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Google Helps Government Conduct Warrantless Searches, Alleges EPIC


steven36

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The Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”), a civil liberties group based in Washington D.C., filed an amicus brief in the United States vs. Wilson case concerning Google scanning billions of users’ files for unlawful content and then sending that information to law enforcement agencies.

 

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Bypassing the Fourth Amendment

EPIC alleges that law enforcement is using Google, a private entity, to bypass the Fourth Amendment, which requires due process and probable cause before “searching or seizing” someone’s property.

 

As a private entity, Google doesn’t have to abide by the Fourth Amendment as the government has to, so it can do those mass searches on its behalf and then give the government the results. The U.S. government has been increasingly using this strategy to bypass Fourth Amendment protections of U.S. citizens and to expand its warrantless surveillance operations further.

Image Hashes vs. Image Matches

Google and a few other companies have “voluntarily” agreed to use a database of images hashes from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to help the agency find exploited children.

 

More than that, the companies would also give any information they have on the people who owned those images, given they are users of said companies’ services and have shared the images through those services.

Image hash values are unique alphanumerical strings of characters that can be associatedwith images. These values are then used to match one image to another and see if the files are 100% identical.

 

EPIC alleges that Google has gone even beyond this voluntary commitment to help NCMEC find criminals who exploit children by using image hash matching, and it’s now also using image matching techniques that can look at different files to see whether or not they contain a certain image.

 

EPIC said this is very different from the first case of hash matching because image matching can result in many false positives (the algorithm can say that a certain file contains the original image, even though it doesn’t).

Referring Innocent People to Law Enforcement

EPIC noted that neither Google nor the government has revealed how the image matching algorithm works nor have they revealed accuracy, reliability, or validity of the technique, all of which are required for scientific evidence in court.

 

EPIC argues that Google or other companies could use similar algorithms to scan not just for images of exploited children, but also for other purposes such as determining if files contain religious views, political opinions, or “banned books.”

 

Google was recently involved in a controversy about its development of a censored search engine for China, called “Project Dragonfly.” The search engine would enable the identification of material that the Chinese government considers “sensitive,” which likely goes much further than images of exploited children.

A Need for Algorithmic Transparency

In the Carpenter vs. United States case, the Supreme Court recognized that the existing Fourth Amendment standards need to be reexamined in the new digital age. The Court ruled that the government couldn’t automatically track individuals’ locations everywhere they go for long periods of time without a warrant.

 

If the equivalent of the digital surveillance translated to the physical world meant that the government would have to deploy costly surveillance operations that would rarely happen, then the much cheaper automated digital surveillance shouldn’t be permitted without a warrant, either.

 

EPIC argued in its new briefing that automated scanning of files for various “crimes” falls into the same category. Even if the scanning of files can be cataloged as “private search,” the government would need to have  “virtual certainty” that the files it intends to open are the same ones that were scanned by the private company, and this may not be possible. The government can’t guarantee that the files identified by Google are the same ones that the user uploaded.

 

This is also why EPIC believes that algorithmic transparency is critical for software that interacts with the justice system and provides information that incriminates users of various services.

 

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Read the title and first thing that came to mind was why would EPIC (El Paso Intelligence Center) be worried about something they benefit from.  There really are too many similar acronyms in use today.

 

On the other hand why should anyone care if the data collected is being used to get criminals off the net and off the street, particularly where missing and exploited children are concerned.  Those that complain about this must have a vested interest in it, in other words, put them on the list to have a deep look into their online activities, travel, and associates.  

 

Google can do whatever it wants with the data it collects, that is what all the legal mumbo-jumbo means that no one reads but agrees to when they get any kind of Google account.  And Google is being an honest citizen when it finds and reports criminal activity, as a matter of fact, it is illegal not to report a crime.  What people fail to understand is if you don't want your data collected then don't use the service.  That applies to any service: Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter, etc,  If you really take time to think about it logically, is there any difference between an online entity who discovers your illegal activity and reports it, or a friend who has knowledge of your illegal activity and provides that information to law enforcement.  

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2 hours ago, straycat19 said:

Google can do whatever it wants with the data it collects

Not really.  if they Government don't like something Google does then they get sued for Anti trust   that why Google  and Facebook  was in front of congress most of 2018.   It's not OK for them to  sell peoples data to places like  Cambridge Analytica   and that why Google + shut down because they had a data leak and risk being sued , so no  what you say is dead wrong and you think it's OK for them to sell it to the law so the law can can get around the Fourth Amendment  your more crazy than i thought . On top of that  Google's employees want let them do what they want even. Because they can't run without them.  Were you been  the last year or so?  Every were from Russia to the EU  have already sued Google for thinking  they can do what they want they better be glad they had someone up there half the congress  don't like  are they already would  had there ego token down a notch by the US government  like Microsoft did before.  ,:tooth:

 

EPIC  are  the  same group  who sued the  DOJ  back in  2014 to disclose  Freedom of Information Act request for documents that the Department of Justice has withheld pertaining to George W. Bush's authorization of NSA warrantless surveillance  it took them 8 years but they got there  hands  on them with the help of the ACLU.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Privacy_Information_Center_v._Department_of_Justice

 

They not no joke and they never give up.

 

 

EPIC Open Government project

The EPIC Open Government Project is one of the nation's leading government transparency programs. Combining decades of expertise in the Freedom of Information Act with experienced litigation attorneys, EPIC obtains important government records to promote accountability and safeguard civil liberties.

 

The EPIC Open Government Project pursues four distinct program activities. First, the project actively pursues secret government documents through the FOIA. Second, the EPIC Open Government Project recommends improvements to agency rulemakings concerning transparency, privacy, and civil liberties. Third, EPIC trains law school students on utilizing the FOIA to promote open government. Fourth, EPIC participates in coalitions with other government transparency organizations. EPIC's extensive press outreach and popular website allow EPIC to make FOIA documents widely available to the press and the public.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Electronic_Privacy_Information_Center&action=edit&section=2

 

EPIC  are one of the reasons thing are not like they was back  Pre Snowden  when we had the patriot act . it was the government that passed the freedom act and  changed  what the law could do . EPIC is there to make sure they don't use loop holes in the system such  as big tech to get around it is all.

 

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16 hours ago, steven36 said:

Not really.  if they Government don't like something Google does then they get sued for Anti trust   that why Google  and Facebook  was in front of congress most of 2018.   It's not OK for them to  sell peoples data to places like  Cambridge Analytica   and that why Google + shut down because they had a data leak and risk being sued , so no  what you say is dead wrong and you think it's OK for them to sell it to the law so the law can can get around the Fourth Amendment  your more crazy than i thought .

 

You really believe all that crap in the news, then it isn't me that is crazy.  If you really knew what was going on you would be amazed.  Do you really believe that Google paid any fines or that Google+ shut down because of a data leak?  The government loves people like you.  Too bad  you don't have access to the daily intsums, you would be in for a shock. To borrow a term from one of Robin Williams movies, "you are just one of the sheep."

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3 hours ago, straycat19 said:

Do you really believe that Google paid any fines or that Google+ shut down because of a data leak?  T

 Dude Google paid more in Fines  in the EU  in 2018  than they  pay taxes,

 

This report from FEB 2019   Google now pays more in EU fines than it does in taxes

https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3070503/google-now-pays-more-in-eu-fines-than-it-does-in-taxes

 

Firm was slapped with $5.1bn worth of penalties in 2018

 

INTERNET GIANT Google now pays more in European fines than it does in taxes., the firm's fourth-quarter earnings have revealed.

Google owner Alphabet company reported Q4 revenues up 22 per cent to $39.28bn, while annual revenues were up 23 per cent to $136.8bn.

The company also took the time to separate out "European Commission fines" in its consolidated statements of income in the company's accounts. These increased from $2.7bn in 2017 to $5.1bn in 2018, with a further €50m already set to be added to the bill for its first quarter and 2019 accounts, thanks to French data protection authority CNIL.

That compares to a provision for income taxes of just $4.2 billion for 2018, or 12 per cent of its pre-tax income. 

Net income for the full year increased by 143 per cent from $12.67bn to $30.74bn thanks largely to a radically lower provision for income taxes - down from $14.5bn to just $4.2bn.

 

You need to do some research before you comment ! :lmao:

 

2017 they was hit with $2,7 bn fines in the EU  , 2018 $5.1bn in fines in EU .

 

So far this year  in 2019  they done hit with over $2 Bn in fines  in the EU and it's just spring .

 

France Fines Google $57 Million For GDPR Violations

http://fortune.com/2019/01/21/france-fines-google-57-million-for-gdpr-violations/

 

Google hit with $1.7 billion fine for anticompetitive ad practices

https://mashable.com/article/google-eu-antitrust-fine-ads/

 

On top  of that they wasted millions of dollars campaigning against copyright  reform  in the EU and lost  because they don't want have to  pay royalties to news sites and Artist. 

 

Google  are good con artist and nothing else ,anything   they done  that they was successful at they stole the idea , someone else before them  done it and got rich off it long  before they  cashed in on the idea , they collect data in the USA  were data retention is not even mandatory and they keep breaking the law left and right to get rich . They should be  going to jail just  like  Elizabeth Holmes is!   They make nothing  i have to have , i don't have nothing installed made by them  on my computers  because someone else makes it too minus the spyware.

http://realwomanonline.com/bad-blood/

 

They most likely helping the police  spy on Americans  to stay immune from going to jail themselves in the USA  . Funny Trump accused Google of rigging politics and now this  , you can't trust the FBI no further  than you can throw them with your data  .Trump  got rid of   most all the FBI  that served under Obama because they was planing a coo to have him impeached ,

 

Don't get me wrong it's just not Google   , Microsoft  are  worse  than they are  because they are less transparent than Google is about what they collect . Just Microsoft have been doing it  so long and done been were Google is now, so they learned how to keep  there nose clean and get around it. but i don't think there is any way to install windows 10 and it not spy on you some how that's why i don't use windows no more . Windows 10 was the reason I switch to Linux .

 

A good example  of stupid is as stupid does is the masses  use LastPass  even though it  full of Data leaks  when you have a nice open source alternative like KeePass.

https://palant.de/2019/03/18/should-you-be-concerned-about-lastpass-uploading-your-passwords-to-its-server/

 

The masses who use internet connected devices don't use software based on there privacy and there security  they use it based on Hype , Advertisements and what there friend tell them to  use  who don't have a clue ether.  just like people who endorse  Big Tech  don't have a clue. Just  like you don't have a clue. They just  use it based on the fact everyone else does and that's why they so much data is leaking into the wild because the products you use get paid from harvesting your data, even though you could replace it with something more safe!

 

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I think it's the first time that I partly agree with both of you.

@steven36 Google is in bed with the state and department of defense. What else do you expect?

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2 hours ago, Ha91 said:

I think it's the first time that I partly agree with both of you.

@steven36 Google is in bed with the state and department of defense. What else do you expect?

I don't expect :shit: from Google because  i don't install there software .  But  2 billion people  do install there  stuff  meaning i can't email people i care for without them spying on me  so it effects everyone to some degree . It don't matter if they are giving  it to the government  are using it for themselves to make ads  it needs to stop !!! they need to figure out how to make ads without spying on everyone . the TV and Radio industries before there was a www  made advertisements  without spying on people  so the government is no excuse. If they didn't spy on people they would be nothing to give the goverment now would it? 

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