Cyberculture roundup: EU fines Microsoft over IE, Google Transparency Report Highlights

EU Slaps Microsoft With $731 Million Fine Over Browser Choice

from Mashable! by Stan Schroeder

Why Microsoft Couldn?t Care Less About $732 Million EU Fine

from Mashable! by Quartz

Google Says the FBI Is Secretly Spying on Some of Its Customers

from Wired Top Stories by David Kravets
The terrorists apparently would win if Google told you the exact number of times the Federal Bureau of Investigation invoked a secret process to extract data about the media giant’s customers. That’s why it is unlawful for any record-keeper to disclose it has received a so-called National Security Letter. But under a deal brokered with the President Barack Obama administration, Google on Tuesday published a “range” of times it received National Security Letters demanding it divulge account information to the authorities without warrants.

Public Alerts for Google Search, Google Now and Google Maps available in Japan

from The Official Google Blog by Emily Wood
With nearly 5,000 earthquakes a year, it?s important for people in Japan to have crisis preparedness and response information available at their fingertips. And from our own research, we know that when a disaster strikes, people turn to the Internet for more information about what is happening.

Eastern influence: Path?s new messaging and monetization model are straight out of Asia

from The Next Web by Jon Russell

Google Transparency Report Highlights Just How Much We Don’t Know About National Security Letters

from Updates by Dan Auerbach and Eva Galperin
In an unprecedented win for transparency, yesterday Google began publishing generalized information about the number of National Security Letters that the company received in the past year as well as the total number of user accounts affected by those requests. Of all the dangerous government surveillance powers that were expanded by the USA PATRIOT Act, the National Security Letter (NSL) power provided by five statutory provisions is one of the most frightening and invasive. These letters–the type served on communications service providers such as phone companies and ISPs and are authorized by 18 U.S.C. 2709–allow the FBI to secretly demand data about ordinary American citizens’ private communications and Internet activity without any prior judicial review. To make matters worse, recipients of NSLs are subject to gag orders that forbid them from ever revealing the letters’ existence to anyone.

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