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back to article Google: Surge in pressure from govts to DELETE CHUNKS of the web

Governments, judges, cops and politicians are continuing to lobby Google to tear down online material critical of their operations, we're told. Today, the advertising giant said that, in the first six months of 2013, it received 3,846 demands from public officials to remove 24,737 personal blog posts, YouTube videos and other …

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Bronze badge

Haha, outrageous, this should make us all the more determined to post and blog about all such things until there are too many posts about these goings on to ask to be removed. Google should name all individuals who requested a takedown that was denied, named and shamed I say!

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Anonymous Coward

The Leveson enquiry here in the UK led to this Royal Charter which effectively puts the media under Government control.

However you look at it the power this gives to people who want to censor what we see and hear is enormous.

Cry baby celebrities, politicians and the like don't give a damn about the little people, they only have self interest in mind.

Freedom of speech is not for the little people.

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Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

to the anon..

I am hazarding a guess you were downvoted for the "leveson put media under govt control", though to be honest neither side was untarnished.

The scary thing here, is that unless freedom of speech *is* the law, suppression is simply a financial calculation. Hence, "sue if you dare". And of course it us "little people" that cannot possible hope to take on a $CORP or $GOVT.

I mentioned it before, that information on the web is disappearing or could be changed without anyone knowing.

How much worse will it get when there are forces actively trying to destroy unflattering/unprofitable/unwelcome information?

As some folks have commented elsewhere, "I used to think I was too paranoid, and now I think I am not paranoid enough..."

P.

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Silver badge

`revelations of federal officials collecting mass archives of user activity`

Am I the only one who read this as feral officials?

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History rewritten or hidden?

It seems the History Boogymen are coming to bite perpetrators in the rear over and over. One way to avoid the bite is to destroy the info. Like Spooks in the night running for the shredder to hide the proof?

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Does anyone else take issue with that wording?

"we take seriously our duty to provide such information only when authorized by law."

Only when authorized or only when required? Somehow I get the feeling that that word was chosen deliberately.

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Re: Does anyone else take issue with that wording?

I would feel a lot better if they had said, "when forced to by the law".

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Re: Does anyone else take issue with that wording?

And the law is written by who?

Yes the people asking for the take downs........discuss (but not in a web forum)

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Silver badge
Big Brother

But...

... we have *always* been at war with Eastasia!

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Bronze badge
Megaphone

I'll go the other way ...

... All Hail! The Mighty Champion of the People!

Fighting for your rights against The Man. Keeping your data out of government hands. Busy Doing No Evil, even while you sleep.

Your thanks will be sufficient*. No payment is required .

* and the data - obviously - keep sending us all of your lovely data, too!

;-)

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Bronze badge

I'll do the officials a deal

Lose all of data you have gathered on me, and I'll stop posting stuff I learn about you.

What? No deal? Then stiff shit sunshine.

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Silver badge

Some things can be kept secret successfully. What can't be stopped are the means to share the secrets that slip out. From burning libraries and monasteries to destroying printing presses and confiscating newspapers and books, you can't stop the spread of information once it has become free. You can't resecret a secret.

What I find funny in all this is that political types are being grossly guilty of assuming if it's on the Internet it is real and anybody gives a shit, and that if it's not on the Internet it is gone forever. Christ, what a bunch of jackasses.

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Silver badge

"What I find funny in all this is that political types are being grossly guilty of assuming if it can be found on Google it is real and anybody gives a shit, and that if it can't be found on Google it is gone forever. Christ, what a bunch of jackasses."

FIFY!

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Bronze badge
Pint

Agreed. But sufficient amounts of information are now concentrated in fewer and fewer hands and not on paper, the chances the secret getting out *in time* decreases.

Timing matters, and sometimes just delaying the information is enough "to get the fix in".

Did you never see "trading places"...;-)

P.

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Anonymous Coward

Now do you see why porn *COUGH* filters are bad?

The mission creep has already begun.

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Silver badge

alleged illegal activity

One can only presume it was submitting an accurate expense claim.

I agree people should not be able to publish lies but an important piece of information is missing, had the allegation been tested in court and is the removal backed by an injunction based on it being proven untrue. If not there is a big problem here. No person should have any more (or any less) protection here. If it is untrue the author should face consequences, if it is true then the authors right to free speech is paramount. We have courts to decide if it is true, if the author publishes prior to a judgement then they leave themselves open to a greater punishment. I have a deep suspicion regarding any unnamed mp getting to silence allegations about crimes, for all we know it could have been TB and Iraq War crimes.

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So now this is adding up. Just a couple of weeks ago it came to light Google had saved between 3.3 and 5.3 million because of a "misunderstanding" with the government on what google had to pay for under market priced fuel for their planes

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/11/us-google-nasa-idUSBRE9BA1C320131211

So this is how our government is repaying google to sell us out. Wow, well played google. screw we tax payers even worse than paying NO taxes at all!

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Bronze badge

Rebelle» So this is how our government is repaying google to sell us out

Who exactly is selling us out: our government or google?

It seems to me that Google is on no-one's side but her own and her use of the data we give her (a.k.a. her product) is a part of her business model. As for the Governments, are they on our side? I doubt it. We are there to give them want they want.

The inter-governmental level seems to be like a kindergarten playground: those who can bully, do bully and take want they want; those who want protection, give up their lunch money to the bigger kids.

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Anonymous Coward

It just makes me want to laugh...

For years, the governmental and enforcement entities have been diligently subverting the myriad & various laws & constitutions that protect an individual's privacy. Now, to their horror, these actors find that they themselves have become preferred surveillance targets. I cannot imagine a more appropriate and ironic outcome.

Welcome to 1984, Mister Congress person...Mr or Ms Prime Minister...Mister President. Did you really think that you could simply gaze into the population, and not have the population gaze back at you?

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Silver badge

The ratio of successful:denied requests is worrying

The take-down requests themselves aren't such an issue to me - every country will have legitimate take-down requests regarding illegal activity. The problem is the high percentage of spurious requests! What is going through the minds of our supposed democratic representatives when they think they can request embarrassing information about them to be taken down?

I'm of the mind that our countries should have some 'censorship watchdog', which oversees such requests and prevents them being passed any further than their office if deemed to be against the country's laws. Then each company would only have to deal with requests from one place per country. Would aid transparency and prevent fraud.

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Silver badge

Re: The ratio of successful:denied requests is worrying

That's actually a really good idea! That could be combined with a central authority for reviewing and delivering legal records requests (FISA et al.). The unbelievable numbers of people who can currently initiate those processes is a guaranteed hotbed of fraud.

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Silver badge

Interesting...

First steps towards wrestling control of our personal data back from the Googleborg?

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Anonymous Coward

First the warez, then the porn, then anything else they don't agree with.

The governments and big businesses are winning.

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Silver badge

"Big Business" would sell you anything. That is the point of it.

"Government" is angling for votes no matter what the cost. If need be, they serve you a soup spiced with disgusting red and brown pieces of stale shite then tell you it is for your best while asking you to pay for it. That is the nature of government.

You know what you want.

[In the beginning, people] demanded inexpensive liquor, tobacco and consumer goods, clean women and a chance to win a fortune; and our ancestors obliged them. Our ancestors were sneered at in their day, you know. They were called criminals when they distributed goods and services at a price people could afford to pay. ... They had what they called laissez-faire, and it worked for a while until they got to tinkering with it. They demanded things called protective tariffs, tax remissions, subsidies — regulation, regulation, regulation, always of the other fellow. But there were enough bankers on all sides for everybody to be somebody else's other fellow. Coercion snowballed and the Government lost public acceptance. They had a thing called the public debt which I can't begin to explain to you except to say that it was something written on paper and that it raised the cost of everything tremendously. Well, believe me or not, they didn't just throw away the piece of paper or scratch out the writing on it. They let it ride until ordinary people couldn't afford the pleasant things in life. ["The Syndic" by C.M. Kornbluth]

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