Murdoch’s News Corp calls for Google breakup

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has called for Google to be broken up in Australia, the latest salvo in a battle between the corporate media giants.

In a petition to Australian regulators, News Corp’s local subsidiary complained that “Google enjoys overwhelming market power in both online search and ad tech services.”

Going a step further, the company accused Google of “abusing its to the detriment of consumers, advertisers and publishers.”

Earlier this week US presidential hopeful—and former federal consumer watchdog—Elizabeth Warren became the latest in a line of commentators to argue that firms such as Amazon, Google and Facebook hold “ too much power” in society.

News Corp echoed her argument that Google’s businesses should be split, or failing that, search and advertising businesses should be firewalled off from each other.

“While News Corp Australia recognises that divestment is a very serious step … divestment is necessary in the case of Google, due to the unparalleled power that it currently exerts over news publishers and advertisers alike.”

Australian watchdogs are seen as unlikely to recommend that Google be split, but the petition represents an intensification of the worldwide fight between Australian-born Murdoch and Google and Facebook.

News organisations accuse the tech giants of gaining huge commercial benefit from expensive to create content, while paying nothing and syphoning off advertising.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is one of several regulators across the world investigating the effect that have on competition in the media, advertising and advertising services markets.

News organisations in Australia have struggled in recent years with falling revenue and shrinking staff, as giants like Google and Facebook dominate the digital economy.

The downturn has prompted a string of mergers that have left the market with only three or four major media companies.

Local newspapers, once the lifeblood of communities across this vast country, run on a skeletal staff or have been forced to close.

Among them Murdoch’s News Corp is a dominant player, owning a slew of newspapers, television channels and the country’s only major cable television network.

Murdoch’s vast political influence has frequently come underfire from former prime ministers on both sides of Australian politics and is widely seen as pushing the tone of public debate to the right.

News Corp Australia is a subsidiary of News Corp, which owns 21st Century Fox, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and a raft of papers and TV platforms in Britain.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://phys.org/news/2019-03-murdoch-news-corp-google-breakup.html

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Who will win the Super Bowl according to Siri, Google and Alexa

The Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots face off in Super Bowl LIII, which kicks off on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

For fun, I asked Apple‘s Siri, GoogleAssistant, Amazon Alexa and MicrosoftCortana who will win.

The responses are pretty funny, and while the Patriots are favored, at least one, Google, picks the underdog.

Here’s what each digital assistant said:

Siri, who will win the Super Bowl?

“The odds favor the Patriots over the Rams by 2.5 points.”

Alexa, who will win the Super Bowl?

“As much as I want the Rams to win, you can never count out the New England Patriots. My prediction? The Patriots will be taking home the Vince Lombardi trophy. And Tom Brady will need to use his other hand to take home that sixth Super Bowl ring.”

Cortana, who will win the Super Bowl?

“On Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Patriots face the Rams in the Super Bowl. My sources are decidedly favoring the Patriots.”

Google, who will win the Super Bowl?

Google has a few responses.

“I like teams associated with animals, so I’ll take the Rams. But the Patriots do have the GOAT in Tom Brady, so I guess we’ll see what happens.” Editor’s Note: GOAT is short for “greatest of all time.”

“The Patriots are favored to win, and I can’t help but root for the underdog, so I’ll be cheering for the Rams.”

“The Rams are the only pro football franchise to win championships in 3 different cities: Cleveland, Los Angeles and St. Louis. It’s hard not to root for a team that has brought joy to so many places.”

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/01/who-will-win-the-super-bowl-according-to-siri-google-and-alexa.html

Google Once Again Changes Search Results After Liberal Journalist Complains

A liberal journalist complained to Google on Tuesday that when she searches “Boston’s black neighborhoods” the “first result that pops up is a list of Boston’s ‘worst’ neighborhoods.”

“So I do a @Google search for ‘Boston’s black neighborhoods’ and the 1st result that pops up is a list of Boston’s ‘worst’ neighborhoods,” The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia tweeted. “How does that happen?”

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/google-once-again-changes-search-results-after-liberal-journalist-complains/

Google Employees Debated Burying Conservative Media In Search

  • Google employees debated whether to bury The Daily Caller and other conservative media outlets in the company’s search function as a response to President Donald Trump’s election
  • “Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years,” one engineer wrote in a thread that included a Google vice president
  • Google employees similarly sought to manipulate search results to combat Trump’s travel ban

Google employees debated whether to bury conservative media outlets in the company’s search function as a response to President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, internal Google communications obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation reveal.

The Daily Caller and Breitbart were specifically singled out as outlets to potentially bury, the communications reveal.

Trump’s election in 2016 shocked many Google employees, who had been counting on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to win.

Communications obtained by TheDCNF show that internal Google discussions went beyond expressing remorse over Clinton’s loss to actually discussing ways Google could prevent Trump from winning again.

“This was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it,” Google engineer Scott Byer wrote in a Nov. 9, 2016, post reviewed by TheDCNF.

Byer falsely labeled The Daily Caller and Breitbart as “opinion blogs” and urged his coworkers to reduce their visibility in search results.

“How many times did you see the Election now card with items from opinion blogs (Breitbart, Daily Caller) elevated next to legitimate news organizations? That’s something that can and should be fixed,” Byer wrote.

“I think we have a responsibility to expose the quality and truthfulness of sources – because not doing so hides real information under loud noises,” he continued. (RELATED: Google Search Labels Republican Women ‘Enablers’)

“Beyond that, let’s concentrate on teaching critical thinking. A little bit of that would go a long way. Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years – demographics will be on our side.”

Some of Byer’s colleagues expressed concern that manipulating search results could backfire and suggested alternative measures.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://dailycaller.com/2018/11/29/google-censorship-conservative-media/

Google accused of manipulation to track users

Seven European consumer groups filed complaints against Google with national regulators Tuesday, accusing the internet giant of covertly tracking users’ movements in violation of an EU regulation on data protection.

The cited a study by the Norwegian Consumer Council that concluded the Internet giant used “deceptive design and misleading information, which results in users accepting to be constantly tracked.”

Council official Gro Mette Moen charged that “Google uses extremely detailed and comprehensive personal data without an appropriate judicial basis, and the data is acquired by means of manipulative techniques.”

Complaints against Google were filed in the Czech Republic, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden.

They are based on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect in May.

Google is accused of tracking users’ movements via its Location History and Web & App Activity applications, which are built into all Google accounts.

“For users of mobile phones with Android (operating systems), such as Samsung and Huawei phones, this tracking is particularly difficult to avoid,” the Norwegian council noted.

According to the internet site Statcounter, almost 70 percent of European mobile phones run on the Android system.

“Location data can reveal a lot about a person: real time movements, frequently visited places, daily routines, interests, etc,” the Norwegian complaint said.

“Constant tracking and aggregation of location data over time can be used to build very detailed profiles of individuals and to infer religious beliefs, political leanings, and sexual orientation, among other things,” it added.

Monique Goyens, director general of The European Consumer Organisation said: “Google’s data hunger is notorious but the scale with which it deceives its to track and monetise their every move is breathtaking.

“The situation is more than alarming. Smartphones are being used for spying on our every move.”

The Dutch organisation Consumentenbond insisted that “this tracking must stop.”

Google responded by saying that “Location History is turned off by default, and you can edit, delete, or pause it at any time. If it’s on, it helps improve services like predicted traffic on your commute.

“If you pause it, we make clear that—depending on your individual phone and app settings—we might still collect and use location to improve your Google experience.”

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://phys.org/news/2018-11-google-accused-track-users.html

Google ‘fuelling hypochondria’ as searches for health conditions at all time high

Internet searches for serious health conditions have increased by thousands of percentage points over the last three years sparking fears the web is fuelling hypochondria.

UK search volumes for terms such as ‘how to know chest pains are serious’ have risen by 8,781 per cent from 2015 to 2018, analysis of Google data has found.

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Searches for keywords such as ‘sciatica’, ‘acne’ and ‘IBS’ plus ‘treatment’ are now searched over 100,000 times on average every year since 2015.

‘Stomach ache’ and ‘aching legs’ were also found to top online searches, with an average of 115,800 and 151,075 searches yearly since 2015.

‘GP near me’ was googled 500,000 times between January and August alone this year.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/google-fueling-hypochondria-searches-health-13616887

‘THE GOOD CENSOR’: Leaked Google Briefing Admits Abandonment of Free Speech for ‘Safety And Civility’

An internal company briefing produced by Google and leaked exclusively to Breitbart News argues that due to a variety of factors, including the election of President Trump, the “American tradition” of free speech on the internet is no longer viable.

Despite leaked video footage showing top executives declaring their intention to ensure that the rise of Trump and the populist movement is just a “blip” in history, Google has repeatedly denied that the political bias of its employees filter into its products.

But the 85-page briefing, titled “The Good Censor,” admits that Google and other tech platforms now “control the majority of online conversations” and have undertaken a “shift towards censorship” in response to unwelcome political events around the world.

Examples cited in the document include the 2016 election and the rise of Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) in Germany.

Read more

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/the-good-censor-leaked-google-briefing-admits-abandonment-of-free-speech-for-safety-and-civility/

Google+ shutting down after data breach which was never revealed to users

Google is closing the Google+ social network after an error exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users last spring, in an incident which the company never disclosed to those affected.

Google put the “final nail in the coffin”of the Google+ product by shutting down “all consumer functionality,” the Wall Street Journal reported citing an internal memo.

The project launched in 2011 as an alternative to other social networks ended up being a huge failure for the company. The breach happened after a software glitch in the site gave outside developers potential access to private profile data including names, email addresses, birth dates, genders, occupations and more.

The memo viewed by the Journal said that disclosing the incident publicly would possibly trigger “immediate regulatory interest” and do damage to the company’s reputation. Reporting the incident would result “in us coming into the spotlight alongside or even instead of Facebook despite having stayed under the radar throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandal,” it warned.

The Journal reported that the Google+ breach exposed Google’s “concerted efforts to avoid public scrutiny of how it handles user information” at a time when regulators and the public are trying to do more to hold tech companies to account.

Google goes “beyond legal requirements” and applies “several criteria focused on our users” when deciding whether to provide notice, a spokesperson said in a statement. The company said it had considered whether or not it could accurately identify which users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response. “None of these thresholds were met here,” the spokesperson said.

The leaked memo says that while there is no evidence that outside developers misused any data, there is still no way to know for sure.

As part of a slew of new security measures, Google is expected to clamp down on the amount of data it provides to outside developers through application programming interfaces (APIs), sources told the Journal.

As part of an audit of APIs, Google also discovered that Google+ had also been permitting developers to obtain data from users who never wanted it to be shared publicly — but a bug in the API meant they could collect data even if it was explicitly marked non-public through Google’s privacy settings.

New European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules which went into effect in May would have required Google to disclose the information to regulators within 72 hours under threat of penalty, but the Google+ leak was discovered in March, before the GDPR regulations came in and therefore was not covered by the European rules, according to Al Saikali, a lawyer who spoke to the Journal.

Saikali said it was possible that Google could face class action lawsuits over its decision not to disclose the breach. “The story here that the plaintiffs will tell is that Google knew something here and hid it. That by itself is enough to make the lawyers salivate,” he said.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/google-shutting-down-after-data-breach-which-was-never-revealed-to-users/

Techs Turn Down Google Jobs Over Dragonfly Censorship Project

Tech experts are turning down job offers from Google over the company’s development of a censored search engine for China.

Ryan Gallagher, who first exposed at The Intercept last month the existence of the “Dragonfly” project, said on Twitter Thursday that he’s received numerous messages surrounding the backlash.

“I’ve had quite a few messages like this one over the last few weeks — people are turning down job offers from Google because of Dragonfly,” Gallagher said.

A partly-redacted email posted by Gallagher shows a once-potential employee declining an opportunity with the tech giant.

“After reading about project Dragonfly… I lost respect for a company I once admired,” the email says.

The secretive app, which would require users to link their identities to searches while being tracked, was also found in a prototype version to censor results for terms such as “Nobel prize” and “human rights,” documents provided to The Intercept revealed.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence weighed in on the issue Thursday during a speech at the Hudson Institute in which he urged Google to “immediately” end the controversial project.

“Google should immediately end development of the ‘Dragonfly’ app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers,” Pence said.

The project has also led to resignations, internal protest and criticism from human rights organizations.

After weeks of remaining silent, Google Chief Privacy Officer Keith Enright admitted this month to the existence of Dragonfly during a senate hearing.

Enright alleged the app was only in an exploratory phase, despite reporting to the contrary, and even claimed he was unaware whether China censored its citizens when confronted by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“As the privacy representative for Google I’m not sure that I have an informed opinion on that question,” Enright said.

Google, who is attempting to reenter the Chinese Market, pulled its services from the country in 2010 after it said the Communist government had attempted to both hack and censor users.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/techs-turn-down-google-jobs-over-dragonfly-censorship-project/

Senior Google Scientist Quits over Censored Chinese Search Engine

Jack Poulson, a senior research scientist at Google, has quit the company in protest over the tech titan’s development of a censored search engine for China, claiming it represents a “forfeiture of our values.”

According to the Intercept, Poulson “raised concerns with his managers at Google after the Intercept revealed that the Internet giant was secretly developing a Chinese search app for Android devices.”

“After entering into discussions with his bosses, Poulson decided in mid-August that he could no longer work for Google. He tendered his resignation and his last day at the company was August 31,” they reported, adding that he is possibly one of five employees to leave the company in protest.

In his resignation letter, Poulson claimed he was leaving to “avoid contributing to” the “erosion of protection for dissidents.”

“Due to my conviction that dissent is fundamental to functioning democracies, I am forced to resign in order to avoid contributing to, or profiting from, the erosion of protection for dissidents,” he declared. “I view our intent to capitulate to censorship and surveillance demands in exchange for access to the Chinese market as a forfeiture of our values and governmental negotiating position across the globe… There is an all-too-real possibility that other nations will attempt to leverage our actions in China in order to demand our compliance with their security demands.”

Read more

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/report-senior-google-scientist-quits-over-censored-chinese-search-engine/