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An international framework for digital evidence

Category: Google | Apr 20, 2017

Today, we’re releasing the latest version of our Transparency Report regarding government requests for user data. In the second half of 2016, we received over 45,000 government requests for user data worldwide. This is the most government requests we’ve received for user data in a six-month period since we released our first transparency report in 2010.

In many ways, this shouldn’t be surprising. As more people use more of our services, and as we offer new ones, it is natural that we are seeing an increase in government requests. For example, Gmail had around 425 million active users in 2012, and more than 1 billion by 2016. And as digital evidence increasingly becomes part of criminal investigations, other companies are seeing similar trends. We of course continue to require appropriate legal process for these requests, resist overbroad requests not narrowly calibrated to legitimate law enforcement requirements, and reform modernization of data surveillance laws.  

Cross-border requests for data continue to account for a substantial portion of overall requests, with over 31,000 in the second half of 2016 coming from outside of the United States.. This volume underscores the need for an improved international framework that meets legitimate law enforcement needs and ensures high standards of due process, privacy and human rights. The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process facilitates the production of digital evidence in cross-border investigations (when the crime occurs in one country but data is held by a company in another country). But the MLAT process is often slow and cumbersome: on average, it takes 10 months to process an MLAT request in the United States. That’s a long time for an investigator to wait.

Without better and faster ways to collect cross-border evidence, countries will be tempted to take unilateral actions to deal with a fundamentally multilateral problem. A sustainable framework for handling digital evidence in legitimate cross-border investigations will help avoid a chaotic, conflicting patchwork of data location proposals and ad hoc surveillance measures that may threaten privacy and generate uncertainty, without fundamentally advancing legitimate law enforcement and national security interests.

We believe that governments can develop solutions that appropriately balance the various interests at stake. This includes respecting the legitimate privacy rights of users, wherever they are, as well as the obligations of governments to investigate crimes and protect their residents. The conversation should include a broad group of stakeholders, including not just law enforcement and national security perspectives, but also the voices of citizens, civil society groups and providers of information services that cross national borders.

This discussion will raise difficult questions about the scope of government surveillance powers, the extent of digital jurisdiction, the importance of rapid investigations, and privacy rights in the Internet age—fundamental issues that can’t be adequately addressed by courts using antiquated legal standards or by governments acting in an ad hoc fashion.

We look forward to sharing more thoughts about the legal frameworks that can address some of these challenges in the coming weeks and months. And we look forward to working with relevant stakeholders to craft viable and lasting solutions.  

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/sxGvYlqbJiM/

The Ghent Altarpiece: how we digitized one of the most influential artworks of all time

Category: Google | Apr 20, 2017

Some 600 years ago, the Van Eyck brothers created one of the first large-scale oil paintings: “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.” Due to its pioneering attention to detail and realistic portrayal of people, the “Ghent Altarpiece” is renowned as one of the most influential paintings ever made and a defining artwork that represents the start of the Northern Renaissance.

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As such an important symbol in art history, the altarpiece has long been highly sought after and widely coveted. Since 1432, when it was first installed at Saint Bavo Cathedral in what’s now Belgium, the Altarpiece has survived 13 crimes. Looted, burned and torn apart, it’s been through the hands of multiple armies, including those of Napoleon and the Nazis.

After World War II, the Monuments Men—a group set up by the Allied armies to protect cultural heritage from the Nazis—brought it back to its original home in Ghent, Belgium. One of the panels—“The Just Judges”—is still missing following its theft in 1934. Its absence remains one of the most intriguing riddles in art history.

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Archives documenting the Altarpiece’s rescue at the end of WWII from the collection of Lukas – Art in Flanders.

Now, the freshly renovated exterior panels of the Altarpiece can be explored in ultra-high resolution on Google Arts & Culture. Thanks to a partnership with the online image library of Flemish art heritage Lukas – Art in Flanders and the Cathedral of Saint-Bavo, we’ve digitized this masterpiece for future generations to explore in unprecedented detail.

Mystic Lamb Altarpiece

Our robotic Art Camera took about 4,000 high-resolution close-ups of the artwork and used those to create the highest ever resolution image ever made of the panels. You can zoom as much as you’d like into more than 8 billion pixels.

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Art Camera digitizing one of the 10 exterior panels of the Altarpiece

Discover amazing details, revealed by the panels’ recent renovation: for example, a charming view of medieval Ghent which used to be barely visible. Now you can even make out the lines of the book Mary is reading.

Altarpiece_detail.png

This is one of the latest efforts by Google Arts & Culture to provide institutions with the tools to digitally preserve their collections and make cultural heritage more accessible to everyone.

Explore the adventurous past and rescue of the Altarpiece today—and download Google Art & Culture app on iOS or Android for a daily dose of culture.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/zY0_eBMizaM/

The Ghent Altarpiece: how we digitized one of the most influential artworks of all time

Category: Google | Apr 20, 2017

Some 600 years ago, the Van Eyck brothers created one of the first large-scale oil paintings: “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.” Due to its pioneering attention to detail and realistic portrayal of people, the “Ghent Altarpiece” is renowned as one of the most influential paintings ever made and a defining artwork that represents the start of the Northern Renaissance.

ghent altarpiece (inside).gif

As such an important symbol in art history, the altarpiece has long been highly sought after and widely coveted. Since 1432, when it was first installed at Saint Bavo Cathedral in what’s now Belgium, the Altarpiece has survived 13 crimes. Looted, burned and torn apart, it’s been through the hands of multiple armies, including those of Napoleon and the Nazis.

After World War II, the Monuments Men—a group set up by the Allied armies to protect cultural heritage from the Nazis—brought it back to its original home in Ghent, Belgium. One of the panels—“The Just Judges”—is still missing following its theft in 1934. Its absence remains one of the most intriguing riddles in art history.

output_sM4QuS (1).gif

Archives documenting the Altarpiece’s rescue at the end of WWII from the collection of Lukas – Art in Flanders.

Now, the freshly renovated exterior panels of the Altarpiece can be explored in ultra-high resolution on Google Arts & Culture. Thanks to a partnership with the online image library of Flemish art heritage Lukas – Art in Flanders and the Cathedral of Saint-Bavo, we’ve digitized this masterpiece for future generations to explore in unprecedented detail.

Mystic Lamb Altarpiece

Our robotic Art Camera took about 4,000 high-resolution close-ups of the artwork and used those to create the highest ever resolution image ever made of the panels. You can zoom as much as you’d like into more than 8 billion pixels.

20160926_google_078.JPG

Art Camera digitizing one of the 10 exterior panels of the Altarpiece

Discover amazing details, revealed by the panels’ recent renovation: for example, a charming view of medieval Ghent which used to be barely visible. Now you can even make out the lines of the book Mary is reading.

Altarpiece_detail.png

This is one of the latest efforts by Google Arts & Culture to provide institutions with the tools to digitally preserve their collections and make cultural heritage more accessible to everyone.

Explore the adventurous past and rescue of the Altarpiece today—and download Google Art & Culture app on iOS or Android for a daily dose of culture.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/gTIZ-V9UfvU/

Tomato, tomahto. Google Home now supports multiple users

Category: Google | Apr 20, 2017

“Ok Google, good morning.”

“Hey, Jana. The time is 8 AM. The weather in Mountain View currently is 72 degrees and sunny with a high of 75 degrees. Today at 9 AM you have breakfast check in with Diego. Here’s the latest news….”

Wait—that daily briefing was for my wife, who set up Google Home for the family. What if I want to hear results that are right for me?

Starting today, I can—and so can you. We’re adding the ability for up to six people to connect their account to one Google Home. So now when I ask my Google Assistant for help, it can distinguish my voice from my wife’s and I can hear my own personal playlists, my own commute time, my own schedule and more.

Google Home now supports multiple users

To get started, first make sure that you have the latest Google Home app. Then, look for a card that says ”multi-user is available” when you open the app. If you don’t see a card, click on the icon in the top right to see all of your connected devices. Once you see your Google Home in the list, select “Link your account.” From there, you’ll teach your Assistant to understand it’s you, not your partner, family member or roommate—and vice versa, based on who’s speaking. For certain features, like personalized music and commute, you’ll also need to set up your preferences within the app.

multi-user

So how does it work? When you connect your account on a Google Home, we ask you to say the phrases “Ok Google” and “Hey Google” two times each. Those phrases are then analyzed by a neural network, which can detect certain characteristics of a person’s voice. From that point on, any time you say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” to your Google Home, the neural network will compare the sound of your voice to its previous analysis so it can understand if it’s you speaking or not. This comparison takes place only on your device, in a matter of milliseconds.

This feature will start rolling out today for Google Home users in the U.S., but will expand to the U.K. in the coming months.

Your Assistant should be personal to you—and now it is. From music to news, your Google Assistant on Google Home is ready to answer your questions and help you get more done

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/9XI4rM5u_PQ/

Mobility best practice in connected workspaces: tiered access at Google

Category: Google | Apr 20, 2017

How does Google manage its own devices? With a huge range of devices on multiple platforms used by over 61,000 employees, it’s no small feat.

Google’s Technical Infrastructure organization is tasked with protecting employees against sophisticated adversaries, while ensuring that corporate security practices do not interfere with Google’s culture of innovation, freedom and flexibility. It accomplishes this with a tiered access security model that categorizes corporate services and devices into trust tiers to determine access.  

Today, we are sharing details about our tiered access approach so that IT admins can use it to deploy devices in their organizations.

In contrast to traditional security models, tiered access looks at a wide range of variables to make granular decisions regarding access. These variables go beyond simple user authentications—for example, device state, group permissions and required level of trust for a particular employee role are all taken into account.

First, internal services are associated with a trust tier according to the sensitivity of the data. A service can have one minimum trust tier or a more granular model of access where components and/or capabilities (e.g. read or write access) have different minimum trust tiers based on risk.

How Google Uses Tiered Access to Secure Devices

Second, as resource requests are made from devices, user credentials are verified and the state of the device is queried to assess its risk profile. On successful user verification, access to services is granted only if the assessed risk profile of the device matches the required trust tier.

When implementing tiered access, there are three main components to consider:

  • Client base and data sources: what is the composition of your organization’s fleet of devices and what data do you have about them?

  • Access intelligence and gateways: what technology can you use to evaluate a set of policies and make access decisions? How close to when some attempts to access information can these decisions be made?

  • Services to be accessed: what services need access controls and how will you classify the sensitivity of those services?

For Google, tiered access is a powerful tool that goes hand in hand with a larger project called BeyondCorp, which challenges the traditional security assumptions that private or “internal” IP addresses represented a “more trusted” device than those coming from the internet, and is now available as a GCP service called Identity-Aware Proxy (IAP).

To learn more about taking a similarly dynamic, flexible approach to security when planning device deployments, check out the second edition in Google Cloud’s best practice series, which shares recommendations for IT decision-makers deploying Android and Chrome devices.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/DdbQBnYBa0c/

Tomato, tomahto. Google Home now supports multiple users

Category: Google | Apr 20, 2017

“Ok Google, good morning.”

“Hey, Jana. The time is 8 AM. The weather in Mountain View currently is 72 degrees and sunny with a high of 75 degrees. Today at 9 AM you have breakfast check in with Diego. Here’s the latest news….”

Wait—that daily briefing was for my wife, who set up Google Home for the family. What if I want to hear results that are right for me?

Starting today, I can—and so can you. We’re adding the ability for up to six people to connect their account to one Google Home. So now when I ask my Google Assistant for help, it can distinguish my voice from my wife’s and I can hear my own personal playlists, my own commute time, my own schedule and more.

Google Home now supports multiple users

To get started, first make sure that you have the latest Google Home app. Then, look for a card that says ”multi-user is available” when you open the app. If you don’t see a card, click on the icon in the top right to see all of your connected devices. Once you see your Google Home in the list, select “Link your account.” From there, you’ll teach your Assistant to understand it’s you, not your partner, family member or roommate—and vice versa, based on who’s speaking. For certain features, like personalized music and commute, you’ll also need to set up your preferences within the app.

multi-user

So how does it work? When you connect your account on a Google Home, we ask you to say the phrases “Ok Google” and “Hey Google” two times each. Those phrases are then analyzed by a neural network, which can detect certain characteristics of a person’s voice. From that point on, any time you say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” to your Google Home, the neural network will compare the sound of your voice to its previous analysis so it can understand if it’s you speaking or not. This comparison takes place only on your device, in a matter of milliseconds.

This feature will start rolling out today for Google Home users in the U.S., but will expand to the U.K. in the coming months.

Your Assistant should be personal to you—and now it is. From music to news, your Google Assistant on Google Home is ready to answer your questions and help you get more done

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/BKLh0YEvLmg/

Mobility best practice in connected workspaces: tiered access at Google

Category: Google | Apr 20, 2017

How does Google manage its own devices? With a huge range of devices on multiple platforms used by over 61,000 employees, it’s no small feat.

Google’s Technical Infrastructure organization is tasked with protecting employees against sophisticated adversaries, while ensuring that corporate security practices do not interfere with Google’s culture of innovation, freedom and flexibility. It accomplishes this with a tiered access security model that categorizes corporate services and devices into trust tiers to determine access.  

Today, we are sharing details about our tiered access approach so that IT admins can use it to deploy devices in their organizations.

In contrast to traditional security models, tiered access looks at a wide range of variables to make granular decisions regarding access. These variables go beyond simple user authentications—for example, device state, group permissions and required level of trust for a particular employee role are all taken into account.

First, internal services are associated with a trust tier according to the sensitivity of the data. A service can have one minimum trust tier or a more granular model of access where components and/or capabilities (e.g. read or write access) have different minimum trust tiers based on risk.

How Google Uses Tiered Access to Secure Devices

Second, as resource requests are made from devices, user credentials are verified and the state of the device is queried to assess its risk profile. On successful user verification, access to services is granted only if the assessed risk profile of the device matches the required trust tier.

When implementing tiered access, there are three main components to consider:

  • Client base and data sources: what is the composition of your organization’s fleet of devices and what data do you have about them?

  • Access intelligence and gateways: what technology can you use to evaluate a set of policies and make access decisions? How close to when some attempts to access information can these decisions be made?

  • Services to be accessed: what services need access controls and how will you classify the sensitivity of those services?

For Google, tiered access is a powerful tool that goes hand in hand with a larger project called BeyondCorp, which challenges the traditional security assumptions that private or “internal” IP addresses represented a “more trusted” device than those coming from the internet, and is now available as a GCP service called Identity-Aware Proxy (IAP).

To learn more about taking a similarly dynamic, flexible approach to security when planning device deployments, check out the second edition in Google Cloud’s best practice series, which shares recommendations for IT decision-makers deploying Android and Chrome devices.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/IJr-hsUXvws/

Get lost in earth’s beauty from space

Category: Google | Apr 20, 2017

This week we’re giving you a taste of what you can find in Voyager, a showcase of interactive tours and stories from experts, nonprofits and more in the new Google Earth.

Earth Day is just a few days away. And we can think of few better ways to celebrate than by appreciating our planet’s beauty from that most unique perspective: Space. Today in Voyager, go on a planetary-wide scavenger hunt with NASA Earth imagery; see geographies in a new way with Federico Winer’s Ultradistancia; and admire stunning landscapes with Earth View by Ubilabs.

beauty_earthview1.png

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beauty_fede1.png

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Explore the world from a distance, and see a few things closer to home—like cherry blossoms in full bloom, tropical islands and the wonders of the ancient world.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/2GMqNSVmFpo/

Get lost in earth’s beauty from space

Category: Google | Apr 20, 2017

This week we’re giving you a taste of what you can find in Voyager, a showcase of interactive tours and stories from experts, nonprofits and more in the new Google Earth.

Earth Day is just a few days away. And we can think of few better ways to celebrate than by appreciating our planet’s beauty from that most unique perspective: Space. Today in Voyager, go on a planetary-wide scavenger hunt with NASA Earth imagery; see geographies in a new way with Federico Winer’s Ultradistancia; and admire stunning landscapes with Earth View by Ubilabs.

beauty_earthview1.png

beauty_earthview2.png

beauty_fede1.png

beauty_fede2.png

beauty_nasa1.png

beauty_nasa2.png


Explore the world from a distance, and see a few things closer to home—like cherry blossoms in full bloom, tropical islands and the wonders of the ancient world.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/OxM9_jOmywE/

Scan your printed photos in just one tap

Category: Google | Apr 19, 2017

PhotoScan lets you save digital copies of your printed photos in just a few taps. Since we launched the app in November, you’ve all scanned a lot of photos—almost 50 million in fact! Today we’re making a few updates to ensure these moments—once trapped in a photo album in your attic—are even easier to scan and share, so you can take them with you wherever you go.

PhotoScan already removes glare from scanned photos, making the process of preserving your printed memories less complicated. Yet sometimes, the lighting is just right, and there’s no glare present. For those moments, you can now turn off glare removal and scan in one step. You’ll get a quick, high-quality result with all the benefits of PhotoScan—like cropping, edge detection, image straightening, and rotating to the correct orientation.

PhotoScan_Julia_Hero

Plus, now you can share your scans right from the app, so you don’t have to wait long to send off that childhood photo of you rocking your favorite pink velvet top.

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These updates are rolling out over the next few days on Android and iOS.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/dxRR6QE1-Js/