m is not a trivial amount to the EFF: in 2008/09 the organisation saw gross income of $3.42m, and was left with a shortfall of over $400,000. Google's cash from this one settlement alone exceeds both individual membership fees, and individual contributions - both under $1m. You could almost describe relying on Google is a kind of business model."

    Here's the link: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/03/google_settlement_rewards_privacy_groups_wtf/

    That was a million, not a half million. The half million I was talking about was from the Wojcicki Brin Foundation, which I guess you'll argue doesn't count because technically it's not Google, but anyone with half a brain knows really is.

    https://www.eff.org/pages/eff-mission

    The OTHER half million that EFF got from Google was part of a negotiated settlement. Google had a say in where some of the money was directed. So they directed it to their lapdog. Dope.

    "plus funding staff attorneys"

    Citation please?
    Still looking for that for you. In the meantime enjoy the citation for Google Legal Fellowships:


    The Google Policy Fellowship program offers law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues, and exploring future academic and professional interests. Fellows will have the opportunity to work at public interest organizations at the forefront of debates on broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and trademark reform, consumer privacy, open government, and more. Participating organizations are based in either Washington, DC or San Francisco, CA, and include: American Library Association, Cato Institute, Center for Democracy and Technology, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Internet Education Foundation, Media Access Project, New America Foundation, and Public Knowledge. Fellows will be assigned a lead mentor at their host organizations, but will have the opportunity to work with several senior staff members over the course of the summer. Fellows will be expected to make substantive contributions to the work of their organization, including conducting policy research and analysis; drafting reports and analyses; attending government and industry meetings and conferences; and participating in other advocacy activities.

    "plus funding other positions"

    Citation please?

    Policy fellowships: http://www.google.com/policyfellowship/hosts.html#eff

    Here. Eat this too: http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/03/eff-seeks-students-to-code-for-liberty.ars

    "plus sponsoring events"

    I recognize that you're from DC and not Silicon Valley so perhaps you're too ignorant to know this, but this is what Silicon Valley does: pretty much every tech company "sponsors" events of various groups. It's meaningless in the long run. There's rarely any money involved. Sponsorship means "letting you use our space." And every company does it. If it wasn't Google, it would have been Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, CNET or someone else. All of those companies regularly let various groups use their space in exchange for putting a "sponsor" logo on the announcement. Reading corruption into that is just stupid.

    And typically the pick up the tab for refreshments, entertainment and associated costs. Right? Which is money the organization would otherwise have to spend, right?

    "plus whatever else doesn't appear in the "definitive yearly statement" (which obviously is a joke in terms of disclosure)"

    You think that a 501(c)3 would flat out lie on its annual statement? Not only that but a 501(c)3 made up almost entirely of lawyers? You're out of your mind.

    Read what I wrote Chubby. I didn't say it was a lie, those are your words. I said it was a joke in terms of full disclosure. Which it is.

    "But don't believe me Masnick, go read their 990."

    Hahah. Their 990 matches their yearly report published on the site, which confirms that it's likely accurate -- contrary to your claim.

    See above.

    "They get about 2 million plus per year from all grants. When Google lays down a half million for their building and pays lawyers and other staff salaries (probably another couple of hundred thousand) that's a pretty significant portion."

    Again, the half mill was a one-time legal settlement (which similarly had Google give a bunch of money to EPIC -- a known Google antagonist), not a grant. And where is the evidence of this "staff salaries"? And, you're wrong. You ignore the fact that individual membership are the bulk of their revenue -- and not corporate grants. So, you're basically full of it.

    It was a million, not a half-million. The half-million was from the Brin Foundation.

    "But you're right no corrupting influence there. However, if the MPAA or RIAA donates $2500 to a candidate (among hundreds of thousands or millions raised) they're "bought" Right?"

    The MPAA and RIAA's sole purpose is to influence Congress as a lobbying organization. The EFF is a litigation shop, not a lobbying shop. Furthermore, the RIAA and MPAA solely represent the very few corporate sponsors they have and only support their interests. EFF's charter is to support the public interest.

    Curious. Here's a link to EFF's site where they characterize their lobbying efforts on Net Neutrality: https://www.eff.org/foia/net-neutrality-lobbying. And here's another to the Livingston Group, the lobbyists they hired: http://www.livingstongroupdc.com/science_tech_tele.php

    If you can't tell the difference, well...

    Sorry, what difference?

    And, since you're suddenly all about full disclosure, who pays your bills?

    I bet you won't say.


    I can say it's none of your fucking business.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "EFF is attacking Google in an area where Google can "take it"."

    Can you provide me with an example of an area where Google can't "take it" and why, along with substantiation/citations to any of your anonymous claims against Google.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "It's PR. A false flag."

    Well, at least your tin foil hat is working correctly, so far ...

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The maximum per federal candidate is $2500: http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/contriblimits.shtml

    Google pours hundreds of thousands into EFF through funding policy and legal fellowships at EFF; directing settlements (recently $1 million, see The Register article "Licking The Hand That Feeds It"); a half-million dollar matching grant, etc. The seven studios can give a grand total of $17,500 jointly to a single candidate. That's probably less than Google drops sponsoring a single EFF event. But in the bizarro world of Mike Masnick, millions of dollars of payments by Google to a so-called public interest watchdog is not corrupting- but $2500 to a politician and you own him.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The EFF is a litigation shop, not a lobbying shop."

    That just is no longer true. EFF's push for expanded fair use isn't as a result of any direct legal challenge, rather it is a change in the law that they are lobbying for.

    Quite simply, they have changed their tune, changed their attitude, and now speak preemptively about subjects and push for changes to the law, rather than just dealing with the back side in court.

    "And, since you're suddenly all about full disclosure, who pays your bills?"

    I love lines like this. What happens if the person isn't getting paid to lobby, to post, or to complain professionally? Is there any reason they should disclose their personal information, just because they express an opinion here?

    Seems like you are using a double standard again to try to cow someone into not answering.

    How about you? Would you care to declare all of your income, and all of the causes you have donated money to this year? Can you explain how you are going to express the lobbying expenses you incurring in 2011 against SOPA, including the value of all of the posts here? How do you handle that stuff?

    To quote you, "I bet you won't say."

     

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  82.  
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    nasch (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re:


    A failure to react or say something would be pretty telling about EFF's true standing.

    EFF is attacking Google in an area where Google can "take it". It does make it all look good, doesn't it?


    Confirmation bias much?

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, its true. You do live in a false reality. Probably because of your bizarre obsession/love for Hollywood's profit margin. And you don't have a vested interest in that, you say?

    hmmmmmmm...

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think they are actually very close. They may differ on certain things, but Google knows damn well that they need organizations like this to stand between them are government (and the public) on many issues.

    Google by themselves pretty much always look like greedy guys now, trying to push, push, push. Money donated to EFF through foundations and other third party methods helps to finance a group to stand in front and take the heat.

    This example is just EFF giving Google a little heat in an area they can easily handle.

     

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  85.  
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    Togashi (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wait, you just acknowledged that you know exactly who "they" is.

    And for the record, I've never said that the EFF is a mouthpiece for Google, so I'm not "they."


    I'm really not getting the confusion here.

     

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  86.  
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    Togashi (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, talk about "Damned if you do, damned if you don't".

    Let me make sure I've got this straight:

    If EFF does nothing, that proves they are Google's lapdogs. If EFF does react, that proves they are trying to hide the fact they are Google's lapdogs.

    And you expect us to take you seriously? This is not rational discussion, this is you being so thoroughly convinced you're right that literally nothing will persuade you otherwise.

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I and we at techdirt have already seen that page, thank you very much, and that's just the maximum that a single individual may directly donate to a single candidate. We've already covered how much the entertainment industry donates.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    For example

    "Of the $48.7 million in total campaign contributions given by this industry during the 2008 election cycle ..."

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Also see

    http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/industries.php?cycle=2012&type=I&cid=N00001811 &newMem=N&recs=20

    "Representative Lamar Smith 2011 - 2012"

    Who donated the most to his campaign? The entertainment industry (TV/Movies/Music), donating $61,800 just to his 2011 - 2012 campaign.

    The entertainment industry donates a lot more than tech to various candidates.

    The fact that the most you can resort to is a made up number of dollars that Google allegedly spends on various events (not campaign contributions) that some members of the EFF (along with other organizations and individuals) may have attended along with a court ordered settlement just shows how desperate you are to make a non-existing point.

    I'm not sure what the matching grant issue you are referring to is in reference to, do you have a citation?

    "The seven studios can give a grand total of $17,500 jointly to a single candidate."

    You really do lack reading comprehension skills. Read your link again.

    and, organizations can now spend as much as they want on political ads due to a supreme court ruling.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and here is another example

    http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/industries.php?cycle=2012&type=I&cid=N0000 9918&newMem=N&recs=20

    the only industry donating more to Patrick Leahy than the entertainment industry are Lawyers/Law Firms (which likely includes IP trolls, like intellectual ventures, including copy protection trolls). No wonder our laws are so messed up.

     

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  92.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (The entertainment industry donating $373,056 between 2007 - 2012 to Leahy and Lawyers/Law Firms donating $611,990 during the same period).

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    [citation needed] Actually several of them, since you'll have to prove that statement by comparing it to other mega-corporations. Google is only as invasive as you allow.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:34pm

    Re: Obligatory XKCD: Conspiracy Theories

    Aww, yes. Good ol' pen15. They will never succeed, though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re:

    Explain how that is absurd.

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 11:16pm

    Google is evil, don't trust it!

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2012 @ 7:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I know you won't understand, but if you're coming into the comments only to call someone else a troll (especially someone like me who is simply trying to understand the article), then YOU'RE the troll.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
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    Modplan (profile), Feb 19th, 2012 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So are you going to argue hat all these other organisations are merely mouthpieces for Google too?

    Other recipients range from advocacy and educational powerhouses like the ACLU ($1 million); Brookings Institution ($165,000); Electronic Frontier Foundation ($1 million); and Berkeley Law School (combined $700,000); to smaller groups such as “Youth Radio” ($50,000) and YMCA of Greater Long Beach ($300,000).

    http://wlflegalpulse.com/2011/06/01/online-privacy-organizations-get-buzzed-on-millio ns-from-google-lawsuit-settlement/

    After all, despite the repeated evidence of criticism from the EFF on various actions by Google, the EFF are solely mouthpieces for Google. All that money and Google still can't get EFF to stop criticising them - sounds like a pretty shitty deal to me, but what would I know, I don't have people paying me to spread FUD about groups my employers don't like on forums, right?
    Here. Eat this too: http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/03/eff-seeks-students-to-code-for-liberty.ars

    I also guess that means every Google SoC participant - a programme used by many, many projects for many different things - are also now mouthpieces for Google. It's not like the SoC project you're referring to is 7 years old right? It's not like it only amounted to $5,000, I mean who would become Google's mouthpiece for as low a price as that?

    Oh wait, that's all it was? $5,000 for development of a few projects 7 years ago, in which Google also gives to many other projects every year? Evil Google giving money freely to projects they won't directly benefit from. Evil EFF making use of it as many others have to help develop software. My world view is shaken to its very core.

    Curious. Here's a link to EFF's site where they characterize their lobbying efforts on Net Neutrality: https://www.eff.org/foia/net-neutrality-lobbying. And here's another to the Livingston Group, the lobbyists they hired


    You do realise the difference between demanding information on companies performing private lobbying to the FCC and the EFF characterising itself as being in the process of lobbying don't you? 'Cos if you didn't, that'd make you look stupid. Like you couldn't understand when someone is talking about lobbying, not characterising their own actions as lobbying. Evil EFF confusing silly AC's! What will they do next, criticise Google after being given $5,000 for 4 software projects 7 years ago?

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/03/EFF-Lets-the-Sun-Shine-In

    Christ, you really are stretching aren't you? Have you been able to find any real dirt, or just more stuff you're gonna try and spin as dirt that makes no sense?

     

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  99.  
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    Modplan (profile), Feb 19th, 2012 @ 8:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Correction: Read the dates wrong in the Ars Technica article. The real date? A year ago. An AC is claiming EFF is corrupt in Google's favour for $5,000 they got a year ago to develop a few software projects, in which they were not the only people to take part.

    I really shouldn't be surprised.

     

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  100.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 12:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    >Where are your diatribes against the tool that runs this blog, Masnick? A douchebag that will violate anonymity whenever it suits his purposes- looking at IP addys of supposedly "anonymous" posters?

    Wow, we just all magically learned your name!

    >You people will never have the high ground, ever.

    Why the high ground would give you an advantage, I have no idea. It certainly hasn't stopped the RIAA/MPAA from suing kids, grandmothers, homeless people, dead people and printers. If anything, being morally responsible effectively means agreeing with the RIAA/MPAA that you are a filthy criminal, regardless of what media you do or don't consume.

    What kind of lunatic wants to walk through life with that sort of mindset?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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