How Google, Not the NSA, Sold Out America

This was first published on SOFREP on Sept. 16, 2013

You can’t trust Google with your privacy anymore. In fact the only thing you can trust about Google is that they will sell you out. Think about that for a moment and what it means to you, your family, and your friends, especially if you use Gmail.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and it’s really quite disturbing. I have both personal and work email hosted by Google.

If you’ve ever read their Privacy Policy, it’s more of a disclosure on the different ways they can get around protecting your privacy than keeping your information private. Like the Patriot Act, it’s good in name, but a complete contradiction in what it stands for materially when you dig into the fine print.

Read on, and pay close attention to “For legal reasons…”

Photo courtesy of author.

Over a decade since inception, Google is one of the biggest players on the Internet to collect your personal data. If you are a current user, your personal information is being sold off through the PRISM program to the NSA. You and your family’s life work through email and social media is most likely archived at the NSA’s data center in Utah.

We first learned about the PRISM program through Edward Snowden, who gained classified access through his work at Booz Allen Hamilton. In case you aren’t totally up to speed, PRISM started under the Bush administration’s passage of the Protect America Act. The program collects stored Internet communications based on requests/demands made to Internet companies. Companies like Google, Twitter, and others.

Why aren’t Americans asking Google why they never stood up to the U.S. government, and challenged what looks like a circumvention of American civil liberties via the Internet? Why aren’t others like Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter (there are more) taking a leadership role in creating modern Internet legislation that reflects the spirit of the Constitution? All good questions that should be asked by an engaged citizenry.

I’m not a huge fan of Julian Assange but I can relate with his quote below.

“Google started out as part of Californian graduate student culture around San Francisco’s Bay Area. But as Google grew it encountered the big bad world. It encountered barriers to its expansion in the form of complex political networks and foreign regulations. So it started doing what big bad American companies do, from Coca Cola to Northrop Grumman. It started leaning heavily on the State Department for support, and by doing so it entered into the Washington DC system. A recently released statistic shows that Google now spends even more money than Lockheed Martin on paid lobbyists in Washington.”

-Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

A few days ago I posted a funny picture on my Twitter account; it was a chalkboard street sign that said something like, “Uranium, Cocaine, and Mustard Gas are all gluten free—be careful of health buzz words.

The “Patriot Act“, “Enhancing domestic security“, and “Protect America” all sound great, until you realize that they’re catch phrases for programs that contain roving wire taps without a warrant and the collection and sale of your personal information to the U.S. government.

If you don’t like what Google and others in Silicon Valley are doing, then do something about it. Write your elected representatives, members of the press, share this post, and let them know something should be done to protect our constitutional rights in cyber space.

And remember, be cautious of patriot “buzz” words…

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