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By Alec Cope
We Are Change
“Don’t Be Evil” – Google
On June 17th, Google did not announce (the news broke) that the DARPA affiliated corporation has been silently downloading audio listeners onto every computer that has Chrome.
This effectively means that Google sees your privacy as piddly-squat, which does not necessarily come off as a surprise, when one considers Google’s censorship of We Are Change – this very organization as nothing. The website Private Internet Access‘s Rick Falkvinge reported how he came to understand this new policy:
“It looked like just another bug report. “When I start Chromium, it downloads something.” Followed by strange status information that notably included the lines “Microphone: Yes” and “Audio Capture Allowed: Yes”.Without consent, Google’s code had downloaded a black box of code that – according to itself – had turned on the microphone and was actively listening to your room.”
Without going into detail, Falkvinge describes the nature of open-sourced/free-software and how it relies on transparency and the innovation of many software programmers before being finished as a final product.
Google rationalized that enabling the ability to be eavesdropped via your personal computer was well worth it, because now “Ok, Google” works! Now when you say certain words, Chrome begins searching preliminaries – is it truly worth losing the stability of your privacy though? Obviously, it is Google’s servers that respond to what is being said along with your computer. So a computer black-box was installed, hooked onto a private corporation’s server and now has the ability to eavesdrop on you and Google had no intention to let anyone know about it!
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren and Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation Tom Kalil later unveiled the broad response to the President’s call for “an all hands on deck” effort to support the BRAIN Initiative at a White House press conference.
Major foundations, patient advocacy organizations, universities, and corporations, including the Simons Foundation, GE and Google, will align more than $240 million in research efforts with the BRAIN Initiative. Kalil called for “the emergence of regional technology clusters,” which will form via contributions from several private companies involved in neuro-based technologies.
Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) have joined the BRAIN Initiative. The FDA, while not directly supplying funds for research, plans to heighten the transparency of the regulatory landscape for medical devices to treat brain disorders. IARPA will be funding a handful of innovative research projects involving machine learning.