The Intercept: Google Suppresses Memo Revealing Plans To Closely Track Search Users In China. “ON AUGUST 16, two weeks after The Intercept revealed the Dragonfly plan, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the company’s employees that the China plan was in its ‘early stages’ and ‘exploratory.’ However, employees working on the censored search engine were instructed in late July, days before the project was publicly exposed, that they should prepare to get it into a ‘launch-ready state’ to roll out within weeks, pending approval from officials in Beijing.”
TechCrunch: Google is reportedly planning a censorship-friendly search service for China . “Google yanked its search service from China in 2010 in the face of pressure over censorship, but now the [Intercept] reports that it has developed a censored version that could launch in the country in six to nine months, according to information supplied by a source with knowledge of the plans. The alleged product would block Western services already outlawed in China, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and also scrub results for sensitive terms, such as the Tiananmen Square massacre, and international media including the BBC and New York Times.”
Softpedia: Google Said to Deliberately Make YouTube Slower on Microsoft Edge, Firefox. “YouTube’s new Polymer redesign has brought not only improvements to the video sharing platform, but also a new controversy in the browser world, as non-Google browsers are said to be deliberately slowed down. The issue was brought to light by Chris Peterson, Technical Program Manager at Mozilla, who revealed on Twitter that a technology that Polymer relies on is only available in Google Chrome, in turn making Firefox and Microsoft Edge slower.”
Motherboard: Why Is Google Translate Spitting Out Sinister Religious Prophecies?. “Type the word ‘dog’ into Google Translate 19 times, request that the nonsensical message be flipped from Maori into English, and out pops what appears to be a garbled religious prophecy. ‘Doomsday Clock is three minutes at twelve,’ it reads. ‘We are experiencing characters and a dramatic developments in the world, which indicate that we are increasingly approaching the end times and Jesus’ return.'”
Bloomberg: Facebook Bug Switched as Many as 14 Million Users’ Privacy Settings to ‘Public’. “Facebook Inc. had a software bug for 10 days in May that set the audience for people’s posts to ‘public,’ even if they had intended to share them just with friends, or a smaller audience.” Good grief.
Motherboard: The Wayback Machine is Deleting Evidence of Malware Sold to Stalkers. “The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is a service that preserves web pages. But the site has been deleting evidence of companies selling malware to illegally spy on spouses, highlighting the need to diversify digital archives.” WHAT?
The Verge: Google’s Selfish Ledger Is An Unsettling Vision Of Silicon Valley Social Engineering. “Google has built a multibillion-dollar business out of knowing everything about its users. Now, a video produced within Google and obtained by The Verge offers a stunningly ambitious and unsettling look at how some at the company envision using that information in the future. The video was made in late 2016 by Nick Foster, the head of design at X (formerly Google X) and a co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory. The video, shared internally within Google, imagines a future of total data collection, where Google helps nudge users into alignment with their goals, custom-prints personalized devices to collect more data, and even guides the behavior of entire populations to solve global problems like poverty and disease.”