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Google, Microsoft, Apple & more demand government surveillance reform

Google, Microsoft, Apple & more demand government surveillance reform

Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and other big names in tech have joined forces to protest government surveillance worldwide, calling for "Global Government Surveillance Reform" to better balance keeping citizens safe while also preserving their privacy. The group, which also includes AOL, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Yahoo, sets out five principles for transparency, oversight, accountability, and respect, penning a collective letter to President Obama and the US Congress in which they allege the balance of power has tipped too far away from the people and too much toward the state.

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Microsoft tipped for Winamp and Shoutcast acquisitions from AOL

Microsoft tipped for Winamp and Shoutcast acquisitions from AOL

Just when you think you have the rug pulled from under you, Microsoft seems to want to put it back again just as suddenly. That’s what’s appearing to happen this week when not one day after the music player app Winamp was announced as shuttering its doors, Microsoft has been tipped to buy it. While we must assume one has something to do with the other, it would appear that Microsoft may (possibly) be in the business of wanting to keep Winamp alive in this case.

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Winamp killed after 15 years of media playing

Winamp killed after 15 years of media playing

Much-loved media player Winamp will shutter on December 20, 2013, the company has announced, with the AOL-owned software planning to cease all of the related web services and yank the official download. The news, quietly announced alongside version 5.66 of the software, ends fifteen years of the app being offered, with the Winamp team warning that anybody wanting a copy before it's pulled should download soon.

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AOL Reader beta released (though it’s still half-baked)

AOL Reader beta released (though it’s still half-baked)

AOL Reader, the company's attempt to step into the fast-arriving gap left by Google Reader's demise, has launched in beta, though the service still lacks key features like mobile apps and search. Part of the rush of Google Reader alternatives, AOL Reader offers a relatively minimalist layout and simple tagging and staring, similar in fact to what you might be familiar with from the outgoing Google service.

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PRISM clarified by sources detailing special systems used to provide gov with data

PRISM clarified by sources detailing special systems used to provide gov with data

On June 6, The Washington Post revealed that, according to leaked documentation it was given, nine major companies are feeding the NSA data via direct access to their servers, something called the PRISM project. Within hours, nearly all the companies had denied the claims, and it has ignited an Internet storm. The disconnection between The Post report and the companies' claims make more sense in light of new information provided by sources.

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NSA and FBI reportedly pulling data directly from Google, Microsoft and more [UPDATE]

NSA and FBI reportedly pulling data directly from Google, Microsoft and more [UPDATE]

Yesterday, it was revealed that a secret court order initiated by the FBI strong-armed Verizon into handing over detailed phone records of millions of US consumers to the NSA. Such an action made it obvious that other activities of a similar nature are likely taking place, something confirmed today by The Washington Post, which says it has acquired a "top-secret document" showing the NSA and FBI pulling detailed content from central servers of nine major US companies.

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AOL shuts down its entire music division

AOL shuts down its entire music division

AOL has announced that it will be shutting down its entire music division. AOL's music division had been struggling for quite some time, especially since most users opt for more popular music services like Spotify and Pandora. However, AOL Music had stood its ground longer than other similar music services, such as MSN Music and Yahoo Music, both of which shut down in 2006 and 2008 respectively.

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Yahoo appoints former AOL exec as new Global Public Privacy head

Yahoo appoints former AOL exec as new Global Public Privacy head

Yahoo has just appointed Tekedra N. Mawakana as its Deputy General Counsel and Vice President of Global Public Policy. Mawakana used to be the Senior Vice President of Pubic Policy and Deputy General Counsel at AOL, where she worked for around 12 years. At her new position, she will be working together with industry and government agencies to work on global governmental affairs and help develop policy initiatives.

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