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US Government says Google tried to restrict the Media Coverage of a Gender Discrimination Case

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London, May 23, 2017: Google tried to restrict the media coverage of a gender discrimination case brought by the US government alleging that the company had violated federal laws when it did not provide employees’ salary history and contact information as part of an audit, a media report has revealed.

The company tried to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Labor, claiming that a government attorney may have violated ethics rules after he/she did an interview with the Guardian.

Referring to the court documents, the newspaper on Monday said Google unsuccessfully argued that a judge should dismiss a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Labor (DoL).

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The DoL had accused Google of systematically underpaying women and the court battle centre on the company’s refusal to hand over salary data the government has requested to which Google replied by saying that the data request was overly broad and violates its workers’ privacy.

The report observed that the motion for dismissal of the case shows Google’s aggressive efforts to end the case.

Critics said it appeared that Google was attempting to limit media scrutiny with unusual tactics that raise free press concerns and seem to contradict the corporation’s public claims that it is committed to transparency and accountability in its efforts to promote equal pay.

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It was also reported that Google tried to restrict press access during a hearing last month.

“Following a private meeting with the judge about the Guardian’s reporting, Google’s attorney requested that the proceeding be closed to the media before continuing, but a DoL attorney objected and the judge sided with the government,” the report said.

Google has repeatedly claimed that it has eliminated its gender pay gap globally with innovative compensation models. (IANS)

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Google’s ‘Chat’ service a gift to cybercriminals: Amnesty

RCS is a communication protocol between mobile-telephone carriers and between phone and carrier

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The logo of Google.
Google Chat is gift cybercriminals. Pixabay

Google’s decision to launch a new messaging service called “Chat” without end-to-end encryption shows utter contempt for the privacy of Android users and has handed a precious gift to cybercriminals and government spies alike, Amnesty International has said.

Communications on the new “Chat” service will not be sent over the Internet but through mobile phone carriers, like SMS text messages, according to reports.

Google Chat is becoming more famous.

In a statement to The Verge this week, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the new service will not use end-to-end encryption and that Google is “pausing investment” in its existing mobile messaging app “Allo” which has an option for end-to-end encryption.

“Not only does this shockingly retrograde step leave Google lagging behind its closest competitors — Apple’s iMessage and Facebook’s WhatsApp both have end-to-end encryption in place by default — it is also a step backwards from the company’s previous attempts at online messaging,” Joe Westby, a technology and human rights researcher at Amnesty International, said on Friday.

Also Read: Google Will Take Action If Apps Violate Its Policies

Amnesty International considers end-to-end encryption a minimum requirement for technology companies to ensure that private information in messaging apps stays private. End-to-end encryption is a way of scrambling digital data so that only the sender and recipient can see it.

When it is in place, even the company providing the service is unable to access the content of communications. “Following the revelations by CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden, end-to-end encryption has become recognised as an essential safeguard for protecting people’s privacy when using messaging apps. With this new Chat service, Google shows a staggering failure to respect the human rights of its customers,” Westby said in a statement.

A Google picture.
The Chat is a security threat. VOA

In the wake of the recent Facebook data scandal, Westby said that Google’s decision is not only dangerous but also out of step with current attitudes to data privacy. “Google should immediately scrap it in its current form and instead give its customers a product that protects their privacy,” Westby suggested.

Google is going all in on building the Rich Communication Services (RCS). RCS is a communication protocol between mobile-telephone carriers and between phone and carrier, aiming at replacing SMS messages with a text-message system that is more rich, provide phonebook polling and transmit in-call multimedia. IANS