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Feds Block EFF Look at Google/DoJ Contacts 79

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the if-we-are-honest-the-terrorists-win dept.
netbuzz writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to know all there is to know about contacts between Google and a Justice Department official involved in a highly charged 2006 government-snooping dispute that ensnared the search giant. That DoJ official, Jane Horvath, was subsequently hired by Google last year as senior privacy counsel. The DoJ has refused for six months to release public information about the matter being requested by EFF."
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Feds Block EFF Look at Google/DoJ Contacts

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  • duh! [fuckinggoogleit.com]

  • Isn't that just a fancy way of saying "I'm Guilty"?
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      may be, but it doesn't necessarily have to be the crime accused of...
    • Re:5th Ammendment? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by plague3106 (71849) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:20PM (#22574600)
      No, its a fancy way of keeping the government from holding a gun to your head while you're saying "I'm guilty."
      • Re:5th Ammendment? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JimDaGeek (983925) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:43PM (#22574908)
        Mod up parent. I commented in this article, so I cannot spend any mod points.

        While the parents words may not be the most eloquent, they are right on the money. Well said, plague3106! B..B...B..ut if you have nothing to "hide", well you should not worry? Right?

        Hey, the government has every right to know all about us surfs. After all, it is no longer OUR tax dollars that the feds are spending. It is "their" money, and they can do what they want.

        You smoked a little pot in high school/college? Damn you! We have the war on DRUGS you idiot! You should go to jail. You filth.

        Oh, you KILLED someone? Well that is 25 years to life, with probation after only 10 months. Just don't let us catch you smoking teh pot. You will go down!

        War on Drugs
        War on Poverty
        War on terrorism
        War on...

        Hmm.. I am 35. In my 35 years as a born-and-raised American, I have been kept in a constant state of war. I served in the U.S.M.C, during the Gulf War, when I was 18 because I thought I "owed" it to my country.

        I am just really sad how I have lived under the "republicans" in a constant state of war, either at home or abroad. I am really looking forward to some Dems taking the wheel for a little while and see what we get. It may not be better, but I hope it is.

        As a 35 year old, born and raised American, I have not had one single 5 year period in my life where I didn't hear from the Republicans how we are in some state of "war". I don't know about you, but I am DAMN tired of war. I want some DAMN peace.
        • Re:5th Ammendment? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Digital Vomit (891734) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @01:44PM (#22575684) Homepage Journal

          I am really looking forward to some Dems taking the wheel for a little while and see what we get. It may not be better, but I hope it is.

          Judging from history, it won't be. Even if the Democrats could/would bring peace, you can bet you'll get the shaft by having some rights taken away instead. You see, it kind of works like this:

          Republicans: we shaft you and you *know* it.

          Democrats: we shaft you, but we try to be discreet about it.

          • Or my right for an abortion? Or my right to have a warrant issued before I am spied on by my government?

            I'm wondering what rights the Democrats would take away from me...
            • I'm wondering what rights the Democrats would take away from me...

              Freedom of the press? If radio isn't Democrat it must carry an equal percentage of the Democrat viewpoint.
              Your right to vote? You are too dumb to decide things - elite educated judges (philosopher kings) should do that.
              Freedom of speech? You can't say anything bad about anyone (except Christians) even as a joke.
              Your right to your paycheck? Your too dumb to decide what to spend your money on.
              Freedom of religion - but no one cares about that on Slashdot (thats why its enshrined in the First Amendment - c

              • In fact, they aren't rights. They sound like mush-brained talking points.. I couldn't say anything bad about the lies used to invade Iraq without being called a traitor and worse. I couldn't question the use of the fighting in Iraq without being told I hate the troops. You know, shit like that. You seem to want all the benefits of a high-tech society without paying your fair share in taxes.
                • In fact, they aren't rights. They sound like mush-brained talking points.. I couldn't say anything bad about the lies used to invade Iraq without being called a traitor and worse. I couldn't question the use of the fighting in Iraq without being told I hate the troops. You know, shit like that. You seem to want all the benefits of a high-tech society without paying your fair share in taxes.

                  They are textually explicit, which is more than can be said about the rights the liberals hold sacred.

                  Under liberal activism the following constitutionally guaranteed freedoms have been reduced or eliminated altogether:
                  The Contract Clause [cornell.edu] - completely abrogated.
                  The Due Process Clause of the Foruteenth [cornell.edu]and the Fifth [cornell.edu] Amendments - altered as to life and property, in some instances personal liberty supersedes others rights to life and property. Socialist agendas have severely limited property rights. Pers

                  • Keep it up Mr. Troll. Keep it up. My liberal income is subsidizing your hate through the Federal Tax Code, and yes, you are welcome.
                    • Keep it up Mr. Troll. Keep it up. My liberal income is subsidizing your hate through the Federal Tax Code, and yes, you are welcome.
                      What hate? I just disagree. Subsidizing?
                    • But your examples of 'Liberals resgtricting Rights' seem petty and disingenuous which are often the signs of a troll. To me, those are non-issues compared to being spied on with no warrant or having my habeus corpus rights taken from me. Being lied to in order to start a war...it was conservatives who did that. Adding 25% to the national debt...that was conservatives. I don't really care about gun ownership...the only reason I'd want guns would be to protect myself from government. A semi-auto rifle ca
                    • But your examples of 'Liberals resgtricting Rights' seem petty and disingenuous which are often the signs of a troll. To me, those are non-issues compared to being spied on with no warrant or having my habeus corpus rights taken from me. Being lied to in order to start a war...it was conservatives who did that. Adding 25% to the national debt...that was conservatives. I don't really care about gun ownership...the only reason I'd want guns would be to protect myself from government. A semi-auto rifle can't compare to the military and para-military police forces out there, even if the Iraqis seem to be pulling it off.

                      I never rendered an opinion on those issues. How have I been disingenuous. You asked "I'm wondering what rights the Democrats would take away from me...", and I answered.

                      To go point by point:
                      I have trouble with domestic spying. I can at least try to understand the motivations, rather than rabidly demonizing proponents, but I do think they are overstepping.
                      I have trouble with any denial of rights of US citizens, whether they were found on a battle field or not.
                      I have huge problems with the overspending

                    • I guess to really sum up my position, the Bill of Rights is countermajoritarian. Most people wont care about the rights that are being lost. Just like we don't care about our gun rights. But if we trusted the majority with protecting our rights, we wouldn't need a Bill of Rights. Really, lets just vote for which rights should be protected. That gets us into domestic spying because the majority of people would rather be safe than have rights. Even the rights we don't care about need protection. If the Supre
          • Re:5th Ammendment? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by clang_jangle (975789) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:37PM (#22578176) Journal
            Actually the classic pattern is this: First we get the Republicans, who spread paranoia and make war with everyone they can while using the resulting "security threats" as an excuse to fleece us all of rights and assets at every turn. Then, just when the populace is nearly ready to actually protest something we get the Democrats, who try to convince us we will rebuild now, while talking a lot about things that really matter (universal health care, ending poverty). The economy heals a bit, people have a bit more cash, some optimism returns and now the stage is set for the Republicans to come back and reap the riches from the people again. Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseum. That's the way it's worked all my life...

            Democrats and Republicans are just two sides of the same evil coin, and the divisions are deliberately illogical (i.e. "pro life" people are generally pro death penalty and don't want to pay a dime for the well-being of kids unless it is to censor the media "for them", etc). Any sane, rational person will quickly become frustrated and resigned with our "democracy", seeing it for the fraud that it is. Everyone else will accuse that person of tin foil hattery, and voila! Our way of life is"still safe". Yesterday it was communists, today it's Al Qaida, tomorrow maybe it will be Jews or left-handed people or people with haxxor 5k1llz... The only constant is this New Feudal system masquerading as a "free country".
          • by cHiphead (17854)
            Here let's fix that for you:

            Republicans: We fuck up and we fuck up GLAMOROUSLY.

            Democrats: We fuck up but at least you can go on food stamps.

            Sure, it might have connotations of the 'lesser of two evils', but any political group will ultimately go to the dark side, so the argument against voting for the evil in the first place will become moot the second you vote for the 'non-evil' politicians.

            Cheers.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by oyenstikker (536040)
          The Democrats got the majority in both houses. They can [wikipedia.org] end the wars. But they don't. It won't be better for us, it will be more of the same.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by PPH (736903)

            Ending wars with the budget isn't that simple. Bush could keep troops in the field without proper equipment like body armor or sufficient ammunition. It wouldnt really surprise me if he did just that.

            The only way tightening the budget strings might be effective is if Congress cut off non-essential contracts to divert money to Iraq. Things like the FCS [wikipedia.org] or some jet fighter or tanker programs. The contractors would pressure him to get out to save their programs.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by penix1 (722987)

              The only way tightening the budget strings might be effective is if Congress cut off non-essential contracts to divert money to Iraq. Things like the FCS or some jet fighter or tanker programs. The contractors would pressure him to get out to save their programs.

              You evidently weren't paying attention to both parties when DoD was trying to close non-essential bases in the BRAC [brac.gov] hearings. Both parties argued that to close any of the proposed bases would be detrimental to not only the area they were in but the

              • by hairyfeet (841228)
                Sadly,this is because the military is the only thing still made in the USA,except for the bullets which are Chinese.I figure when our economy collapses we'll end up with a reinstated WPA program,which will hopefully rebuild our sagging infrastructure and upgrade our telecommunications capacity.Simply because it will be cheaper to pay all the out of work Americans to build roads and lay fiber than it would cost to rebuild our abandoned factories and give us the ability to produce again.This is why the war in
    • Re:5th Ammendment? (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:25PM (#22574672) Homepage Journal
      I honestly don't know about the case at hand, but invoking the 5th amendment is not saying you are guilty or not... similar to refusing to give a police officer your drivers license when you are walking to the store at 1AM, or not letting airport security boot up your laptop and look through it. They would like you to think that refusal is implication of some guilt, but when it comes down to it, what they are asking has nothing to do with the problem at hand. If I am walking down the street, there is NO reason to expect that I would even have a drivers license, let alone give it up when I AM NOT DRIVING. Same with airport security snooping in my laptop... I am not plugging my laptop into your plane, your servers, or anything that should concern you. It has nothing to do with people who have a bomb in their luggage.

      In cases of the 5th amendment, you can obviously call upon it when you have something to hide. You can also invoke it on principle to the fact that what I am NOT telling you has no relevance to the case at hand.

      Imagine you are walking along the street and decide to rob a store. You bust into the store, start helping yourself to whatever, and you notice the store keeper being beat and raped. You call it in, it comes to trial, and all of a sudden the defendants lawyer asks you what were you doing in the store after it was closed. Obviously, you were robbing the store, but REGARDLESS, that has NOTHING to do with the beating and raping of the store keeper. This is a perfect example of why you would plead the 5th.
      • The ostensible reason that airport security boots up your laptop isn't to look through your files... It's to confirm that it's actually a laptop and not, you know, a bomb. That's the theory anyway.
        • If it's a Sony, it's both, though...
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Yeah, just like they go over your license with a UV light and gloves to "see the embedded hologram". They are looking to see if you have been using it to draw your cocaine lines. And that air blowing thing is meant to look for explosives, right? Smoke a joint before going through there and see how quickly you get searched. Honestly, what else? Do they need to use my shampoo to know that it is shampoo? Do they need to screw my wife to know she doesn't have a pipe bomb up in her uterus? Do they need to open m
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by everphilski (877346)
        Same with airport security snooping in my laptop... I am not plugging my laptop into your plane, your servers, or anything that should concern you. It has nothing to do with people who have a bomb in their luggage.

        Ah, but the airplanes are not a public service in the sense a sidewalk is. It is a service that can be revoked if you don't follow the operating companies' procedures. Which is why you must present your baggage before boarding.
        • Re:5th Amendment? (Score:3, Informative)

          by Doc Daneeka (1107345)
          I'd be more apt to agree with that logic if the government weren't so quick to bail out the airlines when a problem arises.

          It is a service that can be revoked if you don't follow the operating companies' procedures.

          That aside, it's kind of hard to follow an airline's procedure when it isn't the airline's procedure. This would all be fine and dandy if it were a security service payed for by all of the airlines that service the terminal with agreed upon rules. Instead, we have a government agency paying for an outside security service proscribing, or at least pretending not to notice, arbitra

    • by geoskd (321194)

      Isn't that just a fancy way of saying "I'm Guilty"?


      Actually, its more of a fancy way of saying "I'm guilty of something, just not what you were thinking of..."

      -=Geoskd
    • Isn't that just a fancy way of saying "I'm Guilty"?

      If you create enough laws, everyone is guilty. If you search long enough, if you try hard enough, you will be able to find, craft, or create a plausible excuse for ruining just about anyone's life. The various constitutional protections are set in place, in part, to establish at least some barrier to this.

      Also, given our propensity to use "enhanced" interrogation, and then rely on that information as if it were in any way valid, I'd say a constitutional protection against self-incrimination is pretty dam

  • Where's the Article? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mdm42 (244204) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:05PM (#22574384) Homepage Journal
    All I see is a link to some news article about Google hiring this DoJ person. Nothing at all to an article suggesting that the USDoJ is stonewalling EFF as suggested by the summary.

    Enquiring minds wanna know!
    • by gclef (96311) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:09PM (#22574440)
      It was in the firehose entry...why the editors removed that bit of info is not clear:

      http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/25435 [networkworld.com]
      • by _xeno_ (155264) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:27PM (#22574698) Homepage Journal

        Slashdot has added a URL field in the story submission form. (My guess is that this URL is intended for automated dupe checking.) This link gets displayed in the Firehose entry after the article.

        It would appear it doesn't get displayed should the story get accepted. I guess the theory was that the editors would edit the link in. Something that, in practice, it would appear they frequently forget.

        So that's my guess as to why it's missing in the article. It's not that CmdrTaco removed it, just that he forgot to add it to the story text.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by theM_xl (760570)
      The EFF press release is http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2008/02/26 [eff.org]
    • by ajs (35943) <ajs&ajs,com> on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:24PM (#22574664) Homepage Journal
      What's really odd is that the article from NW says "a highly charged 2006 government-snooping dispute that ensnared the search giant." This is misleading at best.

      The 2006 case was an attempt by the DoJ to subpoena all search records from all major search engines in order to bolster support for government regulation of pornography. Everyone else but Google complied and turned over records. Google did not.

      The quote in the article makes it sound like Google was caught abusing their users' privacy when quite the opposite was true. If I ever trusted Network World, I think that trust would have just ended.

      • by illumin8 (148082)

        The 2006 case was an attempt by the DoJ to subpoena all search records from all major search engines in order to bolster support for government regulation of pornography. Everyone else but Google complied and turned over records. Google did not.

        True, but the fact that the person they were working with at the DOJ is now a Google employee seems to indicate that there might have been some hush-hush deal made "These aren't the search records you're looking for... oh, and by the way, Google is hiring (wink, wink

        • by ajs (35943)

          the fact that the person they were working with at the DOJ is now a Google employee seems to indicate that there might have been some hush-hush deal made "These aren't the search records you're looking for... oh, and by the way, Google is hiring (wink, wink) and we need someone like you; you should submit a resume."

          So, what you're saying is that Google might have protected your privacy by bribing the government? I'm just trying to determine what it is that you are suggesting.... The bottom line for me is that the EFF seems to be going in an odd direction, here. Rather than finding a way to nail Yahoo and Microsoft for turning over private data at the drop of a hat, they're investigating how Google got out of doing so. This seems counter to their mission to me, but perhaps I just don't have all the details.... certain

          • by rtb61 (674572)
            I thought it was all goggle's way of saying, they will do everything in their legal and moral power to protect your privacy from baseless, invasive government search warrants, that vile offensive government incursion into your private life, if they're just not willing to pay for it, well then, they're just no bloody going get it. Googles guarantee to you, you privacy is not available --- 'for free' ;).

            Perhaps I'm a little be out of the loop here, but why is it exactly, that you would forbid your governmen

  • Judicial power (Score:3, Insightful)

    by esocid (946821) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:10PM (#22574460) Journal

    In a suit filed Tuesday in the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Electronic Frontier Foundation says Justice violated the Freedom of Information Act by withholding records it requested about Horvath and Google.
    Maybe they will be blocked by the Executive department's insistence that this is necessary to National Security somehow by protecting the kiddies. The FOIA isn't just some law that you can just ignore, contrary to what has been happening in the federal govt recently. The judicial branch needs to get some balls and start enforcing the laws that have been enacted. Maybe when I don't file my taxes, I'll simply declare that it was all in National Security that my financial information wasn't supplied. Somehow I don't see that going over well.
    • The judicial branch needs to get some balls and start enforcing the laws that have been enacted.
      If I remember correctly, the EXECUTIVE branch is the one that is "supposed" to enforce the laws. The judicial branch interprets the laws.
      • by esocid (946821)
        Unless the Exec branch disregards the rulings by the Judicial branch. Then who has to do it? That was what I meant by the Judicial branch enforcing laws.
        • by dpilot (134227)
          Only until the Executive branch appoints new judges.

          Judges who disagree with the Right are "activist."

          Judges who agree with the Right are "strict constructionist."
          • Judges who agree with the Right are "strict constructionist."
            Hypocrisy noted, Rhenquist was definately an activist. Roberts (the umpire) looks to follow in Rhenquist's shoes. But you have to admit that Scalia and Thomas show restraint most of the time. I'm not counting Souter, Kennedy, O'Conner, or Stevens as being "on the Right" though they are all Republican appointees. I don't know enough about Alito yet.
            • by dpilot (134227)
              IMHO, a significant litmus test is "privacy" or other rights not explicitly specified in the Constitution or amendments. To be perfectly honest, I don't know how Scalia or Thomas weigh on such matters, but it has appeared to me that denial of such rights has tended to be a "Right" thing.

              The Constitution explicitly, both in the body and in the Bill of Rights, states that rights not reserved to the Federal or State governments belong to the people. Articles about the framers and the writing of the Bill of R
              • IMHO, a significant litmus test is "privacy" or other rights not explicitly specified in the Constitution or amendments. To be perfectly honest, I don't know how Scalia or Thomas weigh on such matters, but it has appeared to me that denial of such rights has tended to be a "Right" thing.

                I was addressing activist v. original strict constructionist/intentionalist/textualist. I don't remember how those justices came down on privacy in the IV Amendment cases (I don't like crim law), I can tell you that they are definately against Roe's version of privacy rights. Scalia and Thomas don't do "penumbras" from text.

                The Constitution explicitly, both in the body and in the Bill of Rights, states that rights not reserved to the Federal or State governments belong to the people. Articles about the framers and the writing of the Bill of Rights state that many were against them, because it was feared that they would be taken by future generations as a "complete enumeration" of peoples' rights.

                The conservative wing forgets that the BOR is supposed to be countermajoritarian. You don't put it to a vote whenever a minority is being crushed, thats not protection. I'd like a cite

                • by dpilot (134227)
                  > "penumbra"

                  Why did Roe v Wade even have to use any sort of "penumbra" at all? IMHO, it's a balance of rights, the mother's against those of the fetus. Further, the Constitution and amendments talk about balancing rights of people, the states, and the federal government. There has only ever been one amendment that prohibited a specific act, and it's also the only amendment that has ever been repealed. An anti-abortion amendment has NO place whatsoever in the Constitution. If you want to accomplish t
                  • Further, the Constitution and amendments talk about balancing rights of people, the states, and the federal government.

                    I'd also throw in balancing the rights of the majority vs. the rights of the minority. The Bill of Rights is a restraint on majoritarian power.

                    There has only ever been one amendment that prohibited a specific act

                    XIII [cornell.edu]

                    I'm sorry I can't give you a better reference for it. Google is your friend, I hope.

                    I'm guessing its in a Federalist, I'll go digging.

                    • by dpilot (134227)
                      > I'd also throw in balancing the rights of the majority vs. the rights of the minority. The Bill
                      > of Rights is a restraint on majoritarian power.

                      Won't argue a bit about that, but we're still talking about balancing rights, not prohibiting a specific act.

                      > XIII

                      It's worded as prohibiting the act of owning slaves or indentured servants, but it could also be viewed as granting human rights to those people, which had been previously denied. Perhaps an anti-abortion amendment could be construed the sam
        • Andrew Jackson once said regarding a decision in the case Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia [wikipedia.org]

          Supreme Court has made their decision; now let them enforce it.
          The court doesn't have any power to enforce rulings ... even if the executive will not.
          • The court doesn't have any power to enforce rulings ... even if the executive will not.
            So far things have worked out. Even the Democratic Congress was poised to revolt if FDR's court packing plan was put into action. Further, Eisenhower enforced Brown even though he thought it was the wrong route.
  • There's a really bad smell around here all of a sudden. That deal, maybe? Google could clear things up pretty fast with a bit of disclosure.
    • Re:It wasn't me! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:21PM (#22574618) Homepage Journal

      Google could clear things up pretty fast with a bit of disclosure.
      They're probably bound by law not to say anything... what we know about it was that the DoJ asked for search records, Google said "No, that information is proprietary and protected by trade secret." and the DoJ said "This is in the interests of National Security, protecting kiddies, etc. went before a judge, got a subpoena, and Google was forced to comply. But, they cut a deal with the DoJ that said they only had to release so much information. What Google gave up to get that concession is anyone's guess, but I'm guessing that Google was told to sign an NDA in regards to the DoJ investigation.

      • by Qzukk (229616)
        But, they cut a deal with the DoJ that said they only had to release so much information

        To the DoJ, that is. I doubt that it counts as a "release" of information if their new "privacy counsel" gets her hands on it.

        Of course, and this is the tinfoil hat talking here, what if this new "senior privacy counsel" just so happens to moonlight at the DoJ (or is it the other way around? And just so happens to let slip some of that information as a bit of gossip at the DoJ water cooler?
        • what if this new "senior privacy counsel" just so happens to moonlight at the DoJ (or is it the other way around? And just so happens to let slip some of that information as a bit of gossip at the DoJ water

          As my MPRE review video says "the lawyer is subject to discipline." MRPC 1.11(d)

          Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer currently serving as a public officer or employee:
          ...
          (2) shall not:
          ...
          (ii) negotiate for private employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially, except that a lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other adjudicative officer or arbitrator may negotiate for private employment as permitted by Rule 1.12(b) and subject to the conditions stated in Rule 1.12(b).

          But if the "matter" the lawyer was participating in personally and substantially is over, it looks like she can get involved against another party. Still its kind of a sticky situation, not something I'd risk disbarment over.

          • Why have 1 person driving a backhoe when you could employ 20 with shovels?

            Because the 1 person driving a backhoe, even though he is a skilled worker (trained to run a backhoe), is much, much faster and cheaper than 20 unskilled people with shovels.

            Let's say the backhoe worker makes $20/hr + benefits. You can figure his rate to be somewhere around $40 an hour (liberal estimate) when you figure in benefits. Lets say the time difference using a backhoe vs. 20 people with shovels is roughly 2:1 -- a very conservative estimate -- so if it takes 2 weeks with shovels, the backhoe ope

            • I need to start saving these replies I get to see how similar other's analysis is. A common misunderstanding of economics is the idea that the benefits of more efficient solutions, like free trade (unskilled foreign workers are more "efficient" than higher educated locals) or specialization of labor (you probably don't grow all of your own corn), are outweighed by lost jobs. I added the sig in response to some article about advances in technology costing programmers jobs.
              I appreciate your impeccable analys
              • I've had the same argument with various people over and over -- the bottom line is that the most efficient solution is always the best for the economy, no matter how many workers don't have jobs. In the end, the workers will have jobs anyway -- they'll just be doing it where no more-efficient solution exists or is possible or they'll get some new skills and/or move on to positions where greater demand exists. Although, one caveat here: cheaper is not always more efficient. Sending IT jobs to India may no
                • (In the long term, standards of living are improving in India and China as a direct result of outsourcing there, so the workers there are now demanding more money. Hence, there is no efficiency to really be gained, it's all an illusion.)

                  Its no illusion, the "illusiveness" is due to the unequal comparisons of long and short term. Short term - efficiency is gained, long - the market finds equilibrium. The equilibrium position is actually good for all because the market for goods in general has now grown because of new consumers. Short term - it sucks for domestic low skilled jobs. Long term - it will always suck for low skilled jobs. If the next third world country (or immigration) doesn't "steal" low skilled jobs, technology will. At what

  • Do no evil... (Score:4, Informative)

    by JimDaGeek (983925) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:21PM (#22574614)
    Unless it meas profit!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by oldhack (1037484)

      Our corporate system encourages normal/good people to do "evil" things, systematically, and Google is no exception. Check out this film:

      http://www.thecorporation.com/ [thecorporation.com]

      It's a liberal diatribe (there are Michael Moore's bits in it), but I found many of the points very persuasive.

      How do we tweak the system to limit corporate abuse while maintaining her economic efficiency?

  • by AnonymousRobin (1058634) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:24PM (#22574668)
    I'm all for privacy. Which is why I think the guy is totally justified. If someone asked about MY contracts at work, I wouldn't feel that compelled to tell them, either. And I'd have no obligation to. It'd be different if he was actually working in the governmental capacity, because then the people are indirectly sorta the guy's boss. But when it's just him privately being hired, it's none of our business from any moral or legal obligation sort of standpoint.

    Google, though, would do well from a PR standpoint to at least formulate a response explaining what seems like a very odd decision. I'd appreciate it at least, since this sort of thing makes me feel pretty nervous. I don't really search for anything more exotic than cake recipes, technical documentation, or going through Wiki adventures where you start with wondering what the actual difference between a vegetable and fruit is and end up reading about quantum physics for some reason, but government snooping through stuff without cause is a bad thing and quite against the constitution those cool guys 200 years ago wrote up. Google has a good track record for not doing evil things, but still...
    • by Dunbal (464142) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @12:49PM (#22574976)
      Which is why I think the guy is totally justified. If someone asked about MY contracts at work, I wouldn't feel that compelled to tell them, either

            But what about your municipality's contracts? Don't you want to know if the council are all shareholders of the company that keeps winning all the bids on construction?

            These are PUBLIC records. As far as I know no minors are involved, and nothing was ordered sealed by a judge. What happened to transparency in government, etc? The mere fact that someone doesn't want the public to know this means that laws were probably broken. You agree that the government should be allowed to KEEP breaking them?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DrData99 (916924)
      As a government employee she was subject to specific proscriptions in her behavior that are set up to prevent even the appearance of conflict of interest. Government ethics rules [usoge.gov] are quite extensive and if she was feeding information to Google while a DOJ employee would be subject to severe consequences.
      For example Darleen Druyun was sentenced to prison in September 2004 [worldpoliticsreview.com] for showing favoritism to Boeing while she was a top Pentagon acquisitions official.
      There may be nothing at all to see, but the right
  • Can we maybe start referring to them as just "The Department"?

    -- Terry

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