Jan. 26th, 2012

  • 11:39 PM
la_vie_noire: (Utena-orz)
Via [personal profile] delux_vivens:

Silicon Valley companies don’t get the full range of dangers involved with online advocacy.

It therefore baffles me how little consideration they have for those individuals who need to be protected online especially if they use the internet as a resource to engage in risky (but necessary) activities. Anything from discouraging anonymity on the likes of Facebook and Google+ to requiring legit photos on sites like LinkedIn, not realizing that some of us live in areas where human rights advocacy is not just frowned upon but severely punishable by our governments. Anything you do to protect yourself – these companies consider to be against their “user agreement” forcing you to reveal sensitive information, making this field 10 times more dangerous just so these companies can be more “relevant” and therefore profitable. The problem is that we can’t just simply quit these services. We need them as tools to empower our work.

Every other week I’d get an email from an internet service stating that my account has been deleted or disabled.

Why? “You’re not using a real photo.” No, I use an avatar, which they deleted, and then another avatar, which they also deleted, and attempted to keep it empty, which they didn’t allow, and then finally resorted to just having a logo – but uh oh! Disabled again. This is despite my several attempts at communicating this to customer service reps at these companies. They couldn’t care less. Regardless of what their CEOs say at tech conferences. Irrelevant. They do not abide by these values when it comes to managing their companies and reviewing their user agreements and privacy policies. Do we matter?

But they will never understand it. They think everyone is a rich white cis man in a first world country and "it's not a big deal" to share personal information. But sometimes, it is a big deal. Also, they get money and publicity from "personal information" so...

Go to hell gmail

  • Aug. 30th, 2011 at 1:16 AM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Via [personal profile] stoneself, Hackers acquire Google certificate, could hijack Gmail accounts.

It's pretty obvious Google doesn't care about the privacy and security of its users at all, they are just desperate to make money. (The G+ shit is also a perfect example for this.)

LJ down, Google evades taxes like whoa

  • Nov. 16th, 2010 at 3:38 PM
la_vie_noire: (Claymore9 standing)
To nobody's surprise, LJ is down for me again (and yes, it's only me).

Corporate Tricks Of The Trade. Or how big Corporations evade paying the taxes they should pay.

The story begins by noting that: “Google has made $11.1 billion overseas since 2007. It paid just 2.4 percent in taxes. And that’s legal.” This is pretty incredible because Google does business in many advanced capitalist countries with high tax rates. For example, “The corporate tax rate in the U.K., Google’s second-largest market after the U.S., is 28 percent.”

[...] So, how did Google get its profits to Bermuda? Businessweek explains:

Google’s profits travel to the island’s white sands via a convoluted route known to tax lawyers as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich.” In Google’s case, it generally works like this: When a company in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa purchases a search ad through Google, it sends the money to Google Ireland. The Irish government taxes corporate profits at 12.5 percent, but Google mostly escapes that tax because its earnings don’t stay in the Dublin office, which reported a pretax profit of less than 1 percent of revenues in 2008.

Irish law makes it difficult for Google to send the money directly to Bermuda without incurring a large tax hit, so the payment makes a brief detour through the Netherlands, since Ireland doesn’t tax certain payments to companies in other European Union states. Once the money is in the Netherlands, Google can take advantage of generous Dutch tax laws. Its subsidiary there, Google Netherlands Holdings, is just a shell (it has no employees) and passes on about 99.8 percent of what it collects to Bermuda. (The subsidiary managed in Bermuda is technically an Irish company, hence the “Double Irish” nickname.)

This set-up (as Businessweek describes it) also helps Google lower its tax bill in the U.S. Google Ireland licenses its search and advertizing technology from Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. Obviously this technology is worth a lot—but Google headquarters keeps the licensing fee to Google Ireland low. Doing so means that Google headquarters can minimize its U.S. earnings and thus its tax obligations to the U.S. government. And of course, Google Ireland knows how to move its profits around to minimize its tax liabilities.

I just found this via Sociological Images

  • Mar. 30th, 2010 at 3:49 AM
la_vie_noire: (Utena-orz)
And watch it, because it's awesome:

Gwen, on Sociological Images says:

t’s interesting given Google’s recent decision to stop censoring internet access in China due to concerns that human rights activists’ emails were being tracked, as well as accusations of privacy issues with Buzz. A friend and I were talking recently about how normally we’re concerned about corporate concentration and control, and yet we both have entirely enmeshed ourselves with Google–using gmail, storing things on Google Docs and Notebook, tracking websites through Google Reader, using YouTube, getting directions from Google Maps…basically my entire online life is routed through Google services (I tried Chrome but didn’t like it, but if I had, even my browser would have been a Google product).

We’re not sure what to make of this — that it’s easier to lull people into a sense of complacency about corporate control if you provide them really nifty stuff they like using? That we aren’t yet really taking concerns about internet privacy seriously? The way these services are set up, it’s simply easier to use all of them than to insist on using a cloud server, reader, email, and so on separately just so we wouldn’t be supporting the concentration of internet services, and this undoubtedly plays a role in reducing our resistance. And our reliance on Google slowly grew over time so that neither of us really noticed how much we used the company’s products until we were actively talking about it (which we were only doing because of the events in China).

But seriously, Google's CEO responding, two three (it was on December, apparently) moths ago, to privacy concerns with "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place". Uhm. I'm ashamed to say I so didn't hear about that.

What the fucking shit Google??

  • Feb. 12th, 2010 at 4:34 PM
la_vie_noire: (be prepared)
Via [personal profile] rydra_wong, Google Buzz is a serious threat for privacy, and guess what? You have gmail, you have it.


Here is the correct way of getting rid of it because apparently turning it off isn't enough. Yeah people, it can make public who your most e-mailed contacts are. Dear God, Google.


la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire

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