Just for starters
Probably shouldn't store searches for musical theatre tickets, halal butchers or Bagels and Lox
Hundreds of Googlers this week demanded CEO Sundar Pichai do a better job protecting people seeking abortions by refusing to hand over to law enforcement any customer data that could be used to build a criminal case, and extending the health benefits full-time employees enjoy to contract workers. On Monday, the Alphabet …
Agreed, they are fine with all evil uses of search data (and everything else Google vacuums up) except for one that is a current American culture war issue.
I would argue that the ruling makes the US the same legally as the EU (states decide) except that the US has states that will take this to extremes.
The law in most European countries (typically a limit around 13 weeks or so, except where the mother's life is endangered) would not be something either side in the US could live with: state limits (on demand, that is) in the US now range from zero to up to birth, and because its a "the other side are evil and we are definitely right" issue so a reasonable compromise is possible.
> The law in most European countries
Continental Europe goes beyond the US in more ways than that.
Do you know what accouchement sous X is, in France and the Czech Republic, for instance?
> Any pregnant woman may decide to give birth anonymously, i.e. under X, whether in a public or private institution, whether or not it is a conventional¹ one.
> Pregnant women who wish to give birth under X must notify the medical team of the health care institution of their choice (public or private, conventional or not). No identification can be requested and no investigation can be conducted.
That's how the French compromised on the issue, about a century ago. No need for that much drama and weakening of an already pretty tenuous democracy.
¹ "conventional" above is a translation artefact; it refers to an establishment that is run by or qualifies for reimbursement by the social security administration.
While in all likelihood correct, this comment feels off topic. I can celebrate France's legal provisions for abortion and birth while condemning their colonial past.
Heck, I was born in the UK, and I believe my country of birth has carried out military action in over half of the countries in the UN, and e.g. the verging on genocidal treatment of India during their famine to condemn. I emigrated to the USA so now have that legacy to condemn too!
" ... refusing to hand over to law enforcement any customer data that could be used to build a criminal case."
The only sure way is *never to be in possession* of that information.
It would be a legal crime to be in possession and lie or refuse to hand it over, and the company would eventually hand it over,
over Sundar's imprisoned body if required.
The "law" that threats people who helps other people seeking abortions explicably says the prosecution must be carried out by private citizen who if I am not mistaken can not compel Google to release anything. It was done this way to stop federal government having any over site over the laws.
That one was, but that was because the precedent at the time that law was created was that abortion could not be prohibited by states. That precedent has been revoked, so laws allowing the government to go after those who seek the operation directly are now allowed. This is more relevant against that style of law, because police forces can demand data from companies and enforce penalties if the company could comply but chooses not to. In addition, a person can sue on the basis of other evidence and, if the court allows them, extract other information from a company during the discovery phase. That's not guaranteed, but could still be used in the special case.
American law on reproductive rights are very odd and it was only relatively recently that it was not illegal for a doctor to give contraption advice due to state law and they where overturned due to supreme court ruling. They could in theory even stop that as it was not mentioned in the Bill of rights.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUQXo1N-OA8 cover many of the issue but that was before Roe v Wade) and set aside.
It also covers other reproductive rights.
Sorry but just because big tech doesn't like the law does that mean that they are allowed to circumvent it?
How long before a statute appears about obstructing justice etc etc. It's a slippery slope. Surely if you want to to change the law you should speak to the politicians. I am sure the shareholders won't be happy being on the hook should government decide that it can fine alphabet?
We all have the luxury to make moral decisions at several levels. We can choose to accept consequences if we simply disobey laws we don't like. However, the proposed actions wouldn't involve doing that. Instead, they're suggesting that Google not store the data that law enforcement would request, thus not having to decide whether to break the law or not. Anyone can do that entirely legally: you have the choice to store data that police could want and decide when they ask whether you'll give it to them or break that law, but you can avoid having to make that decision by not storing it so the police cannot get it from you. Not collecting data is allowed at all levels, even if it makes it harder for police to find it when they want it.
At another level, though, we all have the ability to make moral decisions about laws. Which will we accept, which will we protest but follow, which will we avoid (when possible), which will we disobey at our own risk? People have been making moral decisions about which laws they consider just for a long time. When there has been injustice severe enough, there have been people who peacefully disobeyed the unjust laws, even when doing so caused problems for them. You can do that too if you want.
> Since when does big tech have the luxury to make moral desicions?
Firstly, it's spelled decisions.
Secondly, it's pretty fucking far from being what I'd call a luxury.
I have made moral decisions, such as refusing to release information on employee nationalities (information that I don't have access to anyway) to protect us all from discrimination.
I have also made the moral decision to stand up for the weak and against discrimination of national minorities. The price I paid was unnecessarily high alright (though nothing compared to others) but it's still not my idea of a luxury.
I mean, this is the US - they have the money to ignore laws, break them, or have them re-written.
How many times has Google been put on the naughty step for monopoly violations? How many times has Meta flagrantly disregarded hate speech laws?
This would be a case of Big Tech using their power for good, not just to make more money.
But what if law enforcement poses as medical/pharmaceutical suppliers and purchases prospective customer information from Google. Or any other man and his dog who are getting into the on line ad business? Worse yet, the Texas anti abortion laws allow citizens to act as bounty hunters. So this gets around prohobitions against providing data to "law enforcement".
purchases prospective customer information from Google
I know it's hard to believe, but Google doesn't actually sell customer information like that - it's far more valuable to hoard it like a dragon, and remain the only entity who knows which users are most likely to click on which ads.
They can't stand the idea that someone might have control over their own body.
That said, now the dog has caught the car. The anti-choice stance is wildly unpopular within almost all communities in the US, to the point where even the most virulent Republican forced-birthers are doing mental somersaults trying to deny the words in laws they wrote mean what they say - even while giving evidence under oath, some of them are claiming some types of abortion aren't abortion (eg in cases of ectopic pregnancy)
It is utterly terrifying to watch.
It remains to be seen whether the vote rigging and gerrymandering in several Republican controlled states will end the US experiment in representative democracy.
It's silly to suggest many of the anti-abortionists are being fooled or led by the minority of nutcases who are interested in control. The reality, which failing to acknowledge seems to be the standard in the 'culture war' nonsense, is that reasonable people can disagree on how much of a bad thing abortions are, and where we should draw the lines on what is permitted, how much more we could do to offer women other options, and so-on.
The simple fact is that abortion is never a good thing. It is only ever the least-worst thing. Acting as if people are mad or bad to be concerned about that may make you feel good, but it isn't helping.
"The simple fact is that abortion is never a good thing."
The word "fact" is doing some heavy lifting in that sentence. There's a lot of social messaging to the effect that abortion is bad ("But you'll be murdering your BAYYYYBEEEE!"), but the reality is that it saves lives for some and improves quality of life for many others. Asserting that it's "never good" is a simplistic argument, and, messaging aside, every woman I know who has gotten an abortion is intensely grateful that she was able to do so, for whatever reason is relevant to her.
And there you go.
Yes, it's a fact. Least worst != good. Ask your female friends, not that you sound like you have any given the misogyny you're displaying there.
"every woman I know who has gotten an abortion is intensely grateful that she was able to do so"
Yes, you're such a superman they all discuss these things with you, right?
I know two women who feel they were railroaded into abortions when younger, and are not at all sure they were the right choices. Both of them I know very well, which is why I've talked to them about it.
"misogyny you're displaying there"
What the actual fuck are you on about? I defy you to point out any misogyny in my post.
In any case, I'm sorry that your female friends felt railroaded. Mine felt like they were being leaned on to not have abortions. I agree with you that "least worst != good," but that definition implies that abortion is inherently bad, and you haven't indicated what "bad" means in this case. Is it bad because it's unpleasant, bad because it's morally wrong, or something else? If you mean it's mildly unpleasant, then I suppose you're right, but you can say the same thing about lots of necessary or elective procedures. I haven't enjoyed my root canals, but they're significantly preferable to leaving tooth infections untreated, and the fact that they're unenjoyable is not the same thing as "bad" when the net outcome is good. If you mean abortion is morally bad, then we'll have to agree to disagree.
"I defy you to point out any misogyny in my post."
OK, boomer. Take your 'keep them barefoot chained to the cooker' nonsense and shove it up your arse. You don't get to control women's bodies the way you demand the right to.
"I haven't enjoyed my root canals, but they're significantly preferable to leaving tooth infections untreated"
Yes, that is also least worst, not good.
Apparently you don't even know the difference between good and bad, which explains your revolting attitudes towards women's independence.
Just revolting. Go back to whatever rock you crawled out from under, misogynist boomer.
It is worth pointing out that regret rates for abortion, while not zero, are lower than for any other medical procedure you can get, and regret rates for not going ahead with the abortion are far higher.
Of course nobody should be forced into an abortion they don't want. That is also wrong.
Oh? You didn't consent?
Do you think it is acceptable for the state to force you to risk your health and life.
If the answer is yes, I'm having that kidney. You'll probably survive, most donors do.
If the answer is no, but you want abortions banned then please explain exactly why you think it is acceptable for the state to force someone with a uterus to risk their health and life?
Either bodily autonomy is a universal right, or I'm having your kidney.
Eh? Did you reply to the wrong post? Or do you have something wrong with you?
"Pregnancy is literally the ONLY situation in US law where someone can be forced by law to risk their health and life. The ONLY one."
Obviously that's complete and utter nonsense. There are endless examples of nation states doing exactly that, including the US. It's pretty standard. Vaccinations, for example. Benefits outweigh costs, done.
> Pregnancy is literally the ONLY situation in US law where someone can be forced by law to risk their health and life.
I'm not a septic, thank God, but both when I was in the emergency services and later in the military I bloody well agreed that I was going to risk my life if the mission called for it. Even later, as a commercial pilot, it was pointed out to me that, should there be an accident, my Captain and I would be the first to arrive at the scene. I did choose those career paths, mind.
Did someone force you into either of those roles?
I bloody well agreed that I was going to risk my life if the mission called for it.
Nope, you agreed, knowing up-front that was what it meant.
And you could change your mind without penalty for the first several months, if not years. Many people do start a career in the US military and leave before being asked to put their lives on the line.
You were not forced to risk your life. You chose to. I'm glad people do make that choice and grateful to them, but it must be a free choice.
> Do you think it is acceptable for the state to force you to risk your health and life.
That's not what he said mate. That's either a straw man or you didn't bother to read his post.
As I interpret it, he's not taking a stand against abortion but merely pointing out that it's not a good thing in the sense that it would have been better not to have found yourself in that position (but hey, shit happens).
At the same time, I think he probably missed the point in the sense that, as is clear to most of us, the issue is some people trying to impose their own ideological beliefs on others by force of subverting liberal democracy (political scientists call this "lawfare" nowadays). I don't think there's anyone advocating that people (well, women) should have abortions just for the fun of it (of which there bloody well isn't any).
Dave's comment was either a straw man or a wilful misrepresentation.
It seems unlikely that they have absolutely no idea what's going on in the US, and so any claims about the forced-birthers* must be read in the light of reality.
Being concerned that abortion has side effects, or that people might be being coerced into having an abortion they don't want is a reasonable position.
However it is not relevant, it is a straw man.
The argument in question is very simply "Do women have bodily autonomy, or does the state control their uterus?"
* They are not pro-life. They are causing women and girls to die, and do not appear to care what happens after birth, if that lucky outcome occurs.
So, we should have a discussion about if people should be allowed to hoard their blood, as there are life-threatening emergencies that need more blood donors? Or we can disagree on how much of a bad thing it is to keep both of your kidneys when Mr. Doe over there needs one to save his life?
It's not being outlawed by men. Where the law is changing, it's being changed by people of multiple genders who were elected to represent people of all genders.
Elect different people if you wish for different laws.
(Oh, and abortion is exceedingly useful to men - saves them 18 years of unwanted expense)
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On Monday, the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) sent a petition signed by more than 650 Alphabet workers
That's a fraction of Google's workforce and can be safely ignored. Some of the demands show how little knowledge or appreciation of the law some of the woke brigade seems to have. Google must comply with the laws of the countries and states in which it operates or it runs the risk of sanctions. In the US it can argue that many cases be held in California, which has already enabled legislation protecting the rights even of those who don't live in the state, but it won't always be able to do so.
But many of the demands go above and beyond what can be reasonably expected of a private company and employer. Contractors get a worse deal? What else is new?
I'm all for the right to abortion but the way to ensure that is get legislation passed. I don't necessarily agree with the Supreme Court's decision but it can't be denied that Congress has had multiple opportunities of expressly codifying the right since Row versus Wade.
"I don't necessarily agree with the Supreme Court's decision but it can't be denied that Congress has had multiple opportunities of expressly codifying the right since Row versus Wade."
Let's be honest, the SC was completely right in a legal sense, and the US desperately needs to amend the Constitution rather than relying on the judiciary to slowly 'reinterpret' it. Gun rights, abortion rights, etc.; the 18th century document in question clearly doesn't have anything useful to say about them, which is why they're so contentious.
Nope, it was totally wrong. And several members of said court would appear to have committed perjury too. It remains to be seen whether anything will happen about that.
The Supreme Court decision took away the rights to privacy and bodily autonomy, which are both constitutional rights.
(McFall vs Shimp et al)
It's amazing how people in power can convince themselves of a particular position when questioned about it and soon after do the exact opposite "because circumstance changed or new information became available, so I changed my mind. I didn't lie at the time, I have simply changed my position since then,"
"And several members of said court would appear to have committed perjury too"
Get a grip. That's not even possible.
The reality is that the US needs to amend the constitution. It's just that simple. The judiciary is not supposed to have these powers, the legislature is. Just because the legislators won't do their jobs doesn't give the job to the judges.
This is a wee bit off topic but I never thought I'd ever I'd have a chance to post it here, so please indulge me.
The often/sometimes fairly funny US comedy programme 'The Daily Show' just led on Scotland being the first nation to provide free period products in schools, hospitals, well, everywhere. I knew that last year but I'm so proud we did it first. Finland will be jealous.
As an anarchist it's increasingly hard to hate my parliament, and that is my role in life.
Why is the rest of the world still punishing poor girls just for being girls? Men wouldn't like to charged for toilet paper in public toilets. I assume because 'Big Tampon' is lobbying Westminster and Washington.
It's terrible what is happening in the USA, it shows up the flaws in their elderly and befuddled constitution which doesn't mention abortion. I guess it doesn't mention tampons in the bill of rights - but it should.
All people are created equal, not just all men.
The experience is not mine, it's my nation's experience doing the right thing.
All you other nations should hang your heads in shame - nearly all of you still tax tampons, WTF is that about, it's not a luxury product!
Put it this way for the guys here, if you bled out your bum once a month then free, or at least untaxed, tampons may seem a better idea.
Those wee lassies are your daughters, nieces, cousins. Show them some decency.
> The experience is not mine,
I was referring to the fellow AC who shared the findings of his comparative study on the equivalence of diverse hygiene techniques, namely:
> Minor differences WRT use of toilet paper.
I'm relieved that I don't have to find out for myself. I have enough trouble as it is with paper getting stuck up there.
> Men wouldn't like to charged for toilet paper in public toilets.
I see that you have never visited a public convenience at a Czech railway station.
Five CZK for two sheets of (very thin) toilet paper last time I found myself in that predicament.
Yeah, but, unless they have different charging scales in the ladies loos, then there's no discrimination there, is there?
I do get, and support, you point about womens sanitary products, but I also see the points others have raised about the fallacy of comparing them with bog roll. I'm not sure I can even think of something men need and women don't, on any sort of "regular/frequent need" basis. Not even razors, since many women also use razors and both can choose not to shave whichever bodily hair the do choose to shave.
I genuinely can't think of a comparison, which makes it all the more galling that VAT is charged on sanitary items, since the definition of VAT is that it's supposed be applied to non-essentials (they used to call it "luxury tax")
So that's 0.5% then. An overwhelming groundswell in favor of whatever it is.
There's probably another 0.5% opposed to abortion.
The other 99% have read the employment contract and understand that their first born will be taken to Alphabets secret AI centre. You get a bonus for carrying it to term, as it saves on nutrient solution in the growth tanks.