Lead Machine Pink 160x1200

Lead Machine Pink 160x1200

iTWire TV 705x108notfunny

Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013 11:14

PRISM: Google tries to cover its backside Featured


As the fallout continues from the revelations that America's National Security Agency has been spying on the populace at large and knows everything down to the brand of underwear its citizens wear, the companies which were named as co-operating with the NSA are now trying to spin themselves out of the muck.

Foremost among these is Google which has always tried to project itself as some kind of different entity, different from the average corporate that bows and scrapes when government authority asserts itself. (The NSA spying program is known as PRISM.)

And so, yesterday in the US, Google wrote a letter to the US attorney-general Eric Holder and the FBI director Robert Mueller, and made it public.

In it the so-called search company (more on that some other day), tries to dissociate itself from the rape of the public that has taken place by seeking permission to publicise the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests that were made of it.

"Assertions in the press that our compliance with these requests gives the US government unfettered access to our users’ data are simply untrue," Google's chief legal officer David Drummond wrote.

"However, government nondisclosure obligations regarding the number of FISA national security requests that Google receives, as well as the number of accounts covered by those requests, fuel that speculation."

Drummond continued: "We therefore ask you to help make it possible for Google to publish in our Transparency Report aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures—in terms of both the number we receive and their scope.

"Google’s numbers would clearly show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made.

"Google has nothing to hide."

When I read that last sentence, I burst out laughing.

This is the same company whose chairman, Eric Schmidt, once said that if one had nothing to hide, one need not be afraid of snooping. This was at a time when Google was under fire for filming in public places without authorisation.

Of course, Schmidt would not agree if he was asked to follow his own dictum and appear nude on national television in the US - after all, he has nothing to hide, isn't it?

This is one of numerous American companies that is hiding its earnings in tax havens so as to avoid paying its fair share of tax. Nothing to hide, indeed.

Google's company motto is "Do No Evil" - in other words, it is on the side of the consumer. If only.

Corporations will roll over and play dead if any government asks them to; I have seen the extent to which American companies kowtow to officialdom in the Middle East where there are dictatorships in power.

Google is no different. It is as much a toady of the American government as Microsoft, Yahoo!, and the rest.

Drummond, please spare us this BS.

Read 3221 times

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here


Thoughtworks presents XConf Australia, back in-person in three cities, bringing together people who care deeply about software and its impact on the world.

In its fifth year, XConf is our annual technology event created by technologists for technologists.

Participate in a robust agenda of talks as local thought leaders and Thoughtworks technologists share first-hand experiences and exchange new ways to empower teams, deliver quality software and drive innovation for responsible tech.

Explore how at Thoughtworks, we are making tech better, together.

Tickets are now available and all proceeds will be donated to Indigitek, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create technology employment pathways for First Nations Peoples.

Click the button below to register and get your ticket for the Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane event



It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinars and campaigns and assistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.


Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News