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Todd Volkert
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Todd Volkert

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The U.S. Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which sets the ground rules for government access to electronic communications and data, wasn't a bad law when it was written... in 1986

The world has changed quite a bit in 27 years. But ECPA hasn't. 

That’s why I want you to take a look at this petition. Google and other companies are calling for a fix to one of the most harmful consequences of an outdated ECPA: warrant-less government access to various sorts of private user content that’s stored in the cloud.

It just doesn't make sense that the law requires a warrant to access a suspect's file cabinet (or hard drive) but not to access private information in the cloud.  In fact, the rules set out by ECPA in 1986 make all sorts of arbitrary distinctions about when a warrant is or isn't needed — like, for example, whether an email is older than six months — that simply shouldn't matter in 2013.

Congress has drafted legislation that would fix this problem, and we need to build the political will to enact it into law — that’s where this petition comes in. 

If we get 100,000 signatures by December 12, the White House will have to review the issue and release an official response under its own petition rules.

Please take a moment to sign the petition (you’ll need to create an account on whitehouse.govwww.whitehouse.gov/privacy is clear about what data it collects and doesn't collect).

http://wh.gov/lBibY
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Todd Volkert

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One of the reasons why I love this company: we fight for our users' privacy, and we fight hard.

People sometimes say to me something along the lines of "why should I trust Google with my data?"  To them, I usually say something like "well, you don't need conjecture; there's a lot of evidence one way or the other.  Look at the track record of any company and decide for yourself whether they're good shepherds of user privacy".

Here's another data point.

http://www.valuewalk.com/2013/05/google-inc-goog-lawsuit-from-justice-dept/
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Best frickin' article ever!

+The New York Times, you should be ashamed of yourselves.
 
Wow! Don't screw with a technology company if you know nothing about technology. This review rebuttal is amazing.
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I worry not only about the contents of this article and its implications for our future.  I worry that the national trend is heading in the wrong direction; that we're introducing new entitlements, and people are feeling more... well, entitled.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-16-trillion-only-hints-040600503.html
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Wow.
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Todd Volkert

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This is seven minutes of Alan Rickman making tea in slow motion, scored with the inception music. It is worth that time.
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Anyone who wants the government more involved in health care: come spend some time here.
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+Todd Volkert  Yar. UPS vs USPO is definitely a better example. Though honestly, I rarely have problems with the USPO and anecdotally they tend to deliver faster than UPS. Having seen my packages wait for days in a warehouse minutes from my house,  UPS appears motivated to delay shipment to justify the price point for faster delivery tiers. The DMV is solving an easier problem than the ER, but it has scads more volume to handle and far less latitude to triage than an ER.

Even considering that, I’ve sat in a nearly empty ER at St. Mary’s for four hours before my son could get stitches because nurses aren’t allowed to perform stitches in CA – which is a bureaucratic problem, but it’s caused by the doctor lobby more than private vs public health care.

I’ve had horribly bureaucratic problems dealing with all sorts of private services (DirecTV being at the the top of my sh_t list). It seems that you recently had similar problems with Comcast.

Mileage varies even within services that have good reputations, and I don’t want to use data from an unrelated service to evaluate the potential for success or failure of another.

BTW, welcome back!
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Todd Volkert

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Proud that I'm finally able to discuss this project that I've been working so hard on for the past year!

Introducing Google Nose
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Who nose what Google will come up with, next!!
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In 1973, when Vint Cerf and his colleagues proposed the technology behind the Internet, they advocated for an open standard to connect computer networks together.  This wasn’t merely philosophical; it was also practical.  They wanted to make sure the Internet was not owned or controlled by one group, but rather was open and allowed for contributions from many sources.

This openness is why the Internet creates so much value today.  Because it is borderless and belongs to everyone, it has allowed billions of people to access information they wouldn’t have otherwise had, and to speak up and be heard in new, powerful ways.

Yet the recent Internet blockage in Syria is an important reminder that the threat to the free and open web is still very real.

And starting this week, the International Telecommunication Union is meeting in Dubai, with potentially huge implications for the future of the web.  Only governments have a vote at the ITU, and some proposals being discussed could allow governments to exert more control over the web, justifying censorship and blockages and stifling innovation.

Google recently launched a campaign at google.com/takeaction, rallying people around the world to stand up for the free, open web as it’s governed today.  If you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to visit the site, learn more, tell your friends to support the #freeandopen web, and sign our petition.
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Dunno if you are aware, but the US, as meddling as ever, for good or for bad, and a yet another government through its foreign reaching arms, is working hard on providing blocked citizens of the world free access under any conditions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_in_a_Suitcase

Of course, at the same time they also control the plugs to those provided systems ...
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Hooray for Hostess!  Way to go all John Galt on their asses!

I just don't get striking.  If you think you're worth more than your employer is willing to pay you, go get another job that pays more!  And if you can't... well, maybe you're not worth as much as you think you are.
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The Industrial Revolution and Progressive Era are over.  It's time for labor unions to evolve and compete in a global economy.
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