When the government comes knocking, who has your back? We rated the biggest Internet companies on their practices when it comes to government requests for sensitive user data. How do the services you use stack up? https://www.eff.org/pages/who-has-your-back
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45 comments
 
[goes to look up what 'sonic.net' is]
 
Great information guys! Thank you!
 
Yeah sonic.net rocks. When I got DSL installed here their tech support spent a lit of time optimizing against line noise which netted me an extra 2 megabit speed. Doubt you'd get that level of service with comcast or at&t.
 
Nice to see some of the big companies like Google and Twitter doing their bit for their customers.
Shame on some of the others that have one or less stars.
 
love it.

Wonder where reddit is on the spectrum?
 
Re: Google...  They actually spend many millions of dollars to defend our privacy; when the gov't subpoenaed all the search engines for dumps of user-identifiable search records, G was the only one who refused and bargained them down to anonymized records.  The AOL records, which included many users' data were actually leaked to public.

I also like how G open sources tonnes of code, and handles all legal issues around intellectual property defensively.  I think the last entity they tried to launch an offensive lawsuit was against the US gov't, because their contracts specifically stated they had to use Microsoft products.  The trial never went anywhere, but google apps is at least getting used by many governmental departments...
 
I still remember the triangulation interview I saw with +Dane Jasper, it was probably the best out of all the triangulations I've seen to date. +Sonic.net is the best DSL provider there is. If I were in a service area I would probably go with them out of principal alone. Too bad I'm in Georgia and they only serve California.
Viet La
 
Learn something new ;)
 
It's great. I hope to become a new portable in my box? A ironical way understood the possibilities and positive categorically about these utilities to work on the WEB. Thanks a lot and remember me.
 
dammit, this makes me want to switch from facebook to twitter.
 
I wonder how much we can really know if a company is required to keep quiet about a request, and if thus if the true picture is much different to that shown by the EFF.
 
back pack back pack
back pack back pack yeaaa !
 
+Bartosz Zawadzki Yes and no. The deal was kept super secret in a bid to have the new ownership come in as quietly as possible. Microsoft have made it clear that Skype is to continue on its own path unencumbered by its parent. I believe there was the concern that there might be a mass exodus of Skype customers.
 
None really has your back. You'll be fucked someway.. 
 
Just think of all the data people get by looking at you!  Good thing people don't have memories as enduring as hard drives and hard copy.
 
IMO if microsoft is owner of skype, then skype is just another "good brand" in giant's portfolio. msoffice has own team, msresearch got own team, bing has own team[etc -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Microsoft#Acquisitions ]. Now there is (almost MS)Skype with own team. 
i know, that i can say that youtube EQ google, and this is correct -> it's (almost) independent brand, but it's still google product at the end.
+Zomboy Playah from the other side: it's bat bad that hard drives....
nobody need to give private data to those companies in any way. but we - users - do that enyway, that's for sure.
 
While MySpace and Foursquare are shocking, their user base is dwarfed in comparison to some of the others, so no biggie there (Does anyone even use MySpace anymore?).

The ones I'd be worried about is guys like Skype, Yahoo, Apple and Facebook (no surprise there).

Based on active user numbers and such, you have to take your hat off Twitter, Linkedin and yes... even Google.
 
+Alyxandor James - That bid that Google complained about bc Microsoft was given preferential treatment? Ya, in the end Google won that. That government sector is now instituting Google Apps into their system.
 
Well, Google are part of the New World Order -- what did ya expect?! :)
 
Since when does Facebook fight for user privacy? They still support cispa, or am I wrong?
Dan C
 
A useful chart, very useful and one I'll save, but shame about the 28 Days Later typeface.
 
Sad thing is I used to have +Sonic.net  until they sold their wireless to another company. They were just getting awesome with it too :(
 
+Mark Lastiwka, they didn't actually win that suit.  It never went to trial, but the gov't did reformat their contracts to remove the specification that the products be from Microsoft, as they had anti-trust written all over it.   Really, google provides the same or better product at lower cost, and when you start to dig up evidence against them and Micro$oft, one company will manipulate anything they can for the sake of money, and the other gives away almost all their products for free.  It's funny; M$ makes ~$5 licensing per android sold, and google takes in $0 per unit.  
 
+Ian Atkin  and anyone who thinks Google is the New World Order has been reading so many conspiracy theories, they automatically assume anyone in a position to be Big Brother IS Big Brother, despite any and all evidence to the contrary.  

Go look at the facts for yourself, without prejudice.  While most companies are doing anything they can to turn humans into profit centers, Google does what's right, rather than profitable.  They give away code, spend billions to protect consumers rights {that's you and me}, publicly oppose censorship, give away services, support open source in all it's forms, offer up transparent, honest reports of its actions, and best of all, they provide free, open and effective access to the whole Internet.

How effective do you think the information revolution would have been / still be without G there, giving all of us whatever we ask for when we run a search?  While everyone else censors and submits data to the government that links personally identifiable information, G will anonymize the records, report on who wants to censor the Internet, and generally give the real Big Brother a hard time keeping information suppressed.

The only thing Google asks for from it's {non-corporate} customers is information; they need your information so they can figure out how to better give you the information you want.  How can we expect them to give us what we want when we search for it if we don't tell them what we want?

They are the opposite of Big Brother, because they are sharing all their information with us. Sure, the real Big Brother can probably take any data it wants from any service used anywhere in the world...  ...but how is that the services' fault?

Hell, Apple won't let any of their employees speak in social networks if they say they work for Apple...  And G creates a social network where I see many of G employees publicly decrying injustice the same way I see it done by hacktivists on facebook and twitter.

So, maybe I'm biased too; but I am biased because of the information I read, rather than opinionated fearmongering.
 
+Alyxandor James Actually, I do read conspiracy theories... but only to obtain a giggle or two. The comment was intended as mirth. Actually, the New World Order is headquartered out of a tiny ad agency in Boise, Idaho...
 
ind of tough to read, but looks like Google and Twitter are looking out for users. Surprising that MySpace, Skype, FourSquare, and Verizon could give a rat's ass about users? Thanks, Apple, Microsoft, AT&T for really showing you care about your customers - without whom you wouldn't be able to throw your Friday afternoon beer bashes.
 
I loves me my Sonic.net!  Thank you Dane!

And Augie for the tech support!
 
tnx, good work you're doing..i read all your articles about Surveillance Self-Defense. Very good reading. And thanks for sharing this. Oh and any good alternative to skype? Using Pidgin now with OTR.
Cheers!!
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