You can’t come forward against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and be completely free from risk because they’re such powerful adversaries. No one can meaningfully oppose them. If they want to get you, they’ll get you in time. But at the same time you have to make a determination about what it is that’s important to you.
And if living unfreely but comfortably is something you’re willing to accept—and I think many of us are, it’s the human nature—you can get up every day, you can go to work, you can collect your large paycheck for relatively little work, against the public interest, and go to sleep at night after watching your shows.
Snowden did what he did because he recognised the NSA’s surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans’ and foreign citizens’ privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we’re trying to protect.
Google facelifts Dashboard, reveals more dodginess During my most recent battle with Google in April 2013, I checked the Dashboard a lot, and it reported that I had no Google Docs. (That makes sense, since they are blocked here.) Now I find I have one Google Doc. Which I never created.
It also says I have three contacts. That’s also a surprise since I spent time ensuring I have none. Of course, when I click through, it says just that: I have none.
I know: Google can’t count. It’s not the first time the Dashboard has said I have something when I don’t, and there’s plenty of that documented in the last few years as I’ve gone after the house of G for being dod-G. Holding on to blog data without permission, hacking Iphones, spying on anyone who had opted out of Ads Preferences Manager, committing libel on a regular basis—and that’s just in the last three years.
I would never have happened across any of this if I wasn’t asked to upload YouTube videos tonight for my mayoral campaign. Turns out Vote.co.nz doesn’t use Vimeo. And since yours truly had the password to the old YouTube account from the last campaign, it was down to me to upload. And whenever you have to give something to Google, massive alarm bells go off.
You can’t bank on the Wales Wow, incredibly dumb move, Westpac. I never opted in to your spam lists, and now I ﬁnd you have done so for me, in every category. What the heck? I know I never opted in, because I usually ask for this stuff in plain text. Considering your ﬁrst-ever spam arrived today, and one of my companies became your customer in 2006, I’m sure that this decision to spam people was a recent move on your part.
Why would I ask for information on products I don’t have with you, or, for that matter, rewards?
I’ve deleted my email address from your system as well, and, yes, I do feel strongly enough about this that I’ll consider closing my accounts.
I can’t believe I wasted my 5,000th Tumblr post on you, but, there you have it.
Clearly, computers and banks do not mix—remember, cheques took a day to clear in the mid- to late-1970s, and they take ﬁve to seven days now. Now I ﬁnd a foreign bank unable to grasp some basic netiquette.
How to piss off people with law degrees I did sign up for Law.com while I was at university, but it’s a total surprise to start getting spammed by them as of May 6, 2013. I know I had signed up a long time ago because the postcode is 6041 (this was changed in the 2000s), even if Law.com reckons I last updated my account in 2010 (highly unlikely). And if The Asian Lawyer is something I signed up to all that time ago (despite my never having heard of it—and many of you know how I feel about the word Asian), how come they only began coming on May 6?
A more likely explanation: it’s a new publication and we were all opted in without our permission.
Bad move, law.com.
One month on Dear Google: since you say this site has been clean since April 7, don’t you think it’s about time you lifted your block and stopped banning it? I thought we had it bad with Google’s boycott, but imagine being the owner of this website.
Clean since April 7 More evidence of the Google bot being wrong. This is the site that hosted the malware that our ad server was accused of distributing. It’s been clean since April 7. However, Google still provides a warning with its search-engine result, and there’s still a warning page when you click through. Google acknowledges this site is clean, yet still continues to block it. I would say the webmaster has a prima facie case against Google for misrepresentation.
Another false positive from the Google malware bot Following from my blog post yesterday, here’s the usual bollocks from Google. So Webmaster Tools sends me an email accusing Autocade of malware. Webmaster Tools itself says there’s nothing wrong. Clicking on the link Google provides results in a 403. The malware bot is very, very broken. We know this, the guys at Isocket know this, as do others around the internet.
[W]hen it came to Google, it’s important to know that it has it in for the little guy. It’s less responsive, and it will fence with you until you can bring a bigger party to the table who might risk damaging its informal, well maintained and largely illusionary corporate motto.