Month: September 2018


Tech icon envisions prosperous new world 'after GOOGLE'…


This is the third of a three-part, interview series with George Gilder on his new bestseller “Life After Google.” In part 1, he explains Silicon Valley’s “fundamental flaw.” In part 2, he shows why Google’s “free stuff” isn’t free. In part 3, below, Gilder describes a new internet, “after Google,” of limitless entrepreneurship and prosperity rooted in human creativity.

In “Life After Google,” George Gilder contends the age of the “Big Data” tech giants and their centralized, top-down hierarchical world is about to end, largely because their “neo-Marxist, deterministic” worldview is “fundamentally flawed.”

George Gilder

George Gilder

But what will the digital world look like “after Google”?

In an interview with WND, Gilder – whose 1981 book “Wealth and Poverty” was Ronald Reagan’s guidebook for his economic revolution and whose 1994 book “Life After Television” predicted the current digital world with astounding specificity – spoke of a frontier of free enterprise that will look more like the original internet of limitless possibilities but be bolstered by a new architecture called the “cryptocosm.”

He describes the cryptocosm, currently represented by emerging “blockchain” technologies such as bitcoin, as “a new network whose most powerful architectural imperative will be security of transactions as a property of the system rather than an afterthought.”

Blockchains are a kind of ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently, in a verifiable and permanent way.

The technology, Gilder believes, allows the unleashing of entrepreneurship on the internet.

“The Google dream is a supermind in the sky that knows everything,” Gilder told WND. “My dream is to distribute information as human minds are distributed.”

Gilder explained that the capabilities of the human mind, as “the ultimate thinking organism,” are distributed among people all over the world.

“So an economy works best if power is distributed in accord with the distribution of human minds,” said Gilder.

“It allows an efflorescence of human creativity in the image of their creator.”

That, he insisted, is “the real dream of a successful capitalist order.”

“It’s not the development of the supermind, a machine in the sky that knows everything,” said Gilder.

“I think what we’re going to have is the capability of a real global capitalism that can be conducted across networks in a distributed peer-to-peer fashion.”

His 2013 book “Knowledge and Power” argued that the knowledge of entrepreneurs, and their freedom to share and use that knowledge, are the sparks that light up the economy and set its gears in motion.


Gilder said the big issue of privacy, which dominates headlines today, will be addressed in the new digital world.

He’s not as concerned as many are, however, about privacy in terms of personal secrets, contending the belief that “there was a great halcyon period of the past where people had privacy and now technology has destroyed” is a “destructive myth” that enables governments to intervene.

life-after-google“But privacy in terms of ownership of your own data and ownership of your identity and the ability to conduct transactions without exposing all your personal information to be used and abused – that’s another issue,” he said.

“That’s what the new cryptocosm affords.”

The technology is not easy to explain without using unfamiliar terms.

Gilder describes it as essentially “a new security architecture that allows you to keep your own personal details to yourself and transact anonymously across the network.”

“You know who you are, and you shouldn’t be dependent on some database at Google to conduct transactions,” he said.

Through complex mathematical formulas, behavior, including transactions, can be documented while personal details are concealed.

“What makes my book different,” he told WND, “is I put the rise of the cryptocosm, with bitcoin and ethereum and the blockchain, in the context of the breakdown in the existing security model in the internet and the breakup of the internet into a series of walled gardens dominated by particular internet companies, Google, Facebook, et al.”

The “walled gardens” have prompted nations such as communist China and the Iranian mullahs to create their own internets, Gilder noted.

“So you have a kind of segmentation of the internet and a breakdown in the ideal of a global communication system,” he said.

“This happened because the internet was designed by communication through copying. That’s how it works. It copies things at a tremendous pace all across the world in creating a global communicator,” Gilder explained.

“It’s succeeded tremendously as a communicator, but as soon as transactions and business began to move onto the internet … security became absolutely indispensable.”

He explained that a “porous internet with a porous perforated internet stack allows all the money and power to be sucked up to the top, to Apple, Google, Facebook and these other companies.”

“To prevent that, you need to allow people to control their own identities and control their own security, to not depend on Google dispatching a SWAT team of superhackers to remedy any breakdown,” he said.

“Rather you need to have a blockchain security style of architecture in which security is achieved through distributing information rather than by centralizing,” he said.

“As a result of the amazing feat of microchips, once again, a new global architecture is made possible.”

Prospering after Google

Gilder said the new system would allow news outlets, for example, to control their own content, selling it directly to customers through arrangements such as “micropayments,” which he described as a “hassle-free way of collecting tiny amounts of money for tiny goods and services.”

“That makes it possible for you to escape the centralization of a walled garden that collects all the money,” he said.

Gilder said it would “bring pricing to bear on many transactions that currently are avoided” while providing security.

It might look like a small, automatic payment every time someone clicks on an article.

“The blockchain allows you to assign property rights to various facets of any content, including works of art,” he explained.

To those who might be inclined to object to such an arrangement, Gilder offers perspective.

“The existing internet where everything is free or subscription-based is costly beyond expectation,” he argued, “and that polarization of payments is quite stultifying and allows all the money to be sucked up into advertising.”

Gilder, who explains why Google’s “free stuff” isn’t really free, calls ads “minuses, or even mines, across the internet,” emphasizing their obvious unpopularity.

“But micropayments allow payments that people actually consider right and appropriate for each consumption of content,” he said.

Gilder noted that even now, many proposed formulas for such payments are being “pursued by the capitalist genius of experimental creativity.”


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Facial recognition technology used at airports had 85% match rate during tests…

When photos were taken of travelers whose images were already in the government system, the system matched the images 98% of the time, according to the audit. But airport screeners couldn’t always take photos of the passengers because of “poor network availability, a lack of dedicated staff and compressed boarding times due to flight delays,” according to the audit. As a result the overall “biometric confirmation” rate was 85%, the audit said.

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Inside world's weirdest tattoo fest…

One of the world’s biggest tattoo festivals kicked off today and some of its weird and wonderful attendees revealed the meaning behind their modifications.

Thousands of body art fans are descending on London this weekend for The International London Tattoo Convention.

Among the crowd are some of the most tattooed and modified people in the world.

Melanie Ezechiele travelled from Italy to the UK for the festival and sports some chilling body mods.

Head-to-toe in tattoos, Melanie explained how she began inking her body in her teens and has been slowly covering herself

“I started getting tattooed when I was 16 and more heavily when I was 18.

“I work in a tattoo studio doing piercings for a living.

“Body modifications have tattoos have been a passion of mine since I was 18.

tattoo body mod modification implant tongue split london tattoo convention PA

EXTREME: Melanie Ezechiele is covered in tattoos and body modifications
(Pic: PA )

tattoo body mod modification implant tongue split london tattoo convention DS

BODY MOD: Melanie has silicone implants in her hand, arranged in a shell design
(Pic: DS )

“I have an implant on my hand”

Melanie Ezechiele

“I’m now 26 so I got all these tattoos in a short amount of time.”

Melanie revealed she has a stomach-churning addition to her inked right hand.

“I have an implant on my hand.”

The shell design involved having bits of silicone implanted under her skin.

tattoo body mod modification implant tongue split london tattoo convention DS

BIZARRE: Melanie’s terrifying modifications extend to her tongue – which she’s had cut in half
(Pic: DS )

tattoo body mod modification implant tongue split london tattoo convention PA

MODIFIED: Melanie is covered in piercings and has stretched her earlobes
(Pic: PA )

But the Italian’s terrifying modifications don’t stop there.

“I also have my tongue split – I got that when I was 19.”

Tongue splitting involves cutting the tongue centrally from its tip to as far back as the underside base, forking the end.

Earlier this year, tongue splitting was found illegal by the Court of Appeal in March this year when the cosmetic procedure is performed by a body modification practitioner.

According to Royal College of Surgeons of England, doctors have “seen some horrific consequences of these procedures” which can result in severe loss of blood, nerve damage and difficulty breathing.

tattoo body mod modification implant tongue split london tattoo convention PA

INKED: The convention is attended by some of the most heavily tattooed people in the world
(Pic: PA )

tattoo body mod modification implant tongue split london tattoo convention PA

CONVENTION: Thousands will descend on the festival this weekend
(Pic: PA )

The convention allows tattoo fanatics the opportunity to get inked by artists from all over the world.

Dawn is getting a design tattooed on her back today.

The 59-year-old already has one tattoo on her finger and another “in a private area”.

She said: “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years and I’m being a bit rebellious at the moment.”

tattoo body mod modification implant tongue split london tattoo convention PA

(Pic: PA )

tattoo body mod modification implant tongue split london tattoo convention PA

(Pic: PA )

The convention welcomes 400 handpicked, pioneering tattoo artists from studios around the world to show off their work and compete in inking competitions.

Patrick had travelled from Minnesota, US to get a full body tattoo finished this weekend.

His “masterpiece” took a pain-staking 280 hours to finish.

“I got this tattoo in Paris. It took 14 months and 280 hours to complete,” he said.

tattoo body mod modification implant tongue split london tattoo convention PA

‘MASTERPIECE’: Patrick is having his full body ‘suit’ completed this weekend
(Pic: PA )

tattoo body mod modification implant tongue split london tattoo convention PA

ARTISTS: 400 handpicked tattoo artists are attending the festival
(Pic: PA )

“It’ll be finished tomorrow with blacking out the rest of my arm, then I’ll be complete.

“I’ll be competing in the competition for bodysuits.

“I found an artist that I respected and loved his work and he told me he could make me a masterpiece if I gave him my trust so that’s what I did.”

Legendary artist, Mark Mahoney who has inked high-profile clients from David Beckham to Johnny Depp at this LA studio, will be joining the distinguished judging panel at the weekend’s tattoo competitions.

The International London Tattoo Convention is on from September 28 to 30 at Tobacco Dock, London.

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Most Expensive Hotel Room in America: $75,000 a Night!

Built in 1927, this iconic Upper East Side hotel underwent a major renovation from 2006 to 2009. While the historic exterior was untouched, the entire inner workings of the building were replaced, with interiors rethought by famed designer Jacques Grange. Popular with locals because of its Jean-Georges restaurant and Frédéric Fekkai salon, and with celebrities as the go-to gathering spot before the Met Ball, the penthouse brings a new allure to the building.

Located on the 16th and 17th floors, the 10,000-square-foot interior space, also designed by Grange, offers five bedrooms, four fireplaces, six bathrooms, and two wet bars. The living room, with 26-foot ceilings, is located in the corner tower of the building and is large enough to be converted into a full-sized grand ballroom. Outside, there’s a 2,500-square-foot rooftop terrace that overlooks Central Park.

While the penthouse is not new, this is the first time it is available to rent. “Before the paint was dry on the renovation, we had someone interested in renting it as an apartment, so it has never been publicized or even on the website,” Olivier Lordonnois, general manager for the Mark Hotel, tells Bloomberg. “We then had a family rent it for 16 months, and now it is finally ready for guests.” Lordonnis says the family got a reduced rate, due to the desired length of stay. 

When asked about the price, Lordonnois let us know that he was the one to come up with that figure. “If you look at our competitor, the Ty Warner penthouse at the Four Seasons is only 4,500 square feet, with just one bedroom and no balconies, and goes for around $64,000 a night. There is no way we would price our penthouse at the same level, as it is so much bigger. Plus, guests are getting all the amazing services of the Mark.”

In the same luxury stratosphere, the Plaza offers the 4,500-square-foot, three-bedroom Royal Suite for approximately $40,000 a night. It has 24-carat gold fixtures in the bathroom and offers a fully equipped fitness room and chef’s kitchen. The Mandarin Oriental books its two-bedroom, 3,300-square-foot Suite 5000, with a contemporary art collection curated by Whitewall magazine, for $36,000 a night. Interested guests must call to book, as it doesn’t appear on the website. 

While general hotel amenities at the Mark include round-the-clock room service by Jean-Georges, John Lobb shoeshines, a 70-foot sailboat available to charter, complimentary bicycles, and pedicabs for hire, Olivier offers something a little more personal for penthouse guests. “We have heads of state, very wealthy business people, and celebrities renting this space, and they could care less about a Bentley at their disposal 24/7, as they often have their security in tow, or their own motorcade,” he explains.

Instead, Lordonnois and his team work with the guest (or assistants) to understand what might really wow them. It could be a rare bottle of wine or sake that would impress the guest. If one happens to be interested in astronomy, a telescope will be erected on the terrace. “It is a lot more work on our side to find these special amenities, but they are certainly a little more genuine,” he says of the suite-specific wow factor. “Obviously, the accommodation is unbelievable, but after that, the little details have to be in line with the rest. That is our job: to find those little things.” 

Why build a suite this size in the first place? Buzz and bragging rights, of course, says Lordonnois, “but also, from a sales perspective, it decreases our inventory and improves overall occupancy rates,” which chopping it into separate rooms would not. Occupancy rates for the penthouse currently hover around 50 percent, he says.

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US Flexes: Military Live Fire Drills in S China Sea…

US Flexes: Military Live Fire Drills in S China Sea...

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Danger ahead of midterms…

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. gasoline prices are sitting at four-year seasonal highs headed into the November midterm elections, even as President Donald Trump has called repeatedly for OPEC to push prices lower.

FILE PHOTO: The identification sign on a large gasoline tank is shown at a gasoline distribution terminal in San Diego, California January 7, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

While gasoline prices typically drop following peak summer demand season, they have not fallen as fast as expected, said Jeanette Casselano, spokeswoman for the American Automobile Association.

The national price average was at $2.867 a gallon as of Wednesday, its highest seasonally since 2014, according to AAA.

(For monthly U.S. retail gasoline prices, see:

Fuel prices have risen due to a surge in crude oil prices. U.S. crude futures have gained in part because of U.S. sanctions affecting Iran’s petroleum sector, which have already cut into that nation’s exports, according to market participants. That has forced others, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, to make up the difference. The price of global benchmark Brent hit a four-year high of $82.55 a barrel this week, while U.S. crude hit $72.78, the highest since July 11.

The sanctions are expected to take supply off the market when they go into effect in November. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries ended a meeting on Sunday with no formal recommendation to boost output.

Increased pressure on global supply could cause gasoline prices to remain at current levels or even rise this fall, which would be unusual, said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at tracking firm GasBuddy. That could have an effect on voter psyche with the midterm congressional elections approaching.

“The absence of a decline at the pump in the fall could be notable as voters head to the polls,” DeHaan said.

Yet, prices might not be high enough to sway voter sentiment. Consumers do not usually make “lifestyle changes” until prices rise to $3.25 a gallon or more, Casselano said.

Wholesale prices have risen in the Midwest as the region’s refineries undergo maintenance, DeHaan said.

In the physical market, gasoline cash differentials in Group Three RUV-DIFF-G3, a region that encompasses several Midwestern states, rose to a near three-year high last week, traders said.

(For Group Three cash differentials, see:

U.S. gasoline inventories are at seasonal record highs, which could help temper price increases, said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.

(For U.S. gasoline inventories, see:

The wide discount of U.S. crude to Brent WTCLc1-LCOc1 has incentivized refiners to make gasoline with cheaper U.S. crude and put it into storage for later sale, Yawger said.

(For the Brent-WTI spread, see:

Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Tom Brown

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Jerry Brown Vetoes 'Fake News Advisory Group'…

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California will not create a “fake news” advisory group in order to monitor information posted and spread on social media.

Senate Bill 1424 was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown. He wrote:

“This bill directs the Attorney General to establish an advisory group to study the problem of the spread of false information through Internet-based social media platforms. As evidenced by the numerous studies by academic and policy groups on the spread of false information, the creation of a statutory advisory group to examine this issue is not necessary.”

The bill would have required the California Attorney General to create the advisory committee by April 1, 2019. It would have had to consist of at least one person from the Department of Justice, representatives from social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars.

The Assembly and Senate-passed bill required the advisory group to study how false information is spread online, come up with a plan for social media platforms to fix the problem, and develop criteria establishing what is “fake news” versus what is inflammatory or one-sided.

READ ALSO: Young Adults Still Can’t Identify Fake News

The Electronic Frontier Foundation opposed the bill, calling it “flawed” and “misguided.” The group argued the measure would make the government and advisory group responsible for deciding what is true or false. It also pointed out the First Amendment prevents content-based restrictions, even if the statements of “admittedly false.”

A recent study by Massachusetts-based MindEdge Learning was conducted with 1,000 young adults, ages 18 to 31-years-old. According to MindEdge’s nine-question survey, 52 percent of the respondents incorrectly answered at least four questions and received a failing grade. The number of young adults who could detect false information on the internet went down by all of the group’s measures. Only 19 percent of the college students and grads scored an “A” by getting eight or nine questions correct. That number is down from 24 percent in last year’s survey.

SEE: 150 Immigrants Arrested In Southern California ICE Raids

Facebook recently did away with its “Trending News” section – calling it outdated and unpopular. That section was criticized in the past after reports came out claiming the human editors were biased against conservatives. After Facebook fired those editors, the algorithms it replaced them with couldn’t always distinguish real news from fake.

After the 2016 election, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg denied that fake news spread on the social site he oversees influenced the outcome- calling the idea “crazy.”

A previous bill, AB 155, would have required schools to teach students the difference between “fake news” and “real news.” It died in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

Senate Bill 1424 was authored by Senator Dr. Richard Pan. It passed the Assembly and Senate in late August.

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Dangers of Social Media Disclosures…

A Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit filed Thursday against Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk highlights the compliance challenges companies face in an era of informal, immediate social media discourse. It also spotlights the risks associated with having a CEO who serves as the face and primary spokesman of a company.

The SEC’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, was sparked by Mr. Musk’s social media posts last month that floated the possibility of taking the electric-car maker private.

Mr. Musk on Aug. 7 said in a tweet that he was considering taking Tesla private and had secured funding. After the tweet, Tesla shares jumped 6.4% to $379.57. The share price plummeted nearly 16% from that price on Aug. 27, the first trading day after he backed away from the plan in a company blog post. The swing caused material harm to investors, the SEC alleged in its complaint.

The SEC is seeking civil penalties and asked the court to bar Mr. Musk from being an officer or director of a public company. Mr. Musk called the suit unjustified and said he has always taken action “in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors.” Tesla and its board said Thursday in a joint statement they are fully confident in Mr. Musk.

The SEC announced the suit after the market closed on Thursday. Tesla’s stock price dropped 9.9% in after-hours trading.

The SEC’s position on the use of social media to make corporate disclosures has evolved as those technologies have become more mainstream. The regulator in April 2013 approved using social media to announce key information, so long as companies tell investors which channels will be used.

Tesla told investors in a November 2013 filing to follow Mr. Musk’s personal Twitter feed for “additional information” about the company. According to the complaint, Tesla’s chief financial officer described Mr. Musk’s Twitter statements as a “strong channel of marketing,” with Mr. Musk acting as a “spokesman” for Tesla.

Mr. Musk has also become known for provocative tweets that have nothing to do with the company. A British cave explorer involved in efforts to rescue a Thai youth-soccer team trapped in a cave is suing Mr. Musk over tweets suggesting the diver was a pedophile.

The tweet at the center of the SEC complaint quoted a potential share price of $420, which Mr. Musk rounded up from a calculation of $419. Mr. Musk said, according to the complaint, that he recently learned about that number’s significance in marijuana culture and thought his then-girlfriend, the musician Grimes, “would find it funny.”

“The fact that you are the CEO and the chairman of a public company does not mean that it’s your right to say whatever you want without vetting with people who can provide a measure of leavening,” said Harvey Pitt, a former SEC chairman. “That’s why most companies have general counsels.”

The SEC had crafted a settlement with Mr. Musk that it was preparing to file Thursday morning, when Mr. Musk’s lawyers called to tell the SEC’s attorneys in San Francisco that they were no longer willing to proceed with the agreement, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. After the call, the people said, the SEC pulled together the complaint. Tesla isn’t named as a defendant in the SEC’s suit.

The SEC’s complaint identified four critical statements that the regulator says are false. Of those, said Mr. Pitt, the most significant is the two-word sentence fragment “funding secured,” because that means the firm has the right to call upon the arranged financing.

The complaint also alleges that Mr. Musk didn’t follow due diligence procedures that are expected of companies before making big announcements. Mr. Musk tweeted that investors supported the potential go-private deal, but it is unclear that Mr. Musk canvassed them for their support or sought the approval of Tesla’s independent directors, Mr. Pitt said.

“You can’t just say ‘We’re going to offer everybody $420 a share and it’s all done except for the shareholder vote,’” said Mr. Pitt, who is now chief executive and managing director of business consultancy Kalorama Partners LLC. “That is not the way the real world works.”

The Justice Department also is investigating the tweets, although it didn’t bring a parallel criminal case Thursday in conjunction with the SEC.

Because the SEC’s case hinges on Mr. Musk’s belief that he had the funding in hand when posting the tweet, the lawsuit was a draconian step too far, said Thomas Gorman, a partner at law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP, who previously served as senior counsel in the SEC’s enforcement division.

“It’s an extreme remedy,” he said. “It’s harsh.”

If he were still at the SEC, Mr. Gorman said, he wouldn’t have brought the lawsuit. Instead, the SEC should have issued a report of its investigation, providing guidance on what it believes is the proper way to announce secured funding, he said.

“Everyone can hope a lot of things; it’s not a fraud complaint,” Mr. Gorman said.

Threatening to remove Mr. Musk from his position at Tesla is one of the most high-profile actions against a corporate executive in recent years, let alone one with Mr. Musk’s public stature.

The lawsuit, regardless of result, will resonate with the general investing public, said Alma Angotti, a former SEC enforcement attorney who now is a managing director at Navigant, a consulting firm.

“There will be a lot of general deterrence generated from this action because everyone will hear about it,” she said.

Write to Tatyana Shumsky at and Samuel Rubenfeld at

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Tax Cut 2.0 Push Seen Ending in Whimper…

Tax Cut 2.0 Push Seen Ending in Whimper...

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Gas prices at 4-year high ahead of midterms…

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Ex-employee warns of 'disturbing' plans…

Google event in ShanghaiImage copyright

Image caption

Google’s own workers have raised concerns after reports it is developing a censored search engine for China

A former Google employee has warned of the firm’s “disturbing” plans in China, in a letter to US lawmakers.

Jack Poulson, who had been a senior researcher at the company until resigning in August, wrote that he was fearful of Google’s ambitions.

His letter alleges Google’s work on a Chinese product – codenamed Dragonfly – would aid Beijing’s efforts to censor and monitor its citizens online.

Google has said its work in China to date has been “exploratory”.

Ben Gomes, Google’s head of search, told the BBC earlier this week: “Right now all we’ve done is some exploration, but since we don’t have any plans to launch something there’s nothing much I can say about it.”

A report by news site The Intercept last week alleged Google had demanded employees delete an internal memo that discussed the plans.

Google has not commented on the staff row, but said: “We’ve been investing for many years to help Chinese users, from developing Android, through mobile apps such as Google Translate and Files Go, and our developer tools.”

It added: “We are not close to launching a search product in China.”

‘Censorship blacklist’

Mr Poulson’s letter details several aspects of Google’s work that had been reported in the press but never officially confirmed by the company. It was submitted to the Senate Commerce Committee, which held a hearing on Wednesday in Washington DC.

The topic of the hearing was “examining safeguards for consumer data privacy”.

Google’s chief privacy officer, Keith Enright, faced questions from Senator Ted Cruz about the company’s intentions to launch a new search engine in China.

Mr Enright confirmed to the Republican lawmaker that Project Dragonfly existed but added that a product was not close to launch.

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Media captionWATCH: Google’s privacy chief is quizzed by Senator Ted Cruz about its Chinese search engine project

Representatives from AT&T, Apple, Twitter and Amazon also took part in the hearing, most of which centred on whether there was a need for a new federal data privacy law.

‘Catastrophic failure’

The letter alleges Google is working on:

  • A prototype interface designed to allow a Chinese joint venture company to search for a given user’s search queries based on their phone number
  • An extensive censorship blacklist developed in accordance with Chinese government demands. Among others, it contained the English term “human rights”, the Mandarin terms for ‘student protest’ and ‘Nobel prize’, and very large numbers of phrases involving ‘Xi Jinping’ and other members of the CCP
  • Explicit code to ensure only Chinese government-approved air quality data would be returned in response to Chinese users’ search

Mr Poulson said the sum of these efforts amounted to a “catastrophic failure” of Google’s internal policies on privacy – as well as going against assurances made to the US trade regulator regarding data protection measures in its products.

“Dragonfly is part of a broad pattern of unaccountable decision making across the tech industry,” Mr Poulson wrote.

Mr Poulson’s letter follows a joint statement signed by hundreds of current Google employees against Dragonfly sent last month.

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