Re: Confirmed endpoint breaks
And judging by the way Google has blacklisted video/audio files I've put in there they're readily scanning through everything.
Why, are they illegal, or just copyright infringements? What am I saying; it is likely just Google's AI being a knob end...
New Product line: Google CrimeAnalytics, police departments subscribe to automatic updates about dissidents in their precinct.
Apologies, but I'm going to hijack your ironic pun.
It's impossible to be a dissident in a country where they don't lock you up just in case you might say something they don't like. You can try being a dissident in the USA but it's nearly impossible. You basically have to commit a physical crime such as theft or murder to get them to throw you in jail.
Note, that's not the same as there being no consequences arising from what is actually said, even in the USA... Actually going ahead and saying the wrong thing and it's fines, jail time. Quite right too, that's how it should be (for most liberal westernised societies' definition of 'wrong').
Oh, and in most countries it's illegal to fail to report criminal activity / material. So far from Google selling the information to the cops, Google are already obliged by law to hand over criminal material (if they're aware of it) or risk facing criminal charges themselves. And of course Google know that and do indeed cooperate with LEAs. Knowingly doing otherwise is Obstruction of Justice.
The basic problem for Google and other social networks like Facebook is that their reliance on not being seen as the "publisher" of material is wearing thin. The trend is definitely towards being responsible for their users' posts. So they're becoming more vulnerable to such charges.
So far governments seem content to use civil systems of intervention (take-down notices, etc). That's got to be made to work properly, quickly and reliably. Technology might help, but I doubt it.
However if that doesn't substantially reduce the quantity of illegal material circulating, or does nothing to reduce on line harassment or bullying or abuse, it will be judged a failure. The rate of take downs is irrelevant; governments will judge it by what remains available despite the take downs.
That's why I'm doubtful of technology being useful. It'll only ever tackle a % of the problem material. Say it deals with 50% of illegal posts; great, but if the number of illegal posts made by users had trebled at the same time, the amount remaining available has actually gone up 50%.
If that happens then governments will lose patience and it may start becoming a matter for criminal law. If so, encryption and foreign hosting might make it impossible for direct local legal interventions, but their ad revenues are susceptible to being blocked. And if that happens, they're dead in the water.
Given such a poor ultimate outcome for the social network companies, I conclude that their entire business strategy is doomed.
This ultimate outcome is far from unlikely, no matter how fanciful it may seem today. All governments, particularly democracies, are painfully aware of how important being strong on law and order is. Government has to be seen to be doing something about online criminality, otherwise it risks getting voted out. Online racist abuse, terrorist materials, harassment, bullying, etc is now a political issue. Hence the Google Boycott that started in the UK, €50million fines in Germany for every single illegal, fake or slanderous item not dealt with, etc.
Now that it's political, the networks are on a hiding to nothing. They cannot win. They will lose money.
Given that, why persist as they currently are? Why not change business model sooner rather than later, save the time and money?
For example, Google is currently free, and earns approximately $25billion a year, from (I'm guessing) 3 billion users. Let's call it $8 per user. If it were guaranteed completely ad free, no data slurping, would you pay $10 per year to use all of Google's services? I would.
Given that Google could then cut their electricity bill enormously (a large amount of their compute power is analytics), they'd be ahead of the deal. Or they could charge $5.
The side effect is that Google would have credit card details for users. Sure, users would still have stupid YouTube handles, but if a user posted something illegal then the consequences can be more than a closed account. The actual person could be easily held to account by the courts. And knowing that might deter them from posting it in the first place.