Google challenges US gag order citing First Amendment

first_imgNo related posts. Google asked the secretive U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday to ease long-standing gag orders over data requests it makes, arguing that the company has a constitutional right to speak about information it’s forced to give the government.The legal filing, which cites the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, is the latest move by the California-based tech giant to protect its reputation in the aftermath of news reports about sweeping National Security Agency surveillance of Internet traffic.Google, one of nine companies named in NSA documents as providing information to the top-secret PRISM program, has demanded that U.S. officials give it more leeway to describe the company’s relationship with the government. Google and the other companies involved have sought to reassure users that their privacy is being protected from unwarranted intrusions.In the petition, Google is seeking permission to publish the total numbers of requests the court makes of the company and the numbers of user accounts they affect. The company long has made regular reports with regard to other data demands from the U.S. government and from other governments worldwide.“Greater transparency is needed, so today we have petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to allow us to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately,” the company said in a statement.That information would not necessarily shed much light on PRISM, whose existence was first reported by The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper. But initiating a high-profile legal showdown may help Google’s efforts to portray itself as aggressively resisting government surveillance.All of the technology companies involved in PRISM, including Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google and Yahoo, have struggled to respond to the revelations about NSA surveillance. Most have issued carefully word denials, saying that they do not permit wholesale data collection while acknowledging that they comply with legal government information requests. (Washington Post Co. chief executive Donald E. Graham is on Facebook’s board.)FISA court data requests typically are known only to small numbers of a company’s employees. Discussing the requests openly, either within or beyond the walls of an involved company, can violate federal law.The technology companies linked to PRISM publicly urged U.S. officials last week to ease official secrecy about information requests. Facebook on Friday night issued its first-ever account of how many data requests the company gets from government entities — state, local and federal — in the United States. That number included FISA requests but the information was categorized too broadly to offer a precise view of these especially secretive data transfers.The FISA court, composed of 11 federal judges appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., rarely rejects government requests for information and rarely make its opinions public. The court approved each of the 1,789 government requests it received in 2012, except for one that was withdrawn.In 2008, the court rejected a challenge from a technology company that argued that a government request for information on foreign users was too broad to be constitutional. The court redacted the name of the company and other details when it published the ruling.Revelations this month about PRISM have sparked fierce debate about the appropriate balance between national security with privacy rights, with U.S. officials in recent days mounting vigorous defense of data collection efforts.NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander told the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that more than 50 attacks — including one potentially targeting the New York Stock Exchange — had been thwarted with the help of the agency’s surveillance programs. President Barack Obama said on a PBS interview aired Monday night that the government was “making the right trade-offs” in allowing the programs.© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

The first Park Inn by Radisson hotel makes its debut in China

first_imgThe first Park Inn by Radisson hotel makes its debut in ChinaThe first Park Inn by Radisson hotel makes its debut in ChinaPark Inn by Radisson Libo, marks the successful global brand’s first hotel to debut in China. Set to deliver on its brand promise and set new hospitality standards, the property is also the first international chain hotel in Libo, China.“We are extremely pleased to debut the Park Inn by Radisson brand into China for the first time. The opening of Park Inn by Radisson Libo befits the market for travelers seeking a trusted international hotel brand that delivers on both, product and service. With its unique brand concepts and renowned Yes I Can!SM service philosophy, the hotel is poised to cater to both business and leisure travelers,” said Thomas T. Hagemann, vice president, Future Openings and Special Projects, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Asia Pacific.Libo is in the southwestern part of China, in the capital city of Guiyang approximately three hours’ drive away. The highway access from Guiyang makes a convenient self-drive travel experience to the magnificent national parks’ sites. Park Inn by Radisson Libo is strategically located at the east entrance of Xiaoqikong National Park, a national scenic area that exemplifies the rich karst heritage and natural beauty. The hotel is a convenient 40-minute drive from Libo airport and a 30-minute drive to downtown Libo.The hotel features 182 modern and contemporary guest rooms boasting picturesque views of the Zhangjiang River. Guests can enjoy complimentary high-speed wireless internet access and a fitness center.Libo county is known for its karst heritage and multiple minority cultures including Buyi, Miao, Shui and Yao nationalities. Guests can experience and tantalize their taste buds with these local cuisines, or enjoy international fare when they dine at Ly Café, the all-day dining restaurant. For drinks and some light bites, Lobby Lounge is the ideal gathering area for family, friends and business partners.Catering to the meeting needs, the hotel features a 181 square-meter ballroom and flexible meeting spaces of four additional smaller function rooms ranging from 21 to 94 square-meters. Comprehensive audio visual services and a team of on-site professional event management specialists, provide more compelling reasons for meeting organizers to bring their events to Park Inn by Radisson Libo.Park Inn by Radisson is a bright, bold, fresh and energetic mid-market hotel brand that provides great value. Park Inn by Radisson hotels are set apart by its warm and friendly Adding Color to Life guest service, designed to make stays fun, comfortable and uncomplicated. From check-in to the moment of departure, the Park Inn by Radisson experience is committed to being uncomplicated and hassle-free. Park Inn by Radisson Libobook your stay hereAbout Carlson Rezidor Hotel GroupCarlson Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel companies and includes 1,400 locations in operation and under development with more than 220,000 rooms and a footprint spanning 115 countries and territories. The Carlson Rezidor portfolio includes a powerful set of global brands: Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson RED, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM. Guests can benefit from Club CarlsonSM, a program that redefines hotel rewards with a collection of exceptional benefits, services, and privileges at more than 1,000 hotels worldwide. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and its brands employ 90,000 people systemwide and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Singapore, and Brussels.About Park Inn by Radisson LiboPark Inn by Radisson Libo, is a colorful, dynamic, midscale hotel brand providing a hassle-free and easy hotel experience. The hotel offers 182 modern and contemporary guest rooms with comprehensive meeting facilities, restaurants and bars. The contemporary hotel is strategically located at the east entrance of Xiaoqikong National Park, with picturesque views of the Zhangjiang River. Park Inn by Radisson hotels are set apart by its warm and friendly Adding Color to Life guest service, designed to make stays fun, comfortable and uncomplicated. It is the ideal choice for family, friends and business partners.www.parkinn.com/china-liboSource = Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group –last_img read more