Google challenges FISA court on government data requests, asks for ability to release more detailsGoogle and other companies have already made general calls for more transparency in the wake of the PRISM revelations, and it looks like Mountain View is now escalating those requests to a court challenge. As The Washington Postreports, Google is asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for some additional leeway with the government requests for data that it's able to disclose, and it's citing the First Amendment to make its case.
In a statement provided to us (included in full after the break), a Google spokesperson says that the company is specifically asking the court to let it "publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately," adding that "lumping national security requests together with criminal requests - as some companies have been permitted to do - would be a backward step for our users." That's in line with a statement Google made on Friday, which was echoed by Twitter, although there's no word yet on it or any other companies joining Google in the court challenge at this time.
We have long pushed for transparency so users can better understand the extent to which governments request their data--and Google was the first company to release numbers for National Security Letters. However, greater transparency is needed, so today we have petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to allow us to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately. Lumping national security requests together with criminal requests - as some companies have been permitted to do - would be a backward step for our users.
Pink Floyd's entire back catalog headed to Spotify, sooner or laterThere aren't as many big bands and artists holding out on streaming or downloaded music as there used to be, but there's unquestionably still some noticeable omissions on today's most popular services. One of those gaps now looks set to be filled, though, as a tweet from the official Pink Floyd Twitter account has all but confirmed that the band's entire back catalog will soon be available to stream on Spotify. The catch is that it'll only be available once "Wish You Were Here" is streamed a million times. Not quite as original as a flying pig as far as publicity stunts go, to be sure, but we're not ones to discourage you from listening to a little Floyd on repeat.Filed under: InternetCommentsVia: Tech DigestSource: Spotify, @pinkfloyd (Twitter)
Apple's Eddy Cue acknowledges e-book price increases at antitrust trial, reveals talk of Amazon deal that would split books/music control
Apple's Eddy Cue acknowledges e-book price increases at antitrust trial, reveals talk of Amazon deal that would split books/music controlThe issue of e-book prices, and alleged price fixing, has come up again and again in recent years, with the focus most recently shifting to a Manhattan courtroom where Apple is at the center of an antitrust trial. After revealing new details of the company's market share yesterday, Apple's Eddy Cue has today offered another piece of surprising news: that he and Steve Jobs once discussed a potential deal that would see Apple stay out of the ebook market if Amazon agreed stayed out of music. There's no indication that went beyond the early discussion phase, or actually involved any discussions with Amazon, but it would obviously raise considerable antitrust questions had it gone any further.As CNET and The Verge report, the DOJ is hoping that revelation will bolster its case that Apple engaged in antitrust practices to inflate ebook prices across the market. On that front, Cue, who the DOJ describes as the "chief ringleader of the conspiracy," reportedly acknowledged that the prices of some ebooks did go up from April of 2010 (when it opened its iBookstore) through to 2012, but he attributed that to publishers unhappy with Amazon's $9.99 pricing. Cue's facing further questioning from Apple's attorneys this afternoon, with the trial expected to wrap up by the end of next week.Filed under: AppleCommentsSource: CNET, The Verge