Google secrets: Real reason company removed ‘don’t be evil’ from code of conduct revealed
GOOGLE is one of the biggest companies on the planet – but eyebrows were raised when “don’t be evil” was removed from its code of conduct without explanation.
Google – being the primary research tool for almost the entire world – has aimed to build its brand on trust and a high standard of ethics. This led the company to include the phrase “don’t be evil” as one of its key codes of conduct since 2000. When Google was reorganized under a new parent company, Alphabet, in 2015, itt assumed a slightly adjusted version of the motto – “do the right thing.”
The phrase has been deeply incorporated into Google’s company culture—so much so that a version of the phrase has served as the Wi-Fi password on the shuttles that Google uses to ferry its employees to its Mountain View headquarters, sources told Gizmodo two years ago.
However, the phrase was inexplicably removed from the codes of conduct in 2018
The original text read: “‘Don’t be evil.’ Googlers generally apply those words to how we serve our users.
“But ‘Don’t be evil’ is much more than that. Yes, it’s about providing our users unbiased access to information, focusing on their needs and giving them the best products and services that we can.
“But it’s also about doing the right thing more generally – following the law, acting honorably, and treating co-workers with courtesy and respect.”
The new version read: “The Google Code of Conduct is one of the ways we put Google’s values into practice.
“It’s built around the recognition that everything we do in connection with our work at Google will be, and should be, measured against the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct.
By CHARLIE BRADLEY
Google Chrome security alert impacts billions: What to do now
Here’s what you can do to protect your Google Chrome browser.
Google last week issued an update to its Chrome web browser that includes a fix for a critical security flaw. But because it doesn’t want evil hackers exploiting the vulnerability, the browser maker didn’t give many details other than that the flaw involves “use after free in speech recognizer.”
Thanks to Sophos security researcher Paul Ducklin, we have a somewhat better idea about the fix inside Chrome version 81.0.4044.113 for Windows, Mac and Linux users — and why and how you should check to make sure you have the update.
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According to Ducklin’s post on NakedSecurity, the Sophos consumer blog, the bug in Chrome could probably let attackers sidestep “any of the browser’s usual security checks or ‘are you sure’ dialogs.”
Like many use-after-free bugs, this one might “allow an attacker to change the flow of control inside your program, including diverting the CPU to run untrusted code that the attacker just poked into memory from outside,” Ducklin said.
A “use after free” bug is when an application continues to use blocks of running memory, or RAM, even after it has “freed” those blocks for any other app to use. Malicious applications can exploit this mistake by seizing those freed memory blocks and tricking the application into doing things it’s not supposed to.
Because Google has deemed this bug “critical,” it’s likely that the flaw permits remote code execution, Ducklin said, meaning a bad actor can “run code on your computer remotely, without warning, even if they’re on the other side of the world.”
Google says Chrome version 81.0.4044.113, “will roll out over the coming days/weeks,” and the browser will update itself automatically for many desktop users. But Ducklin recommends updating it manually just in case.
Scary Chrome bug: What you can do
Locate your About Google Chrome menu option from your device’s toolbar. It’s usually in the upper right, representing by three stacked dots. If there’s an update waiting for you, those three dots will be colored.
Green means an update to Chrome was released less than 2 days ago, while orange means an update was released about 4 days ago and red means an update was released at least a week ago.
If the three dots are any color other than gray, then click on the icon, scroll down to Help, then scroll down to About Google Chrome in the fly-out window.
When you launch the About Google Chrome page, Chrome will automatically begin checking for updates and also shows you which version of the browser you’re currently running.
You’ll want to have Chrome version 81.0.4044.113 or later. If you’re not, the About Chrome page should prompt you to update. You will likely need to relaunch your browser to carry out the patch.
While you’re there, consider turning activating automatic updates for your device. This way when Google releases future patches, you won’t need to run updates through this manual method.
Don’t be evil, just OBEY: After Covid-19 tech giants will have even more control over what you see & what you think
Silicon Valley’s algorithms are controlling your cognitive map, and Congress is letting it happen. Covid-19 is providing the perfect cover to bolster that control — just in time for the 2020 election.
Neoliberalism was the perfect cover for oligarchs to unleash ideological warfare to protect the billions they’ve plundered from taxpayers.Trillions of dollars flowed into Silicon Valley, the birthplace of digital censorship — censorship that in many ways is more dangerous and insidious than the failed coup d’état of a sitting US president with the farcical Russiagate and impeachment hoax. Over the past two decades, democratic societies have been manipulated by Silicon Valley’s unregulated big-tech behemoths, which now control the news flow and have weaponized Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Netflix, PayPal, Reddit, TikTok, Microsoft, Apple and the very dangerous Internet Of Things (sped along by 5G).
Hard proof is difficult to come by since you can never catch the tech giants red-handed. The way they purposefully conceal all their data and trademark algorithms only serves to reinforce the suspicions and the scattered evidence. But their motives have long been transparent in their own public statements and actions.
Covid-19 is the perfect diversion. While Congress busily passes more trillion-dollar bailouts for billionaires, big-tech stealthily ensures future generations become digital addicts who blindly accept and embrace, like sheep, the emergence of digital tyranny. Today’s college students stumble around like zombies in a trance, eyes glued to their mobile phones, afraid to “miss out” on real-time Instagram updates or TikTok’s latest memes. The development of 5G may result in a silent WWIII that ensures a quick demise of a zombified Western society without a single shot ever being fired.
Silicon Valley’s algorithms determine what content you see, when you see it, how you see it or if you see it at all. If the shadowy, faceless “moderators” disagree with your viewpoint or it is in opposition to the official neoliberal narrative, it disappears, and you are shadowbanned. For example, I firmly believe my @PlanetPonzi Twitter feed is shadowbanned. Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey endorsed an article as a “Great read” in which the authors reflected how US politics have gotten so bad (under the Trump White House) that “there was no bipartisan way forward… and the country is on the cusp of a civil war.” They continued, “In this current period of American politics, at this juncture in our history, there’s no way that a bipartisan path provides the way forward.” Dorsey’s support of this article establishes a precedent allowing a toxic culture at Twitter, which was likely reflected in employees’ selection of accounts to shadowban. Vice conducted an investigation that revealed how famous conservative voices that used Twitter were consistently suppressed more than liberal accounts. Twitter never addressed the Vice results and later denied claims saying it was a mistake or that “behavior-based signals” boost the visibility of certain accounts while suppressing the visibility of others as part of Twitter’s objective “to improve the health of the public conversation on Twitter.” So to reiterate, conservative voices, including existing members of US Congress like Matt Gaetz have been suppressed on Twitter. Due to Twitter’s opaque nature, it is impossible to state that Twitter boosts individual accounts while ensuring voices the Twitter moderators disagree with are never seen, but it is highly likely. The stratospheric “click-fraud based” valuations of Silicon Valley’s profitless zombie companies remains extraordinary. Twitter’s $20-billion valuation is hilarious. Paul Singer’s Elliott Management is a brave investor to have faith and confidence in Twitter’s business model.
Another example can be found simply by looking at the comments directed toward Boris Johnson as he is sitting in hospital battling Covid-19. People are calling for his death and stating he deserves to be in this situation. Would these comments still be up if they were calling for the death of a liberal? Is it okay simply because Johnson is a conservative?
And it’s not just Twitter.
Despite its sworn testimony to the contrary, Google Search has been caught manipulating search data, hiding data and creating algorithms that do just that and leave no evidence. For example: The articles I write are buried by Google Search (try googling ‘Feierstein’, ‘Mitchell Feierstein’, ‘Feierstein rt.com’ and ‘Mitchell Feierstein rt.com’ and compare results).
Data scientists and psychologists hold the same view. Have a look at Ronald E. Robertson’s studies on Search Engine Manipulation Effect published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which are fascinating and damning.
These digital gatekeepers have the power to control and manipulate populations via big-data collection. Your digital profile contains a record of everything you do. You are being tracked and all your movements and actions are recorded. This valuable data is compiled and stored by the companies listed above. This data is valuable and is based on your preferences and all the items you have searched or purchased on the internet, the stores you have visited and the places you have traveled to whether it be by car, bus, train or plane. Google, Amazon, Facebook et al. are recording your every move. All of these are, at least nominally, opt-out functions – but the companies are blatantly counting on people not being bothered enough to dig around the settings and untick all the small-script disclaimers.
Sound scary? Well, it is. What’s worse is that full control of your consumer data — and the resultant power to influence you — is combined with clearly-expressed political preferences.
Teddy Goff, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 digital campaign strategist, sent the following email to both Clinton and John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager:
“Working relationships with Google, Facebook, Apple, and other technology companies were important to us in 2012 and should be even more important to you in 2016, given their still-ascendant positions in the culture.These partnerships can bring a range of benefits to a campaign, from access to talent and prospective donors to early knowledge of beta products and invitations to participate in pilot programs. We have begun having discreet conversations with some of these companies to get a sense of their priorities for the coming cycle, but would encourage you, as soon as your technology leadership is in place, to initiate more formal discussions.”
Do you remember Google’s slogan “Don’t be evil”? Well, Google is evil. It is one of the biggest donors to Washington’s pay-to-play, feckless political class.
China commissioned Google’s Eric Schmidt to create a Chinese Social Credit System that would spy on and censor large swaths of China’s population. In response, Google employees published the following statement: “We refuse to build technologies that aid the powerful in oppressing the vulnerable, wherever they may be.” While Schmidt represented this Social Credit System as only being in the developmental stage and would not be finished for years, recent reports claim this is a total lie and that the system is fully functional.
We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about. – former Google CEO Eric Schmidt
President Obama met with Schmidt frequently, and Google had influence over Obama’s administration and policies. White House records show that between 2009 through 2015, while President Obama was in office, employees of Google and its associated entities visited the White House 427 times.
In 2016, media outlet reports suggested that Google’s search results buried bad news about Clinton and portrayed Hillary in a far more favourable light than Trump. Schmidt responded: “We have not taken a position on the American presidential election and nor do I expect us to.”
In addition to Schmidt’s work on the campaign’s technology strategies, he also covertly funded a Hillary Clinton campaign vendor. In October 2016, Goff beamed in an email he sent to Clinton: “Schmidt’s word would easily eclipse the technology operation of any Clinton opponent.”
Mark Zuckerberg’s ace, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, was also actively working with John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager, on the Clinton campaign. Politico reported that Sandberg was put on Clinton’s shortlist to become US Treasury Secretary after Clinton won, though Sandberg later denied it.
However, hopes were dashed when the world was shocked by Clinton’s unexpected loss. Why do I bring this up? Well, Google, Facebook and Silicon Valley have had four years to perfect a system that ensures their candidate will win and Trump will lose. Eric Schmidt has learned from his 2016 mistakes and has been vocally opposed to everything Trump. Schmidt is not the only one who wants Trump gone, so does 98 percent of Silicon Valley, which will ensure 2020 will be different.
Knowledge is power, and whoever controls the media, controls the information flow and controls the power. That’s how these tech companies set out to achieve a common goal: controlling your cognitive map. It’s not about what’s said and debated, it’s about what’s buried and left out.
Why does it seem like Silicon Valley’s digital censorship is the same digital censorship as in China? Simple, it’s the same. As Covid-19 ravages the world, digital tyranny is killing democracy while the US Congress sits silently and lets it happen. To be clear, Silicon Valley needs regulation and needs it now. Congress needs to wake up.
Mitchell Feierstein is the CEO of Glacier Environmental Fund and author of ‘Planet Ponzi: How the World Got into This Mess, What Happens Next, and How to Protect Yourself.’ He spends his time between London and Manhattan. (RT)