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posted by janrinok on Thursday March 24 2022, @01:25AM   Printer-friendly

Google allegedly hid documents from search monopoly lawsuit, DOJ claims:

Google employees have been improperly using attorney-client privilege to hide documents from discovery in litigation and government investigations, according to fresh allegations laid by the US Justice Department (DOJ).

"Google has explicitly and repeatedly instructed its employees to shield important business communications from discovery by using false requests for legal advice," DOJ attorneys wrote in a court filing for its search monopoly lawsuit against Google.

According to the court filing [PDF], Google taught employees to slap an attorney-client privilege label and generic "request" for counsel's advice label on any sensitive business communications that Google might wish to shield from discovery. Slapping these labels onto communications prevents them from being provided for discovery in litigation.

This practice has allegedly been used throughout all levels of Google's hierarchy, with the DOJ claiming Google parent company Alphabet's CEO Sundar Pichai copied Google chief legal officer Kent Walker onto an email to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki about how to respond to a press inquiry, with "Attorney Client Privileged" at the top.

In these "camouflaged" communications, the attorney allegedly remained silent on a frequent basis, which the DOJ claims underscored that these communications were not genuine requests for legal advice but rather "an effort to hide potential evidence".


Original Submission

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The Open Secret of Google Search 41 comments

Over at The Atlantic, Charlie Warzel wonders if Google Search is becoming a victim of its own success:

In February, an engineer named Dmitri Brereton wrote a blog post about Google's search-engine decay, rounding up leading theories for why the product's "results have gone to shit." The post quickly shot to the top of tech forums such as Hacker News and was widely shared on Twitter and even prompted a PR response from Google's Search liaison, Danny Sullivan, refuting one of Brereton's claims. "You said in the post that quotes don't give exact matches. They really do. Honest," Sullivan wrote in a series of tweets.

Brereton's most intriguing argument for the demise of Google Search was that savvy users of the platform no longer type instinctive keywords into the search bar and hit "Enter." The best Googlers—the ones looking for actionable or niche information, product reviews, and interesting discussions—know a cheat code to bypass the sea of corporate search results clogging the top third of the screen. "Most of the web has become too inauthentic to trust," Brereton argued, therefore "we resort to using Google, and appending the word 'reddit' to the end of our queries." Brereton cited Google Trends data that show that people are searching the word reddit on Google more than ever before.

[...] Google has built wildly successful mobile operating systems, mapped the world, changed how we email and store photos, and tried, with varying success, to build cars that drive themselves. [...] Most of the tech company's products—Maps, Gmail—are Trojan horses for a gargantuan personalized-advertising business, and Search is the one that started it all. It is the modern template for what the technology critic Shoshana Zuboff termed "surveillance capitalism."

The article goes on at length about ruthless commercialism via ever-intrusive ads, constant tweaks to the search algorithm, and how different generations use the ubiquitous search engine.

Previously:
Google's Ad Business Could Finally Crack Open
Google Allegedly Hid Documents From Search Monopoly Lawsuit, DOJ Claims
EU and UK Open Antitrust Probe Into Google and Meta Over Online Ads


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @02:07AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @02:07AM (#1231580)

    "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessibly and useful." https://about.google/ [about.google]

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Thursday March 24 2022, @02:15AM (30 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 24 2022, @02:15AM (#1231581) Homepage Journal

    If Google is improperly hiding information, then DOJ should just do an old fashioned raid. They can coordinate the FBI and Federal Marshalls, at the minimum, and hit all the most important offices simultaneously, right at the start of business. Meet Sunny Pitcher at his designated parking spot when he arrives for work, and escort him to his office.

    This headline should be detailing how federal officials confiscated individual computers, some servers, including their in-house mail servers, a truckload of paper documents, and the left nuts of at least 50 company officers.

    Why has government turned into such sissies and wimps? Why won't they just do their friggin' JOBS?

    --
    "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @02:33AM (25 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @02:33AM (#1231586)

      Google helps Democrats win elections by suppressing information and promoting pro Democrat propaganda. Zuckerberg spends his money manipulating elections to favor Democrats. The White House even refers to the tech companies as their partners and makes "requests" for political favors to control information. Google's White House partnership goes back to the start of the Obama administration. I can see why so much of the govt doesn't want to nail Google.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @02:39AM (8 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @02:39AM (#1231589)

        Mmm yeah, could be a giant conspiracy, OR people prefer healthcare, social security and science.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:12AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:12AM (#1231598)

          Those aren't mutually exclusive. Congress is corrupt as all hell, and many people prefer healthcare and social security. Some even like science. GP's only mistake is thinking that only one party is in on it.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:31AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:31AM (#1231604)

            GP's only mistake is thinking that only one party is in on it.

            Well, to be honest, there is only one Party, and besides, corruption is not really a partisan thing, it's the power itself that corrupts

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:09PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:09PM (#1231714)

              For any of you who don't know your history, they were a single party during their creation before the civil war, eventually separating and then flip flopping into the two parties we have today. But old habits die hard and there is still lots of backroom dealing between both, even when they put on a good front of how rabidly against the other they are.

              We have a real dog and pony show going on here in America, Fuck Yeah!!

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @02:10AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @02:10AM (#1231928)

                For any of you who don't know your history, they were a single party during their creation before the civil war, eventually separating

                Irony and ignorance meters both broken again! Not really any more relation than your other grate political insight that Nazis were Socialist! The Democratic-Republican party split off the Whigs, who then lost it over the Question, and were Replaced by the FreeSoil party, which then became the Republican party, opposing slavery. Then, in 2016, the Republican Party lost its mind, and is now largely QAnon conspiracy theorists, like Ginni Thomas, Marsha Blackburn, and Majorie Taylor-Green.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @06:30PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @06:30PM (#1231803)

          I like healthcare and science.

          But unlike you, I think I should pay for my own healthcare and science instead of forcing other people to pay for it. That makes me responsible for my own personal choices. Should I smoke and risk paying more? Should I take an untested vaccine and risk having major health events that drive my prices up?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @01:42PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @01:42PM (#1232027)

            You don't quite understand how insurance works do you? Now let's queue the "I'll pay in full for _everything_ myself and don't need no stinkin' insurance" while I show you how much healthcare actually costs in this shithole country...

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @06:44PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @06:44PM (#1232108)

              You don't quite understand how insurance works do you? Now let's queue the "I'll pay in full for _everything_ myself and don't need no stinkin' insurance" while I show you how much healthcare actually costs in this shithole country...

              I understand how insurance works. You can *voluntarily* join a risk pool for coverage.

              I think you don't understand how socialized medicine works: You are required to join a risk pool that includes everyone, and it requires you to pay for other people in the pool or else the government will take your stuff, and lock you in a cage like a dog or murder you.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 26 2022, @10:33PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 26 2022, @10:33PM (#1232488)

                or else the government will take your stuff, and lock you in a cage like a dog or murder you.

                Well, if they don't, we will, you freeloading sack of shite! Oh, wait, the government is us! Says so right in the fine print,

      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:26AM (15 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:26AM (#1231601)

        Yeah, it's all very simple.. Count de Monet..

        I noticed democrat moderators are on the loose.. the abuse is still awfully heavy

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:45AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:45AM (#1231605)

          the abuse is still awfully heavy

          Offtopic

          See? Proof is in the pudding, oh well...

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @05:04AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @05:04AM (#1231621)

            You're right. The first half of the comment was on topic.
            However, the second half was flamebait, not merely off topic.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @07:24PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @07:24PM (#1232122)

              Moderation abuse is very much ON topic, and in itself very much Flamebait. Only the abusers (mostly democrat) think otherwise.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29 2022, @08:53AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29 2022, @08:53AM (#1233168)

                Maybe you would like to invest in some conservative snowflake fee-fees protection insurance? For a small monthy fee, you could be protected from all differing views and rational thought, and evidence. Your fear is our business opportunity!! Call today, antifa is standing by!

        • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @04:49AM (10 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @04:49AM (#1231619)

          Someone please downmod this Republican piece of shit traitorous scum-sucking line-lizard, and give him what for, and sentence for storming the capitol building. Oh, and a cell with Donald, because the Donald might need something to chair him up.

          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Thursday March 24 2022, @06:58AM (9 children)

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 24 2022, @06:58AM (#1231631) Journal
            Why don't you log in with a fictitious user name and moderate it yourself like many others do?
            • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @09:22AM (8 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @09:22AM (#1231646)

              Why is it those fighting for their 'free speech' [allegedly, SoylentNews] want to achieve it by taking that same right away from others? [Presumeably aristarchus].

              Would say FTFY, but it's still broken. Irony not lost, but again wasted.

              • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Thursday March 24 2022, @11:52AM (7 children)

                by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 24 2022, @11:52AM (#1231651) Journal

                aristarchus can, and does, post as AC. If he joins in and posts on-topic and intelligent comments he will not draw attention to himself and his posts will remain visible. If, however, he continues to disrupt threads with off-topic complaints then he will be treated appropriately. We have an email address - he knows it well. If he wishes to continue this discussion he knows where to contact us. Spoiling other community members' discussion is not the way to do it.

                If you wish to continue then you should also use our email address please : admin [at] soylentnews [dot] org. Your comments are off-topic.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @01:35PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @01:35PM (#1231682)

                  You're being wayyyyyyy too accomodating to someone who obviously suffers from serious mental health issues.

                • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @08:26PM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @08:26PM (#1231843)

                  Email, you say? What does one say to the censors? Is it really worthwhile talking to them? And where is the link to financial reports?

                  (I laugh when janrinok is the judge of on-topicness and disruption. He probably could get a job at Google, well, except for that "not young" thing.)

                  Oh, and who is this "aristarchus"?

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @07:19PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @07:19PM (#1232120)

                    More and more Spam mod abuse! TMB! Come back! Help us take out this garbage

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @05:50PM (3 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @05:50PM (#1232097)

                  Gots to love the fluctuating standards you employ!

                  • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday March 25 2022, @06:02PM (2 children)

                    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 25 2022, @06:02PM (#1232099) Journal

                    We only know it is aristarchus by what he writes or when he makes one of his many mistakes with his use of VPNs. If we do not know it is him, how could we take action?

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @10:42PM (1 child)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @10:42PM (#1232210)

                      how could we take action?

                      By Spam modding AC comments based on content. Your target is well aware of what your accuracy rate is. What passes for evidence on SoylentNews is truely pathetic. Censors gonna censor!

                      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday March 26 2022, @07:18AM

                        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 26 2022, @07:18AM (#1232322) Journal
                        Which is precisely what we do. As I said - I have already undone some spam mods that did not meet the criteria.
    • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:23AM

      by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:23AM (#1231600)

      Maybe because they're lawyers [americanbar.org] too?

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:28AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @03:28AM (#1231603)

      So you're saying... they need to do a Google search.

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @04:40AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @04:40AM (#1231618)

        Has anyone even seen the documents? Even when they are public, and not hidden, seems nobody bothers to look. For example, the most recent SoylentNews financial report (already some years old) lists over a thousand dollars paid for "professional fees". What profession was that, and in whose name were they paid? No wonder our "hosting expenses" have increased so much of late.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by janrinok on Thursday March 24 2022, @07:26AM

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 24 2022, @07:26AM (#1231634) Journal

          We have to employ a certified accountant and might sometimes need legal advice. I believe that the law demands that of us. Nobody working on this site - from the board downwards - has ever taken any any reward, financial or otherwise, for their efforts. Our original stakeholders are still unpaid.

          We make this quite clear here [soylentnews.org].

          Why might we need legal advice? Well imagine if someone did something silly that could result in someone else taking legal action against us then we might want to know what our legal exposure would be under those circumstances. Yeah, I know, that would never happen would it?

          in whose name were they paid?

          I know that you are only stirring the pot - but if you are looking at the financial report the front page tells you the name of the organisation in whose name they are paid. I notice that you conveniently omitted the length of time that payment covered. It also states the name of the member of the board who signed them off, if i recall correctly.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @11:44AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @11:44AM (#1231650)

    If the request is for legal advice and you get it, then seems like it ought to be protected.

    If you ask a lawyer for non-legal advice, is that also protected?

    If you CC a lawyer and want (or get?) no advice?

    To claim the document is privledged in a discovery, does the lawyer have to put himself at risk if it clearly is not?

    Perhaps the discovery request could ask for the opposing's guidelines on what is and is not protected. (It would be fun to see what they say after the fact.)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @08:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25 2022, @08:18AM (#1231984)

      To answer your questions:

      No, Lawyers are lawyers not oracles.

      No, because you aren't asking for their legal opinion. (Maybe, but only if you are actually asking for advice)

      Yes, in court documents, lawyers can only say facts that they reasonably believe they are true and make legal arguments in good faith.

      They already do that.

  • (Score: 4, Touché) by Phoenix666 on Thursday March 24 2022, @12:10PM (1 child)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday March 24 2022, @12:10PM (#1231654) Journal

    Who searches the searchers?

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @06:03PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24 2022, @06:03PM (#1231787)

      without rubber gloves and a hazmat suit, i don't want that job.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Thursday March 24 2022, @12:14PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday March 24 2022, @12:14PM (#1231657) Journal

    If Google cc's its lawyers to claim privileged attorney-client communications, why not just bulk cc the lawyers on absolutely everything? Then the entire business remains covered.

    The government is not going to do anything about it, because they rely upon Google in so many ways as an end-run on spying and other activities they are not legally permitted to do themselves. Washington accuses Huawei of being an appendage of the CCP, and they are, but so is Google an appendage of Washington's. Or, maybe, Washington is an appendage of Google's. YMMV

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
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