When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

FTC v. Google

The FTC v. Don't Be Evil--I wrote about this months ago in another case of government abuse and waste of taxpayer funds--(the FTC loves to waste taxpayer funds persecuting Google)--

Federal Lawyer Crows After Imposing $22.5 Million Government Fine on Company | The Weekly Standard: "As the New York Times reports, "The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday fined Google $22.5 million to settle charges (it's actually a consent decree/settlement--see below) that it bypassed privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser to show advertisements, and violated an earlier privacy settlement with the agency.". . .  The (FTC's) lawyer, Megan Gray, who just started working for the FTC, was so pleased to beat back Google that she sent an email to friends and colleagues to brag about her performance. "I'm pleased to report that my new gig at the FTC has started with a bang," writes Gray.". . . Upon my arrival, I was made first-chair trial counsel in the case against Google for privacy violations under the comprehensive Consent Order that became effective last year.  With a fantastic team working with me, we were able to obtain a $22,500,000 million settlement . . . I will be continuing as lead enforcer on the Consent Order . . . " Gray concludes her email by giving friends and colleagues a personal email address to reach her, but, she says, "For sensitive work matters, phone is best." After all, one wouldn't want to leave a paper trail that the American public might otherwise find! . . ."

The Weekly Standard goes on to reprint Gray's and other FTC personnel's Facebook entries about the FTC/Google matter--which are hardly professional--"Google is paying with black eyes as well as greenbacks."

Also note, for the record, something the "brilliant" lawyers and staff of the FTC don't readily admit: Google's Privacy Settlement Denies Liability (Again): "The FTC order states that the defendant, Google, "denies any violation of the FTC Order, any and all liability for the claims set forth in the Complaint, and all material allegations of the Complaint save for those regarding jurisdiction and venue."" Apparently the "bang" was not quite the victory Gray would have everyone believe, in fact, Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch dissented--"I dissent from accepting this consent decree because it arguably cannot be concluded that the consent decree is in the public interest when it contains a denial of liability." He goes on to say, "$22.5 million represents a de minimis amount of Google’s profit or revenues."

In other words, it appears Google got rid of a nuisance complaint for chicken feed--but the FTC lawyer thinks she's done a "great job."  Heaven help us--boy do we need CHANGE in Washington.

Final note to Gray and the FTC: we're not impressed. (Apparently neither is anyone else--see the transcript of Megan Gray "chat" here.)


The Big Picture

Financial Crisis - The Telegraph

JohnTheCrowd.com | The Sailing Website

Craig Newmark - craigconnects