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Comment Re:Hey, (Score 1) 215

Apart from it being unethical, suddenly you have a criminal conspiracy where a lot of people know the truth you are trying to hide. Not wise, and they'll be screwed because not many people would want to be involved in a criminal conspiracy to help their employer.

There is also the question in their minds about what the German government knew already. If they don't give back any data or give back fake data that is not consistent with what the government already know - they are screwed.

Finally, even if the government does not know anything apart from what is in the public domain, the challenges of trying to fake enough data to be convincing would be immense, and it would be fairly straightforward for the Government to spot the fraud if there was anything less than a stellar job done. And, once more, they're screwed. And faking the data is another conspiracy - see point one.

So it would be extremely difficult and risky to try and cover it up. And they would have no real benefit - people (like me) who think they are unethical already won't change our opinion, and others, who have a more positive view, will not particularly change theirs. So the downsides of their limited confession are small.

They may or may not be evil, but they ain't stupid.

Comment Re:Hey, (Score 2, Insightful) 215

Although some of your points are valid, I think you missed one of the most important issues regarding the entire story: Google were frank about their mess-up.

Not initially - they originally said:

"Networks also send information to other computers that are using the network, called payload data, but Google does not collect or store payload data."

This was wrong and was in response to claims that Google was collecting payload data. The thought this could be in error is ridiculous. First they'd have to accidently collect the data, and then they'd have to accidently not notice even when they went to look for it.

They only (finally) admitted they were collecting payload data when the German government asked for the collected data to audit exactly what was being collected.

Here Google had many options:

1) They could have found about the error and deleted all information the moment the Germans started inquiring - nobody would have known anything. If asked - do like the politician, deny

That would have been fatal - the German government was either on a fishing expedition or already knew what was being collected. For Google to have deliberately deleted data in response to a Government request would have been insane - going to prison, massive fines and "they're evil" type of insanity.

2) They could have issued a short statement claiming that they independently found an error and fixed it, without disclosing too much details.

That would have been untenable - they just happen to find out after they had threatened with an audit.

3) They could have issued a long statement admitting that they started the investigation after the German inquiry, etc

So they did the only vague credible course of action left open to them

We keep asking companies to be honest about their practices and mistakes, but when they do admit wrongdoing, we bash them on /. and then promise not to use their services.

The problem is that few believe they are being honest - acccidently collecting hundreds of gigs of data and not noticing either after you've processed your (our) data or after you've said you've checked and there is defintely no data there.

I'll leave with a final thought - Google claimed that they have never used the data in any product. Given that they claim they didn't even know they had the data until recently how can they possibly make the categorical and emphatic claim that they had never used it in any product. I'd have believed a statement that they didn't believed they had used the data, but were currently auditing to make sure or something. But another straight denial? It makes them look like a six year old caught with their hand in the cookie jar - every answer given to cast themselves in the best possible light with only a vague connection with the truth.

Comment Re:Oh shut up (Score 3, Informative) 530

This keep cropping up in this thread, and I don't know why. The policy is online, and does not contain the word "Mayor", or the phrase "designated agent", or any of the many other things that are supposedly in it. So he did not follow policy in this respect.

What is in the policy is the actual policy for system level passwords, and the enable password for network kit is definitely a system level password. It states:

"All production system-level passwords must be part of the security administered global password management database."

Simple, clear, and Childs was definitely in breach of it: only he has these enable passwords, and did not put them in the database.

For him to argue that the rules for personal passwords applied to system-level passwords and take it to ridiculous extremes - well, this was always bound to end in tears.

Comment Re:The difference is quality (Score 1) 134

This is straight up bullshit, I don't know if you live in Klan Country but I have lived within the US in California and Arizona and I'm not sure if a more diverse set of people live anywhere else in the world.

I would say England is more diverse - in London there are more than 300 different languages spoken in schools (and an estimated 700 spoken in all). For comparison in Los Angeles there are 92 spoken in schools (and 224 in all).

I agree though - anyone who thinks the US is not open to other cultures has strange opinions.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 349

I love it. Gullibility by design (TM), the new prescription. The disturbing part of the equation is that price is part of the effect, so I'd expect that a 50$ pill could have a bigger placebo effect than a 5$ pill of identical composition, provided that the patients know it.

This is in fact true - more expensive placebos are more effective than cheaper ones (well, ones that the patient believe are more expensive).

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20080309/ai_n24918110/

Comment Re:Before we act too hastily.. (Score 1) 342

If you find our tactics heavy handed or obtrusive then I think you might have a skewed and excessively open expectation of what should be allowed on a network.

Not really - I just think you have a unwarranted faith in the effectiveness of antivirus products to prevent abberent behaviour. The best AV does not detect all malware, and no AV will do well against zeroday attacks. A better policy (for the clueless user who got themselves into the situation in the first place) would be to ensure that the machine is patched automatically, it has automatically updating antivirus software, and probably something against spyware installed too. Basically if you are going to take it upon youself to insist that the user installs security software (to the point of bringing in a receipt from a "professional") do it properly.

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