Rupert Murdoch: Google's respect for privacy is worse than the NSA

Rupert Murdoch has never been a great fan of Google over the years. Back in 2009, he hinted that he might block his media companies from being listed on Google, calling the company a "parasite" for excluding article excerpts in news search results, and accusing them of kleptomania by profiting off the products and content of others. 

In 2012, he attacked the company again, calling it a "piracy leader... who streams movies free, sells adverts around them". He took to Twitter once more this week for a spot of Google-bashing, this time comparing the tech giant to America's favorite spy agency, the NSA. 

Over the last year or so, the NSA has been accused of monitoring traffic and user activity on smartphonesgeneral web connections, offline computers and even Tor; and of using mobile appshardware bugging and good ol' fashioned phone-tapping to spy on end users. But that's nothing compared to Google - at least according to Murdoch

That's quite a statement - and it's especially remarkable when you put it into some context. Murdoch's 'News of the World' tabloid newspaper spent years invading the privacy of individuals, including not just celebrities and politicians - who had chosen a life in the public eye - but also of 'ordinary' people, including family of British soldiers, survivors of the terrorist attack in London in July 2005, the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, and the mother of 7-year-old Sara Payne, who was murdered by a paedophile in 2000. 

Rupert Murdoch's News International finally closed the newspaper in 2011, after massive backlash from the public to the 'phone-hacking' scandal. A UK parliamentary select committee determined in 2012 that Murdoch had "exhibited willful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications", claiming that he was "not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company." 

Given the appalling privacy breaches for which Murdoch's company was responsible over many years, perhaps he's not the best person to be criticizing Google over its alleged attitudes to privacy. That said, the NSA probably isn't Google's biggest fan either - a former head of the agency declared that Gmail is "the preferred [service] of terrorists worldwide".

Google doesn't seem to have much love for the NSA either though - in June, the company mocked the agency with an Easter egg buried in an email encryption plugin, which directly referenced one of the NSA's slides. Google employees reportedly "exploded in profanity" when they had seen the original NSA slide, which included a sketched diagram of the infrastructure that connects users to their content stored on Google, and a label stating "SSL added and removed here :)". 

Source: @rupertmurdoch via Re/code | image via Politico

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It's Google that helps to create transparency. It's Google that allows people to actually research and make up their own minds regarding a news story. Heck only 10% of that $52.6 billion NSA budget is for what people do online/on the phone; the other 90% is ramped into SIGINT or Signals Intelligence.. There is overwhelming evidence that the NSA can directly monitor people's current thoughts and even past memory's remotely from space and radar, possibly even cellular; more shocking is the apparent capability to do things in reverse and interfere with people's brain activity, causing depression, anxiety, visual and auditory manipulation (solitary voices and/or deviceless communication between certain individuals); And if there truly is a quantum device at the core of their infrastructure then it's also possible that the NSA and affiliated groups can foresee the outcome of future events to a certain degree. I've had first hand experience of some of their techniques.. It is unpleasant to say the least and of course it's quickly categorized into the 'mental health' segment of society. Here are some patents mostly owned by the USAF:

6,011,991
3,951,134
7,629,918
6,470,214
6,587,729
4,877,027
3,393,279

Put it this way.... They knew where Osama bin Laden was, The Whole time!

This page I found quite useful, after these things that started happening to me 'overnight' and has been persistent ever since:
http://www.oregonstatehospital.../russelltice-nsarnmebl.html

Google? Rupert? Accusations about ethics?

There is no honor amongst thieves. (Information thieves or otherwise)

Trust no one online.

The difference is we have a choice to not use Google. The NSA will invade our privacy without our consent. BIG BIG difference.

It'd be interesting if Murdoch elaborated his argument, but astoundingly enough we have an article based on a one liner tweet.

These days you don't need to elaborate. You just need to say what people want to hear and they'll believe you without any single proof.

How can a company, who publicly states what they do, be evil for what they do. Just sounds like paranoid anti whatever people complaining to complain. If Google didnt publicly state what they were doing, and if the users didnt have to agree to it, then I would understand peoples gripes about Google.

People just need to get over it and use what you want. Not like anyone is forced to use Google.

The nature of a monopoly is that, despite the fact that no one MAKES you use them, you don't have much choice when a company as large as Google makes the competition disappear.

Ahh, got ya. I forgot there are no other email services, no other people who make cell phones, no other search services. That everyone has to use Google docs and Chromebooks since no other company is in the same market.

I know a few people that do not use anything Google. They also do not complain about it either.

Le sigh.... Think of it this way... Everyone uses Facebook now... What if you were that one guy who still wanted to use Myspace? No one else is using it.... So what's the point? When most everyone you know is connected to one service, and you don't want to, based on privacy concerns, you're hurting yourself by switching to another service. Make sense?

And if no one ever tried anything different or tried to switch to a different service, then that new service would never take off. When Facebook came about, everyone used Myspace. Then when Facebook started taking off, people switched over and now MySpace is pretty much dead. According to all the people here who have lots of negative things to say about Google, what MS produces is much better. So people should be switched over in droves. Instead, I see a lot of people who complain about Google still use Google products. Some people just like to complain to hear themselves talk.

wow, if Google is a kleptomaniac, then Apple is really one taking 30% of all sales from almost everyone.....

but then Murdoch is exploiting everyone by running their stories on Fox News / Sky News to ta-da make a profit....

I agree with him. Both agency's use basically the same algorithms. For over a year when people make comments about the NSA I have a simple reply.

"The NSA Taps everything to keep you Alive, Google Taps everything to exploit you and make money. Who is more evil."

At that point they Concede, and ask me what I use.

Would that be the Google that's helping people move away from your products and services? I'm shocked you think this way...

/s

"calling the company a "parasite" for excluding article excerpts in news search results, and accusing them of kleptomania by profiting off the products and content of others. "

So Murdoch is still mad at Google because they are excluding excerpts of news articles from search results after Google was threatened by news papers for including excepts of news articles in search results?

Am I getting it right?

I think this is a simple case of casting stones.

Is google evil? Of course*, it's a large multinational company. Duh.

*allegedly

virtorio said,
He should know, he's an expert when it comes to disrespecting people's privacy.

He's just annoyed because Google figured out a way to get people to give them their privacy and, on the whole, be pretty much happy about doing it. Where as his company, like the NSA, has had to resort to hacking in order to get people's private details.

virtorio said,
He should know, he's an expert when it comes to disrespecting people's privacy.

Indeed, but he is right. The British government recently said that they wanted to increase their data capture capabilities because they didn't think that it made sense that Google could knew more about people than they do.

jakem1 said,

Indeed, but he is right. The British government recently said that they wanted to increase their data capture capabilities because they didn't think that it made sense that Google could knew more about people than they do.

The British govenment might want to consider then setting up their own online services.

jakem1 said,

Indeed, but he is right. The British government recently said that they wanted to increase their data capture capabilities because they didn't think that it made sense that Google could knew more about people than they do.

Right how, exactly? I'd like to know because with regards to the British Government increasing their data retention, not capture. The reason for this is to circumvent recent EU legislation that governs data should not be held for more than 12 months (compared to it's current 36 months). Besides it having absolutely nothing to do with Google, it's meta data that's already captured and has been captured, since mobiles came to be. Most people even see it, in the form of an itemised bill, every month.

At the NSA, we certainly respect your privacy. Nobody has a problem with us when you don't know you're being monitored. Complacency through ignorance was great. But that Ed Snowden guy just HAD to open his big mouth and now everyone can't stand us.

The scale at which Google can do significant harm to its users, is nothing compared to what Murdock's former company did to others. Google's reach and depth of knowledge of users, and hence its potential for abuse, is like an ocean compared to the drop in the bucket of Murdock's former company's indiscretions.

Google's knowledge of users must be curtailed! No one company or entity should be allowed to know so much about people! We would never accept this from our government, neither should we accept this from a company! Why? Because companies are run by people, just as governments are, and the same essential weakness lies within the two. This is way, way out of hand. Nothing less than the individual liberties of people are at stake!