Big Brother Google

Editor’s Note– The internet is more important to the everyday person than the ubiquitous coffee pot. Google has captured the lion’s share of all searches on computers, iPads, and smart phones, and the data captured is immense to say the least. But, just how much do we know of what Google is really doing with all the data they collect through tracking our searches? How do they have the right to sell information about you and your activities? Those are your data, not theirs, and if money is to be made off it, is it not yours?

Google operates in the background whether you know it or not and collects history for data-mining and then both shares and sells that data to anyone that comes asking. What is most disturbing is just how Google has betrayed our trust by passing along internet tracking histories to the government with our knowledge. Your likely reaction may be so what, I dont use the internet for any hidden objectives, but that is not what is at issue here.

Google is effectively watching and cataloging everything we do on the internet and then using that information to target you for internet sales, or who knows what else. The possibilities are endless and bode of a “big brother’ watching you, but to what end? Its a slippery slope, and somewhere in the future, this information may be used against the individual for easily imagined reasons, both monetary and nefarious.

America, stop being sheep and protect yourself and your domain, most of all your freedom. Here are two articles to help you understand what is taking place:

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Google’s new privacy policy: The good, bad, scary

By Larry Dignan

ZD Net

Summary: I’m all for breaking down data silos, but when Google knows more about me than my wife I get a bit worried.

Google has updated its privacy policy in a way that breaks down product silos, but allows the search giant to mine data across all of its services.

In a blog post, Google outlined the changes. These changes are the enterprise Holy Grail in many respects. Companies everywhere want to break down product walls to get a 360 degree view of customers. The difference with Google is reach and it is actually succeeding. In a nutshell, Google is:

  • Making its privacy policies easier to read.
  • Aggregating data across products for Google and user experience.
  • And arguing that it’s easier to take your data and go somewhere else.
  • Here’s how this boils down for this Google user between work and personal uses.

The good: Anything that simplifies privacy policies makes sense—even if you may not agree with them. Google has 70 privacy documents today. That will be boiled down to one privacy policy.

The bad: Unified user experience aside, it was kind of nice to have my YouTube personas different from say, Gmail and Google+. Philosophically it makes sense. Emotionally I’m not so sure I’m on board the one for all approach.

The scary: Google will know more about you than your wife does. Everything across your screens will be integrated and tracked. Google noted that it collects information you provide, data from your usage, device information and location. Unique applications are also noted. Sure you can use Google’s dashboard and ad manager to cut things out, but this policy feels Big Brother-ish. Google is watching you as long as you are logged in. It’s also unclear whether this privacy policy move will be considered bundling in some way by regulators. This unified experience hook appears to be at least partially aimed at juicing Google+. Google responded with clarification: Google noted that it already has all that data, but it’s now integrating that information across products. It’s a change in how Google will use the data not what it collects. In other words, Google already knows more about you than your wife.

The bottom line here is that you should start perusing Google’s terms of service and privacy policies pronto.

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Stop BIG Brother From Spying on YOU: Top Three Search Engines That Don’t Track You

By Nelson Doyle

Web Upon

Google is by far the biggest and most popular internet search engine on the internet, but it might not be the safest. Here are the top three search engines which do not track you or save your searches like Google does.

It has been recently reported that Google has entered into a secret partnership deal with the NSA (National Security Agency) to try to prevent cyber-attacks and hackers from accessing their servers. Maybe, that is all it is, but most deals are not just one-way, but could also mean that the NSA now has access to the search entries of Google’s users. How does that settle with you, the users? (Google and the NSA news article)

I believe that if you are not doing anything illegal, then it is your privacy which should be protected by the companies which you do business with and by the government which works for you “The People” or at least here in the United States of America. It is very disturbing that government agencies could spy and collect informational data on my searches and possibly build a profile on me the user. They have no business getting into my business unless they have really good cause for doing so, and then they should inform me that they are doing so.

Thank goodness, Google isn’t the only search engine on the web. There are others that serve up the search results which I need to have when researching data for writing a new article. These search engines do not collect information about their users or install cookies on the hard drive and best of all, most do not save the search queries of their users. This helps protect the users’ privacy while conducting searches online.

Stop Big Brother from spying on you by changing the way which you search online. Currently Big Brother has easy access to the majority of searches conducted across the internet, because Google and the main stream media has done a fantastic job making Google the most popular internet search engine on the web, but now, Google is teaming up with the National Security Agency in a closed door and closed lipped deal, which could potentially make it easier for the government to spy on you without you even knowing it every time you use Google for your internet searches.

Ixquick

Ixquick earns the top spot on this Top 3 List, because it has really gone far and beyond any security measures to protect the online community’s privacy while conducting internet searches online. It is the first fully certified search engine to stop using ID cookies and software; it does not store search data that users use in their searches; it does not collect your IP Address; it does not share or sell user’s information to third parties; and only 2 cookies which this search does use are both anonymous thus meaning it cannot be traced back to a particular user. Read here for more details.

Gibiru

One of the very first things that searchers will see on this site is the company’s motto “The Unofficial Search Engine Proxy For Humans Who Don’t Want to Be Tracked By Big Brother” and this is great information to know before using this search engine. Gibiru has put their stated goal in plain and simply terms which anyone can understand “Gibiru don’t Track You”. So search on and keep your privacy in your control – if you allow someone in, then you have no privacy to protect.

HideMyAss

Hidemyass is a search engine proxy which allows users to conduct searches of their choice and serves up the top 100 Google results which have been stripped down to disallow any Google cookies from being placed on the user’s hard drive. This search engine does not use tracking cookies or spyware and does not store searches for more than 48 hours.

 

1,000 Days Button – primer on what to expect at SOTU address

Editor’s Note – The Republicans attending the State of the Union address tonight are working to show solidarity that is in full opposition to Barack Obama’s doctrine(s), which to date, and on all topics, has failed miserably, despite his team’s spin.

In case the television cameras pan the gallery, you may wonder why some members are wearing a red button that reads “1,000 days” and what it means. It has been over 1,000 days since the Harry Reid Democrat Senate has presented a budget, and the red buttons are part of the attire tonight to demonstrate to all viewers just how failed in duty the Senate actually is.

In case you are wondering who will be in attendance as special guests, SUA is delighted to provide the list for you and the campaign reasons they are in attendance.

Debbie Bosanek is the headliner, but 20 other Americans — ranging from the military commander who helped kill Osama bin Laden to Apple founder Steve Jobs’s wife — will sit in first lady Michelle Obama’s box during the State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Adm. William McRaven, Laurene Powell Jobs, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger are among the guests of President Obama and his wife.

Asking ordinary, and extraordinary, Americans to attend the State of the Union speech has been a tradition for three decades for presidents, who use them to illustrate policy proposals and win political points for their accomplishments. Read the rest here.

The 2012 Obama slogan that this administration hopes to formally launch at the State Of The Union address is “Engage with Us”.

The most disgusting expectation of this State of the Union speech will not be to accurately state the condition of America, but rather, it will be a launch his 2012 campaign. We can only hope that there will be many Joe Wilson moments tonight.

As Republicans Bash ‘Empty Rhetoric,’ WH Pushes Online Version of Obama’s Speech: ‘Engage With Us’

By Susan Jones

(CNSNews.com) – The Obama White House is urging Americans to watch President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night either on television — or better yet, on the White House Web site or on a mobile phone — and then “engage with us and lend your voice to this debate.”

The online version of Obama’s speech will be “enhanced” with charts and graphs illustrating the president’s points.

In a video message on the White House Web site, senior adviser David Plouffe says President Obama, in his 9 p.m. speech tonight, will “lay out the progress we’ve made and the work we still have to do for how we build an economy that works for the middle class and rewards responsibility and hard work to make sure that everybody does their fair share, everybody gets a fair shake, everybody engages in fair play.”

When the president is done speaking, “we want to hear from you directly,” Plouffe said. Immediately after the speech, senior administration officials will hold a panel discussion — streamed live from the White House — giving people an opportunity to ask questions via Twitter, Facebook or Google-Plus.

“So you’re just not watching the speech but then you’re engaged afterwards, and able to really talk with us, help inform us better, and answer any questions you might have about what the president proposed in the State of the Union,” Plouffe said.

Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, in advance of Obama’s speech, have one main question: “Where are the jobs?”

“The president has proven he can deliver a great speech, but he continues to disappoint on the issue that matters most: jobs,” the committee said in a news release on Monday.

Republicans note that in 2009 — when a crashing economy shed roughly 4 million jobs — Democrats in Washington ignored the job losses and spent months focusing instead on a “costly government takeover of health care” that placed more pressure on job creators.

The committee also criticized Obama’s National Labor Relations Board for “promoting a culture of union favoritism at the expense of workers and employers.”

It took issue with burdensome federal regulations, noting that on Monday alone, Obama’s Labor Department issued 61 regulatory proposals.

The committee says the Obama administration has no new ideas to improve job training assistance or to untangle the “complicated maze of bureaucracy,” which includes dozens of separate job training programs spread across nine federal agencies.

And finally, the committee accused Obama of exacerbating the country’s fiscal crisis with “spending, spending, and more spending,” at a time when the national debt now stands at a staggering $15.2 trillion, this year’s federal deficit is on track to hit nearly $1 trillion, and unemployment sits above 8 percent for the 35th straight month.

The official Republican response to the State of the Union address will be delivered by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who at one time mulled a presidential run. The unofficial tea party response will come from former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain.

Classified info to Gitmo Lawyers – Docs found in Cells

Editor’s Note – In a report posted here yesterday, we asked everyone to keep an open mind on John Kiriakou, but today, from new sources and further research, we withdraw that admonition. Why, because sources close to the story tell us he was not to be trusted (being most generous with that phrasing). His information was wrong, repeatedly, and he was actively helping left-wing lawyers defend Gitmo detainees. Please read what was just uncovered:

Classified CIA Docs Found In Gitmo Prison Cells

Judicial Watch

Classified U.S. government information was found in the cells of high-value detainees at the Guantanamo Bay military prison that houses the world’s most dangerous terrorists, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri

The alarming revelation comes just days after lawyers for an al-Qaeda operative—USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri—jailed at the facility tried convincing a military judge that monitoring detainees’ mail violates attorney-client privilege. Judicial Watch covered the pretrial hearing at the U.S. Naval station in Cuba last week.

Ironically, a large portion of the two-day proceedings involved security measures put in place to ensure that contraband does not make it into the facility that houses 171 prisoners. Attorneys for al-Nashiri argued at length to convince the military tribunal judge hearing the case, Army Colonel James Pohl, that al-Nashiri’s mail not be monitored. The admiral (David Woods) who runs the prison took the stand to explain that detainees’ legal mail is promptly marked after being identified and not read to preserve attorney-client privilege.

This was not satisfactory to al-Nashiri’s extensive legal team or the leftwing civil rights groups that attended the hearing in a top security courtroom built to try terrorists. Most mainstream media outlets were also critical of the screening process, which military officials say is necessary to intercept contraband before it gets in the hands of the prisoners.

Supporting the argument is this week’s DOJ announcement that an agent with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been criminally charged for repeatedly leaking classified information, including the identities of covert agency operatives involved in the capture and interrogation of terrorists. Some of the materials were actually seized from the cells of Guantanamo detainees, according to the DOJ.

The disgraced CIA officer (John Kiriakou) divulged the classified information to journalists who, in turn, disclosed it to an investigator working for the taxpayer-funded defense team of an incarcerated terrorist. Authorities subsequently found some of the files, including photographs of certain government employees and contractors, in the cells of high-value detainees at the military prison.

Iran implicated in Azeri terror attempt

Editor’s Note – Since the unprecedented decision by the European Union and Australia to join in sanctions against Iran; banning imports of crude oil, the temperature and rhetoric rises from Tehran. In the story below, Iran has been very active across the globe, and in this case, its operatives set out to kill Israelis in Azerbaijan.

It is well known that IRGC and Hezbollah operations are ongoing from South America to Africa, and to virtually anywhere on earth including North America. Chatter is high across the board as tensions rise and threats loom large. Years of placing assets in many foreign countries may soon spell mayhem as Iran seeks to demonstrate its long reach and asymmetric power.

Azerbaijan thwarts terror attack against Israeli, Jewish targets

Security official in Baku links Iran to planned operation; three men detained.

By Eli Shvidler

Baku, Azerbaijan on the Caspian at dusk

Haaretz

Three men were detained last week after planning to attack two Israelis employed by a Jewish school in Baku, the Azerbaijan Ministry of National Security has revealed. Meanwhile, an Azeri commentator considered close to the republic’s president has launched a scathing indictment of Iran.

The Azeri ministry said it had arrested a cell that planned to “kill public activists,” before it became apparent that the intended victims were two Israeli Chabad emissaries, a rabbi and a teacher employed by the “Chabad Or Avner” Jewish school in Baku. The ministry said that the three men, named as Rasim Aliyev, Ali Huseynov and Balaqardash Dadashov, received smuggled arms and equipment from Iranian agents. The action was apparently planned as retaliation to the gunning down of Iranian nuclear scientists.

“The Azeri security forces acted covertly without alerting us,” said Rabbi Shneor Segal, one of the two targets. “It was published that they originally planned to attack ‘people who look Jewish and hold foreign passports,’ near the school, but when the school guards began suspecting them, they started monitoring the area where I live,” he told Haaretz.

Segal added that the second target was Rabbi Mati Lewis.

Irani-Azeri relations, which were never rosy, recently deteriorated even further after Azeri Communication Minister Ali Abbasov accused Iran of carrying out a cyber attack against several offices in the country accused of “cooperation with Israel.”

Wafa Guluzade, a political commentator considered close to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, warned Iran that “planning the murder of prominent foreign citizens in Azerbaijan by a band of terrorists, one of whom [Dadashov] resides in Iran, amounts to ‘hostile activity’ against our country.”

Guluzade said that Iran would “break all its teeth trying break us … no Iranian provocation will influence the sociopolitical situation in Azerbaijan. Iran and its primitive ayatollahs sense their end is near and are trying to terrorize their neighbors. If they persists they will be answered by us, and by our Western allies.”

Azerbaijan has accused Iran of supporting Armenia in the conflict surrounding the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Last November an Iranian parliament member accused Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan of being “local Mossad bases.”

Ex-CIA Op – To be tried for revealing state secrets

Editor’s Note (Revised at 1:45 PM PST)- CIA operative John Kiriakou has been on countless TV documentaries about al Qaeda and the tragedy of 9-11 depicting how he and his CIA peers were able to chase down al Qaeda terrorists.

Now, after writing “The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror”, it appears he has exposed a bit too much information, and now the Department of Justice has charged him today “with repeatedly disclosing classified information to journalists, including the name of a covert CIA officer and information revealing the role of another CIA employee in classified activities, Justice Department officials announced.”

John Kiriakou on ABC News as a consultant

John Kiriakou is an intelligence and counter-terrorism consultant for ABC News and a former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, focusing on the Middle East, South Asia, and international terrorism.

Mr. Kiriakou served in the Central Intelligence Agency from 1990 until March 2004, first as an analyst, and later as a counter-terrorism operations officer. As a senior operations officer, Mr. Kiriakou became chief of counterterrorist operations in Pakistan immediately following the September 11 attacks. This tour culminated in the March 2002 capture of Abu Zubaydah, al-Qa’ida’s third-ranking official, in a raid led by Mr. Kiriakou in Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Upon his return from Pakistan, Mr. Kiriakou was named Executive Assistant to the CIA’s Deputy Director for Operations, where he was intimately involved in the planning for the Iraq war, and where he served as principle Iraq briefer for the Director of Central Intelligence.

Mr. Kiriakou gained nationwide attention in December 2007 when he became the first CIA officer to acknowledge the waterboarding of al-Qa’ida prisoners in US custody.

When Kiriakou served as senior investigator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry (D) MA was the chairman, and he listed the following on his Linked-In account:

Senior Operations Officer, Central Intelligence Agency, Government Agency; International Affairs industry, January 1990 – March 2004 (14 years 3 months)

Second Secretary, Economic Affairs, US Embassy Government Agency; 1-10 employees; International Affairs industry, 1994 – 1996 (2 years)

Senior Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, March 2009 – May 2011 (2 years 3 months)

He also posted many other positions in private firms.

Kiriakou seems to be quite the chatter box, having been the first to admit to water boarding activities by the CIA at Gitmo, to allegedly revealing secrets and identifying operators in these recent accusations, but it also appears he was also an accuser of “Scooter” Libby in the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson affair. It also appears he may have been a CIA dupe, manipulated to release information only now to be charged for what the CIA may have asked him to laud in other areas. One must guess it depends on who is in charge on whether what he is accused of doing was actually okay at one time and now, it is not.

Ironically, Pentagon officials have in fact done much the same with the release of highly classified intelligence relating to Seal Team 6 and their work in killing Osama bin Ladin to Sony Entertainment.  Congressman Peter King, NY has asked for a full investigation into this matter, but as yet, none has been opened.

Former CIA officer charged in alleged leaks

By Greg Miller

Washington Post

The Justice Department on Monday charged a former CIA officer with repeatedly leaking classified information, including the identities of agency operatives involved in the capture and interrogation of alleged terrorists.

The case against John Kiriakou, who served as a senior Senate aide after ending his CIA career, extends the Obama administration’s unprecedented crackdown on disclosures of national security secrets to journalists.

Kiriakou, who was among the first to go public with details about the CIA’s use of water-boarding and other harsh interrogation measures, was charged with disclosing classified information to reporters and lying to the agency about the origin of other sensitive material he published in a book.

In its criminal filing, the Justice Department obscured many of the details of Kiriakou’s allegedly illegal disclosures. But the documents suggest that Kiriakou, 47, was a source for stories in 2008 and 2009 about some of the agency’s most sensitive operations after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, including the capture of alleged al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah and the interrogation of the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

CIA Director David H. Petraeus issued a statement to the agency’s workforce on Monday afternoon saying that he could not comment on the details of the case against Kiriakou but warning that “the illegal passage of secrets is an abuse of trust that may put lives in jeopardy.”

The Justice Department also said that the information Kiriakou supplied to journalists also contributed to a subsequent security breach at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. Kiriakou’s disclosures, according to the Justice Department, enabled defense attorneys to obtain photographs of CIA operatives suspected of being involved in controversial interrogations, pictures that were subsequently discovered in prisoners’ cells.

Kiriakou, who worked for the CIA from 1990 to 2004, was scheduled to appear at 2 p.m. Monday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.

The case is the latest legal move by an administration that has been more aggressive than its predecessors in seeking to stem the flow of government secrets to the press. Other efforts include the pending trial of an Army private accused of sending classified intelligence files to the Web site WikiLeaks, and the prosecution of a former CIA analyst accused of disclosing secrets about agency operations against Iran to a reporter from the New York Times.

A similar case against a former executive at the National Security Agency was seen by critics as evidence of overzealousness by the Obama administration, and ended in a plea agreement.

Kiriakou worked as an investigator on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a year before leaving in 2010. The committee had not been aware of the criminal probe of Kiriakou, according to a former U.S. official familiar with the matter.

Staff writer Julie Tate contributed to this story.