That includes a new section the company today added to its Transparency Report that answers questions users may have, such as "In what situations wouldn't you tell me about a request for my information?" (The answer is: Google can't notify you if your account is closed or if the company is legally prohibited from doing so. "We sometimes fight to give users notice of a data request by seeking to lift gag orders or unseal … Read more
He stopped well short of saying information wants to be free, but Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web, said today the world would be better with some judicious liberation.
Speaking at the 2013 World Economic Forum today in Davos, Switzerland, Berners-Lee called on social-networking sites, academics, musicians, and governments to share more information online.
In earlier days of computing, people had full control over their own information because it was all stored on their own computer in front of them. Now, people store data with online services that deprive them of that control.
"They put their … Read more
Anyone interested in how Google's privacy policies over the years can easily compare previous versions, thanks to an archive the company has set up online. But one of the earliest privacy policies is nowhere to be found -- and it's a shame, filmmaker Cullen Hoback says, because it's a policy that put users' privacy first.
"A cookie can tell us, 'This is the same computer that visited Google two days ago,' but it cannot tell us, 'This person is Joe Smith' or even, 'This person lives in the United States,'" reads the policy, published in … Read more
Google's Eric Schmidt is back from his much-publicized trip to North Korea, and he's got a few details to share about his humanitarian mission.
The search giant's executive chairman had already revealed some of the reasoning behind his trip to reporters during a briefing a week and a half ago at the Beijing airport, saying that his private delegation urged North Korean officials to open up global Internet access if they wanted to strengthen their economy. The delegation was led by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who is also a former ambassador to the U.N. … Read more
Legal scholar and Internet activist Lawrence Lessig is having none of it.
On his personal blog in an emotional post titled A time for silence, Lessig slammed Ortiz's statement to the press, criticizing the prosecution of Swartz for helping "in part at least" to drive "this boy to his death."
Ortiz's statement is a template for all that is awful in what we … Read more
A 26-year-old graduate student named Matthew Riese has an ambition to create a business building custom hovercrafts. And he's making waves -- literally -- on the way to realizing that dream.
On Saturday, Riese's vehicle took a brief dip in the water and then spun out on a beach in San Francisco, giving tourists taking in views of the Golden Gate Bridge something entirely unexpected to photograph and show the folks back home. This wasn't the first time Riese's invention has made its way into San Francisco Bay. Here's a recording made last year of … Read more
Paulistas, as the residents of Sao Paulo, Brazil, call themselves, like to refer to their home town as "the city that works." Time to update that description to the city that also tweets.
Twitter is opening up an office in the largest city in South America, Reuters reports.
"We believe our new office in Brazil will allow us to get closer to the users and show the value of our platform," the company's new country manager for Brazil, Guilherme Ribenboim, told Reuters.
"Brazil has rather mature Internet and advertisement markets. Our audience is very … Read more
Future petitions to the White House to build a Death Star, have Piers Morgan deported, or fire Aaron Swartz's prosecutor will have to attract more support to merit the White House's attention.
Beginning today, petitions filed on WhiteHouse.org's We the People platform will need to log 100,000 signatures in 30 days to receive an official response from the Obama Administration, quadrupling the previous minimum of 25,000.
The higher threshold will "ensure we're able to continue to give the most popular ideas the time they deserve," Macon Phillips, the White House's … Read more
As the Internet exploded with anger over news that online activist Aaron Swartz had committed suicide on Friday, the subscription-only archive he was accused of hacking said late today that it "regretted" having been drawn to "this sad event."
Swartz, a celebrated computer activist and programming prodigy, was fighting two-year-old charges that he stole 4 million documents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and JSTOR, or Journal Storage, an archive of scientific journals and academic papers. If convicted, Swartz faced a maximum of $4 million in fines and more than 50 years in prison after the … Read more
Last time we checked, John McAfee was on the lam from, well, whoever it was that he said was after him in Belize. But the former software mogul, who was deported to the United States after fleeing to Guatemala, has decided to pitch his tent in Portland, Ore., for a while. (Assuming, of course, that he's not yanking the media's chain for kicks and giggles.)