Finally, this episode confirms what we have long believed—there needs to be a more transparent approach.... the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.
You may be aware of press reports alleging that Internet companies have joined a secret U.S. government program called PRISM to give the National Security Agency direct access to our servers. As Google’s CEO and Chief Legal Officer, we wanted you to have the facts.
First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers. Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a “back door” to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.
Second, we provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law. Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don’t follow the correct process. Press reports that suggest that Google is providing open-ended access to our users’ data are false, period. Until this week’s reports, we had never heard of the broad type of order that Verizon received—an order that appears to have required them to hand over millions of users’ call records. We were very surprised to learn that such broad orders exist. Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.
Finally, this episode confirms what we have long believed—there needs to be a more transparent approach. Google has worked hard, within the confines of the current laws, to be open about the data requests we receive. We post this information on our Transparency Report whenever possible. We were the first company to do this. And, of course, we understand that the U.S. and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety—including sometimes by using surveillance. But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.
Posted by Larry Page, CEO and David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer
Open Access for Publications
Posted by , Vice President, Engineering
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) recently announced a new option for publication rights management, wherein researchers can choose to pay for the public to have perpetual open access to the publication (http://goo.gl/OXlYp). Google applauds this new option, and today we are announcing that we will pay the open access fees for all articles by Google researchers that are published in ACM journals. IEEE (http://goo.gl/qqeka) also has an open access option for some of its publications, and we also pay the open access fee for them and for publications in like organizations.
Google has always believed that by improving access to the world’s knowledge, we can help improve everyone’s lives. When it comes to scientific research, we have consistently said that open access to publications speeds up research, accelerates innovation, and helps grow the global economy (http://goo.gl/eDfj7).
Policies like ACM’s continue to demonstrate the sustainability of open access publishing. It will also provide better access to the papers that we write at Google. We encourage researchers everywhere to pursue open access options whenever publishing articles, and to continue to make publications available as widely as possible, within your rights.
- Google and University of Chicago2009 - present
- University of MichiganComputer Science, 2002 - 2008
- University of KansasComputer Engineering, 1995 - 1999
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