Hey ChatGPT, Are You A Google Killer? That’s The Wrong Prompt People

Since OpenAI unveiled ChatGPT to the world last November, people have wasted little time finding imaginative uses for the eerily human-like chatbot. They have used it to generate code, create Dungeons & Dragons adventures and converse on a seemingly infinite array of topics.

Now some in Silicon Valley are speculating that the masses might come to adopt the ChatGPT-style bots as an alternative to traditional internet searches.

Microsoft, which made an early $1 billion investment in OpenAI, plans to release an implementation of its Bing search engine that incorporates ChatGPT before the end of March. According to a recent article in The New York Times, Google has declared “code red” over fears ChatGPT could pose a significant threat to its $149-billion-dollar-a-year search business.

Could ChatGPT really be on the verge of disrupting the global search engine industry?

It’s doubtful. ChatGPT is good at what it does — generating what appears to be knowledge in a conversational manner — but a search engine it is not. It responds to prompts like you might expect a really smart person to, even if it can’t directly answer your questions.

Superhuman librarian vs psychic of the past

It makes some sense that Google might see chat, were it to be widely adopted as a search tool, as a threat to its business model. It’s much easier to incorporate advertisements into listed search results than into chatbot responses. If fewer people are doing conventional search, that could potentially have a serious effect on Google’s bottom line. But the real question here is: Can ChatGPT even be used to do Google-like searches?

To understand the answer, let’s compare the two technologies.

Google and similar search engines are essentially superhuman librarians. They can find any internet site you want and recommend other potentially related sites, typically in just a fraction of a second. Then it’s up to you to decide whether or not those sites are good sources for what you’re trying to accomplish.

ChatGPT is less like a librarian than like a psychic.

ChatGPT, on the other hand, is less like a librarian than like a psychic who claims to commune with the dead. Its most glaring flaw as an internet search tool is that it can’t connect to the internet — at least, not to the internet post-2021.

That renders ChatGPT useless for answering most search queries. The most searched terms on Google are consistently those related to breaking news and to local or personal information such as places to eat, banking info, and stock market websites — queries that require accurate, up-to-date information.

Screenshot from ChatGPT/OpenAI

Screenshot from ChatGPT/OpenAI


Even if chatbots could trawl the internet in real time — a feat that technology experts have not yet figured out how to achieve — they would likely prove to be poor go-betweens for internet searches.

That’s because models such as ChatGPT are trained to “hallucinate” text. They don’t search their databases for relevant passages and regurgitate or reword them. Rather, they use a process much like the autocomplete function on your phone to build responses one word at a time.

These models don’t understand what they’re outputting any more than an ink pen does. If you ask ChatGPT the same query during five different sessions, you may get five different answers, possibly contradicting one another. Adding the ability for the chatbot to access the internet in real time won’t make these “hallucinations” any more accurate or reliable.

Add to that list of shortcomings the fact that chatbot language generation is incredibly slow, compared to search engines. For example, when I Google searched “explain string theory,” the query returned 55.7 million results curated by relevance in less than a second. The same prompt, when I gave it to ChatGPT, took anywhere from about 15 to 90 seconds to resolve depending on how verbose the model chose to be at a given moment.

Even if the chatbots could respond more quickly, their paragraph-format responses aren’t exactly ideal for readers who want to process a lot of information quickly. Once the novelty of chatting with a robot wears off, most humans will likely go back to wanting their information delivered fast and in easy-to-parse lists.

You don’t have to take my word for all of this. Even ChatGPT itself doesn’t seem to think it poses much threat to Google:

Screenshot from ChatGPT/OpenAI

Screenshot from ChatGPT/OpenAI


So why all the fuss in Silicon Valley about ChatGPT and search?

Most likely, it seems, ChatGPT-style bots will be paired with existing search engines to offer a user interface that serves both traditional search engine queries and chatbot prompts. That’s the model that was adopted by, a boutique search engine that launched its own GPT-like chatbot in December.

There’s something fun and exciting about communicating with a robot.

Rather than replacing the traditional search experience, the new “YouChat” feature merely appears as a link beneath the search bar. The innovation here is putting two very different AI-powered apps on the same page. It’s probably safe to assume that Microsoft will do something similar when it integrates ChatGPT into Bing this spring.

That being said, there’s something fun and exciting about communicating with a robot that passes our personal Turing Tests. And some folks, when asking the kinds of questions that chat is good at answering, might prefer the conversational, colloquial touch of chat to the cold utilitarianism of listed results — even if it comes at the expense of accuracy. ChatGPT is a lot of fun to play with and, with further development, it may even have a bright future as a digital assistant.

But that doesn’t mean chatbots will revolutionize the world’s most popular search engine, much less replace it. For now, they are too slow and too stupid to be useful for much more than entertainment purposes. Saying that ChatGPT is a threat to Google’s search engine is like saying podcasts will replace universities. There’s certainly some user overlap, but the technologies serve entirely different purposes.

Tristan Greene is a freelance futurist, U.S. Navy veteran, and technology journalist covering artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

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Here’s the AP African American Studies course Florida rejected

For months, the Florida Education Department and the College Board have been at loggerheads over instituting a proposed Advanced Placement African American studies course for high school students.

The state finally announced last week that it was rejecting the course, pointing to six areas of concern and works by Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, bell hooks, Angela Davis and other Black authors.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. discussed the issue publicly for the first time at a news conference Monday. They argue that the course is a Trojan horse for “indoctrinating” students with a left-wing ideology under the guise of teaching about the Black experience and African American history (which is mandated in the state).

DeSantis’ critics, including the White House, have accused him of censoring ideas he doesn’t like, blocking African American studies in general and engaging in homophobia because the state refuses to allow the teaching of Black Queer Studies, which is one of the six points of concern (the others are Intersectionality, Movement for Black Lives, Black Feminist Literary Thought, The Reparations Movement and Black Struggle in the 21st Century).

In a statement last week, the College Board said the course was “undergoing a rigorous, multi-year pilot phase, collecting feedback from teachers, students, scholars and policymakers.”

The Florida Standard, a conservative outlet, first published the curriculum. It was also shared with NBC News by a source in Florida.

Read through the curriculum that Florida has rejected below. The names of people involved in creating it have been removed.

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Author of social media registration bill decries ‘too much democracy’ online

January 24, 2023 | 12:55pm

MANILA, Philippines — Rep. Arnolfo Teves (Negros Oriental), who has filed a bill to require the registration of social media accounts, spoke on the House floor on Monday to complain about “online bashers” and of the Philippines having “too much democracy.”

Teves’ privilege speech comes as mobile phone users in the Philippines register their SIM card under a law that initially also sought the mandatory registration of social media accounts. Congress passed the law quickly in 2022 despite privacy concerns raised by groups like the Computer Professionals’ Union, EngageMedia and Human Rights Online Philippines.

“Bashing on social media is too much, it doesn’t seem right. I think there needs to be a law for this,” Teves, who did not directly call for support of his Online and Social Media Membership Accountability bill, said. He said that discipline should be emphasized over “too much democracy.”

Teves — author of bills to name the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos and to recognize “ghosting” ” as a form of emotional abuse — said he has critics on social media as well but said that he invites them to follow his accounts.

He told House colleagues that “[he] can’t discuss it now since there is a rule saying that if you have a bill filed, you can no longer include it in your privilege speech.”

Teves’ social media registration bill

House Bill 129 aims to discourage hate speech from anonymous users by requiring individuals to submit valid identification cards to register a social media account. The measure proposes unspecified fines against social media platform that fail to authenticate user accounts and that cannot provide user information in case of a lawsuit against a social media account on the platform.

“While the country has greatly benefitted from [social media’s] bridging of both public and private spheres, like any other tool, the social media has been used as a mode to bully and harass individuals and institutions,” Teves said in his explanatory note to the bill.

The bill has been pending with the Committee on Public Information since July 2022.

The bill’s provisions on authentication are reminiscent of the old provisions in the original version of the SIM Card Registration Act, which then-President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed for requiring social media account holders to provide their “real” name and phone number. 

Privacy and the right to anonymity

The Asia Internet Coalition in 2022 flagged the SIM Card Registration Act over the security risks posed by its mandatory collection of information, which would put individuals in vulnerable groups “at risk of tracking and targeting, increasing the chances of their private information being misused.” 

The group, which is the sole trade association of Internet companies in Asia, also opposed the registration requirement due to the potential harm it will cause to people who “use social media as a safe space to explore their identity, find support and manage boundaries safely under a veil of anonymity.”

In a related statement, 11 human rights organizations — including ARTICLE 19, which focuses on freedom of expression — also voiced their concerns on mandatory social media registration, saying “prohibitions of anonymity interfere with the right to privacy and freedom of expression, protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Philippines is a party.”

The groups added that, according to a 2013 report by Frank La Rue, special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, that “restrictions on anonymity ‘facilitate State communications surveillance’ and ‘have a chilling effect, dissuading the free expression of information and ideas’.” — with Cristina Chi

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The budget conundrum: How to reskill 1-billion people for the jobs of tomorrow

It is time to take skill development programmes out of the limits of physical classrooms and to encourage investment in the segment through PLI-like schemes, say experts.

Knowledge delivery systems are changing and this budget has an opportunity to bring in policies that can give a big push to India’s manufacturing ambitions. The budget can provide the necessary policy push to ensure that Indian youth learn courses at ease and without burning a hole in their pockets, they say.

As the country has a young population — with a huge chunk in the workable-age bracket — skilling and reskilling requirements would go up. Ensuring these needs are met would also help attract more manufacturers to set up factories in the country.

Sumit Kumar, CBO, TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, acknowledges that in the last two years, online education has benefited many and classrooms have not been just confined to a physical location. However, blue-collared workers, who are at the bottom of the pyramid, have not been able to reap the benefits here. “We need to break the barriers of the traditional classrooms. The classroom need not be just confined to four walls, it could be on-the-job. It could even be online,” he says.
A blend of both online learning and on-the-job learning can make a huge impact and address the employability and the cross-enrollment issues, Kumar says.

Another advantage of online or hybrid courses is that it does not require the physical infrastructure that an offline delivery system demands. This would make it easier to start institutes that deliver such courses and the fees can also be affordable.

Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development Entrepreneurship, explains that India’s demographic dividend presents a rare opportunity to create a high-quality skilled workforce for the world, especially nations with aging or declining national populations. For this, a suitable skill ecosystem is required. “As we recover from the pandemic, our country is moving up the value chain and getting into new areas of emerging technologies. We find ourselves faced with the mammoth task of upskilling and reskilling over half of the Indian workers, leveraging new-age technology, to meet the talent demand,” he says.PLI for skilling
Lohit Bhatia, President, Indian Staffing Federation, says the government should, through the budget, encourage hybrid programmes. There was a need for a skill-incentive scheme like the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme. “A PLI-like scheme can come for construction and agriculture.” Bhatia says these segments have a large number of informal workers and policies should be designed to make them part of the formal workforce. Companies that can attract such talent should be given an incentive, “something like a 5% subsidy from the government. With the PLI tag, it will be taken more seriously,” he says.

labour istockiStock

The budget will also have to adequately focus on skills beyond blue-collared jobs.

These observations resonate with what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said earlier this month. Modi says India has the potential to become the skill capital of the world. The country has 1.4 billion people and an average age of 29; 75% of its population is of working age.

Industry experts say given the times we live in, the budget is rightly placed to give skilling a big boost.

Over the years, the government has come up with various initiatives to develop skilled workers. However, many of them have also remained underutilised. As education and learning continue to evolve with changing times and the rise of technology and digitisation, it is high time skilling goes beyond physical training, reiterate experts.

With technology redrawing the map of skilling, Tiwari says, greater emphasis is being laid on new-age job roles. “Currently, we are witnessing a surge in the demand in areas such as AI, cloud computing, machine learning, blockchain management, data analytics and robotics, resulting in the emergence of new job capabilities. Therefore, training in new-age skills has also become imperative as they play a vital role in preparing the workforce for pandemic-disrupted global labour markets and increasing competitiveness,” he says. “We will need the industry to not only help us identify skill gaps in emerging areas of technology and services sectors, but also support our skilling and capacity-building efforts by providing the learners with opportunities for internships and employment. I hope that these aspects are reflected in the Union Budget 2023.”

Paying partners faster
Bhatia also points out the issue of skilling partners’ ability to recover the investment money from NSDC. The skill partners get paid only six months after the candidates complete training. The process now is too long, especially as skilling partners have to set up physical infrastructure, get the courses approved, find trainers and ensure that candidates find employment and stay in it for a minimum of six months. “Which is why most skilling partners have exited this business in the past one to two years,” he adds. “We have been requesting the NSDC and the Ministry of Skills to look at this in a very different way, something similar to the skill credits in Singapore. If the government were to transfer skill credits to the people, and when people complete the skill programmes and get a job, they can then redeem the skill credits to the skilling partner. This will help in easier and faster reimbursement from NSDCs.”

It is also time to look at focused programmes such as green skills, says Kumar of TeamLease. If India wants to boost manufacturing, we need to focus on green skills as well. “There should be emphasis on launching a green skill programme that will cover sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality and textiles. Even in terms of power and energy, these green skills are essential,” he adds.

ETRise MSME Day 2022 Mega Conclave with Industry Leaders. Watch Now.

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DOJ to sue Google over its monopoly on digital ad market

The US Justice Department is poised to sue Alphabet Inc.’s Google as soon as Tuesday regarding the search giant’s dominance over the digital advertising market, according to people familiar with the matter.

The case is expected to be filed in federal court before the end of the week, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing a confidential matter. 

The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Google declined to comment.

The lawsuit will mark the Justice Department’s second monopoly case against the company, which is the No. 1 player in the $278.6 billion US digital-ad market, controlling most of the technology used to buy, sell and serve online advertising. 

The lawsuit would also be the fifth major case in the US challenging the company’s business practices. State attorneys general have filed three separate suits against Google, alleging it dominates the markets for online search, advertising technology and apps on the Android mobile platform in violation of antitrust laws.

The Mountain View, California-based company is No. 1 in the $626.86 billion global digital ad market, according to 2023 estimates by research firm EMarketer, with the US representing the biggest piece.

Alphabet’s ad operations are expected to bring in $73.8 billion in US digital ad revenue in 2023. Google runs an ad-buying service for marketers and an ad-selling one for publishers, as well as a trading exchange where both sides complete transactions in lightning-fast auctions. 

Google has argued that the market for online advertising is a crowded and competitive one. In court filings and congressional testimony, the company has noted its rivals include other major players in the ad tech market such as Inc., Meta Platforms Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

The department’s scrutiny of Google’s control of the ad tech market goes back to the Trump administration. The DOJ under then-Attorney General William Barr sued Google over its search business instead, alleging the company used exclusive distribution deals with wireless carriers and phone makers to lock out competition. That case is due to go to trial in September. 

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China could be spying on Britain using lightbulbs, watches and cars, report warns

China has the ability to spy on millions of people in Britain by “weaponising” microchips embedded in cars, domestic appliances and even lightbulbs, British ministers have been warned.

he “Trojan Horse” technology poses a “wide-ranging” threat to UK national security, according to a report sent to the British government by a former diplomat who has advised parliament on Beijing.

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The US War Against Assange

Chris Hedges interviews journalist Kevin Gosztola on his new book, Guilty of Journalism: The Political Case Against Julian Assange on The Real News Network’s The Chris Hedges Report. Transcript with bonus material follows.

Kevin Gosztola is the managing editor of Shadowproof, where he writes The Dissenter. He is the author of Guilty of Journalism: The Political Case Against Julian Assange.

The following transcript is a preliminary transcript of this interview and may contain errors. An updated version will be made available as soon as possible.

Chris Hedges: The long persecution of Julian Assange, the publisher of WikiLeaks, is set to culminate in its final act, a trial in the United States probably this year. Kevin Gosztola has spent the last decade reporting on Assange, WikiLeaks, and the wider war on whistleblowers. His new book, Guilty of Journalism: The Political Case against Julian Assange methodically lays out the complex issues surrounding the case, the gross distortions to the legal system used to facilitate the extradition of Julian now in a high security prison in London, the abuses of power by the F.B.I. and the C.I.A., including spying on Julian’s meetings when he sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy and London with his family, doctors and attorneys, and the dire consequences, should Julian be convicted, for the press. 

Joining me to discuss his new book is Kevin Gosztola. So Kevin, you do a very… I think your book and Nils Melzer are the two books I would recommend for people who don’t understand the case. I use this show in this interview to really lay out for people who are unfamiliar with the long persecution of Julian, and the legal anomalies that have been used against him. You know what those are. So let’s just start with what are the charges, what are the allegations, which is where you begin your book.

Kevin Gosztola: Yeah. And the intention was to look ahead and say, Julian Assange is likely to be brought to the U.S. by the end of 2023, maybe 2024. We need something out there for the general public so they can wrap their head around the unprecedented nature of what’s unfolding. And so the charges against Julian Assange, he was first indicted back in April of 2019. Or sorry, that was when it was unveiled. He was charged first with a computer crime offense. They alleged essentially a password cracking conspiracy. And that was of intrusion of essentially agreeing to help Chelsea Manning anonymously access military computers.

And then the other charges were 17 espionage act offenses. And of course those have gotten the most attention and they’ve been the ones met with the most outrage and unanimous discussed from press freedom, civil Liberties, and human rights organizations around the world. And those are the ones really that are the most damaging and cause the greatest amount of alarm when you look at what the U.S. Justice Department is alleging.

And then in 2020, it’s important to note that this flew under the radar, but I go into this in great detail in the book is there are these allegations, this narrative that gets grafted on in the summer of 2020, right before we have the major extradition hearing in September of 2020. It is a whole bunch of facts and de detail or claims that are put forward about what Assange did or didn’t do to promote hacking to align himself with LulzSec or members of Anonymous. They criminalize him for providing source protection to Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower. And as all these other details to basically fatten up the indictment and make it easier to win extradition in the British court.

Chris Hedges: I want to go back to the charges. First of all, didn’t Chelsea Manning at the Army already have all the passwords?

Kevin Gosztola: So this is an important point. There is no reason, and it is actually illogical what the U.S. Justice Department is claiming because she had access to these military computers. She never would’ve had to go through the databases anonymously in order to access the materials. And in fact, the Assange legal team was able to get the services of Patrick Eller, who was an Army criminal investigator who actually looked at the court martial record and went through all of this and found that there is no substantial basis at all for what the U.S. government is claiming when it comes to this password cracking conspiracy.

Technically speaking, it was not possible for any cracking of a password to happen because Julian Assange was never given all the information needed to do that or to help her or Manning never had all that information to do it. But beyond that, she just wouldn’t have needed to do it because she had access. She had the security clearance.

Chris Hedges: Also, the charge of hacking into a computer is important because they use that to distinguish Julian Assange from publications like the New York Times or Der Spiegel, or The Guardian that published the same information and without that hacking charge, legally one would think they’re also liable.

Kevin Gosztola: And this is part of opening up that to a debate. That is why you hear so much about, “Oh, is he or is he not a journalist?” And by making it seem like he engaged in hacking when he was editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, just as you say, they’re able to create this animosity towards him and treat him he’s somebody that he’s not. At some point he sees to be a journalist because he was for breaking into government computer systems.

Chris Hedges: So you covered Chelsea Manning’s court martial and I wanted you to explain what happened and why the role of her court martial was such an important moment in this whole saga.

Kevin Gosztola: So Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. That was in 2013. And she was convicted of all the offenses that she was charged with committing under the Espionage Act for the release of documents, which are at issue in this case. And these are the major sets of documents that have given WikiLeaks the acclaim. These are the Afghan and Iraq war logs, the Afghanistan war logs and Iraq war logs. Then the U.S. State Embassy cables, the Guantanamo files that were published, these detainee assessment reports. And then there are some files here and there that are notable but don’t get a lot of coverage like rules of engagement files. And then there’s a collateral murder video of course from Chelsea.

She was sentenced for these, but she was crucially acquitted of the aiding the enemy offense, which was this charge that was one of the most disturbing and troubling aspects of the court martial against Chelsea Manning. All of it was really troubling to see unfold against her, but this idea that because she had transmitted information to WikiLeaks and made it publicly available to the whole world that she was somehow aiding Al-Qaeda terrorists as military prosecutor said, that was something that caught the attention of the ACLU, Amnesty International. All these groups said that that was something that had to be protested and it should not go forward. The judge should not convict her.

So she escaped that charge. She also was acquitted of one charge that they didn’t prove the facts around because they never were able to prove that she had leaked this or had this Granai massacre video from Afghanistan, this horrific massacre that is well known in Afghanistan, obviously. So the reason why the court martial is something that people should keep fresh in their minds, even though it may seem like it’s decade old history, is the fact that when I followed this, the military prosecutors never brought up any sort of thing like, “Oh, there was a conspiracy between Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.”

And in fact, when the prosecutors were asked by the judge, if you substituted WikiLeaks with New York Times, would you still prosecute this case in the same manner? Meaning would you accuse Chelsea Manning of aiding the enemy? They said without hesitation, yes. So it wouldn’t make a difference. WikiLeaks or New York Times, they would’ve charged Manning the same. They would’ve criminalized her for being a media source and hit her as hard as they did.

What that tells you is that at that time, they’re not viewing WikiLeaks as a hostile entity. They’re not treating WikiLeaks as anything other than this new media organization that is doing something that is different from what the standard establishment media or prestige media organizations had tended to do with classified documents. There is this report that Chelsea Manning released from this Army Intelligence Center, that was one of the reports that she was charged with releasing that indicated that the military actually had analyzed WikiLeaks and come to the conclusion that Assange was like a foreign correspondent or staff writer that they had gone to the trouble of authenticating documents that WikiLeaks was a website where they uploaded documents on military equipment and that they had journalistic responsibility to the newsworthiness of the information that they were uploading to their website.

Which tells you that they understood that this was not what Mike Pompeo was telling people WikiLeaks was in 2017. No, this was a news media organization that was publishing U.S. documents on wars in the Middle East.

Chris Hedges: They had to create new charges in essence to create distance between WikiLeaks and mainstream traditional media, didn’t they?

Kevin Gosztola: Yeah. That’s essentially what you’re seeing. As we’ll get to, when you see the C.I.A. enter and play their role, what they’re basically doing is making it clear that they see WikiLeaks as something different than The New York Times or The Washington Post or The Guardian. And then in doing so, that’s, that’s why they feel they have the authority to take these extralegal, extra judicial counterintelligence measures to go after and target and destroy an organization like WikiLeaks.

Chris Hedges: Can you address the charge that WikiLeaks released information that endangered the lives of informants or collaborators that was used again to tar WikiLeaks?

Kevin Gosztola: Off the top of my head, I cannot remember the name of the individual at this moment, but I think his name was Robert Carr. Anyways, there was an official who took the stand during this military court martial who was asked by the prosecutors to speak to this idea that the Taliban had gone forward and executed an individual because they were named in documents that WikiLeaks had published. At that point, David Coombs stopped the court and told the judge that-

Chris Hedges: David Coombs was Manning’s lawyer.

Kevin Gosztola: David Coombs was Chelsea Manning’s attorney. He stopped the court and he got the judge to recognize that the prosecutors were lying to her or that this witness was now deliberately misleading the court about what happened because the Taliban had not actually executed any individual because of the fact that they were named in a WikiLeaks document. This witness was forced to recant that testimony. In fact, the judge actually scolded the prosecutors and said she was putting it down in her record that nobody had been killed by the Taliban as a result of WikiLeaks documents.

So during this whole court martial, there was not a single person put into the public record who U.S. officials were able to claim were killed because WikiLeaks exposed them to this harm. So this was a canard. And in fact, to the credit of the establishment media there, I remember that the Associated Press actually did do a little bit of reporting and analyzed this claim.

They even came back with WikiLeaks did not have blood on their hands because they could not find any evidence. There was one individual I think in Ethiopia who was known to flee, said that they were in fear for their lives because they were named in, I think a U.S. State Embassy cable. What you have to remember is that these cables were detailing great repression and authoritarianism and things of that nature that were going on in these countries.

So it’s just as true that if they were named in the cables that they might face some repercussion. It was just as true that the State Department by aligning themselves with these activists, might be exposing them to harm from their government because those governments could see them, could see the U.S. government as meddling and trying to get those activists to do something on behalf of the United States that maybe the governments didn’t want to allow the U.S. government to do.

Chris Hedges: The unredacted documents were made public, not because of Julian, but because Luke Harding in his book on WikiLeaks released the key that allowed those documents to be opened.

Kevin Gosztola: Yeah. And that’s one of the biggest media mishaps that has played into the prosecution. I say that that is something that has aided and abetted the prosecution by the U.S. Justice Department.

Chris Hedges: I have a chapter called, how does the U.S. government view WikiLeaks? Not as journalism, although I used to work for The New York Times and every time we made an error, it got into the error box at the end of the year. In our year end review, we were given a list of errors and you did not want a very long list. I don’t believe WikiLeaks has ever had to retract anything they’ve published.

Kevin Gosztola: No. I put this forward because I think we have to think of it in different ways. So there is what the U.S. government says today, and if you ask the U.S. government what WikiLeaks is, you probably will get them to respond to you. Any official will probably say something like they are a hostile entity. In the 2020 military budget that was passed, or the defense budget. It’s not really a defense budget, but that actually singled out and made it that it was a sense of Congress that WikiLeaks is a non-state hostile intelligence service essentially.

Chris Hedges: Well, that’s how Biden has described it.

Kevin Gosztola: But that’s what Mike Pompeo as C.I.A. director had it labeled when he was C.I.A. director. But what’s crucial, I think, in my view, because we’re talking about events that happened back in 2010 and 2011, Julian’s lawyers will probably argue it this way. This is the way I would go forward in order to defend Julian Assange to say that doesn’t matter. What did the U.S. government think of WikiLeaks in 2010 or 2011? And the evidence is that back then they did not see it as a hostile organization.

There weren’t allegations that cutouts from Russia were passing information to WikiLeaks. They saw it unequivocally as this organization that presented a threat to the U.S. government because as Geoff Morrell, when he was Pentagon Secretary said, this is an organization that was beholden to nobody and they did not think that they would be able to negotiate it with them the way that they would be able to negotiate with The New York Times or The Washington Post in order to get them to sit on documents and not reveal things like we know has happened in the history of The New York Times and The Washington Post, whether it involved secret drone bases or warrantless wire tapping to name a few examples.

Chris Hedges: Well, in that case, they’re right. Let’s talk about the Espionage Act. Obama uses the Espionage Act to go after all sorts of whistleblowers, Kiriakou, Drake and others. Then Trump uses the Espionage Act against Julian. So you have the first step against whistleblowers, the second step by the Trump administration to use the Espionage Act against a journalist. Then it raises the whole question of the fact that Julian is not a U.S. citizen. WikiLeaks is not a U.S.-based publication. You addressed this in the book, but talk about the Espionage Act.

Kevin Gosztola: So the Espionage Act is over 100 years old. You have to go back to 1917 under President Woodrow Wilson. And this was drafted in order to suppress anti-war descent. This was to go after people who did not want to see the U.S. take a greater role and be involved in World War I, to join World War I. And they went after people who were anti-war activists, socialists, communists particularly had a mechanism now in which they were able to go after people who were leafleting spreading pamphlets.

They could go after publications that were promoting anti-war sentiment. And they used the Espionage Act essentially to challenge these people and prosecute them. There were thousands of cases in the 1920s under the Espionage Act. And then there was one of various sedition laws that were brought against people on the left.

So the law says that you are not allowed to give national defense information or information related to the national defense, to anyone who is not entitled to receive it. It also says that you aren’t allowed to do it with intent to harm or injure the United States, or if you know that it would advantage a foreign power, essentially.

So it presumes that you have some knowledge of the information. And typically what we saw with these Espionage Act prosecutions is that you would sign a non-disclosure agreement when you are given your security clearance. So all these people who are essentially media sources or whistleblowers who are being prosecuted under the Espionage Act, when President Obama was in office, they signed non-disclosure agreements, which gave them a little bit of liability. That’s what the Justice Department would claim. That doesn’t take away from their courageousness or conscientiousness in exposing what they see as abuses and corruption.

But that’s something then when you go forward, you get to a journalist like Julian Assange, and he never signed any non-disclosure agreement. He has no responsibility to these documents that the government is claiming now. He’s a criminal for exposing and he’s not somebody who the U.S. government has any claim over, can’t hold anything over his head, and yet they are pushing this and basically saying that, “You and me, if we get secret documents that come from the U.S. government and they don’t want them published, they could come after us with a prosecution because those documents were still deemed sensitive by the U.S. government.

This was just a natural progression. There are people who spoke out against the war on whistleblowers under Obama as he charged and went forward with cases that he inherited like Thomas Drake’s case, John Kiriakou’s case, a C.I.A. whistleblower as he targeted these people and brought them through court that the next stage was going to be to not just go after the sources, but to now go after journalists for being engaged in exposing things that were detrimental to the warfare state.

So as Obama is perfecting the assassination complex and the ability of kill lists to be used, and for drones to go and execute people abroad as he’s perfecting indefinite military detention regimes, and as he’s pursuing more wars of occupation or allowing those to go on and on and on, they say, “Well, it’s important for us to make an example out of someone.”

One of the Obama officials, Dennis Blair, actually says that they recognized that there were so many leaks happening that they needed to make an example out of somebody in order so people would know that there were consequences if you leaked to the press.

Chris Hedges: Was it eight people they made an example, eight or nine?

Kevin Gosztola: Yeah. I think by the time Obama was done, it was up there around 11 or 12. And then under Trump, we only had a small number of cases that were well known, and those were… And one of them was actually inherited the Daniel Hale case against him. It’s important to mention him because he’s in a communications management unit in the state where I live, and he’s in one of the harshest conditions that anyone prosecuted under the Espionage Act has ever been in. He’s basically been confined as if he’s a terrorist.

Chris Hedges: He exposed the drone program and the widespread killing of civilians. Let’s talk about Vault 7. This seemed to change the game for Julian. Many people argue that you have to explain what Vault 7 was, but that exposure of C.I.A. hacking tools into our phones, computers, et cetera, really sealed the fate of Julian. So talk about Vault 7 and the role it played in the extradition request.

Kevin Gosztola: And just to be clear, so that I’m not inadvertently suggesting that Julian Assange did something that he didn’t do, they did not publish the actual readouts of these tools so people could actually use them and engage in their own hacking, but they published the details of this hacking arsenal that the C.I.A. had at their fingertips. And having exposed these highly, highly sensitive programs that the C.I.A. was engaged in offensively of which we didn’t have a debate about.

We never talked about whether this was something that we thought should be going on globally with the C.I.A. hacking into all manner of systems. There were things related to malware and ways they could embed eavesdropping devices in Samsung TVs and encrypted messaging apps like Signal and WhatsApp that people use in order to communicate. With some modicum of privacy, we found that those were being compromised by the C.I.A..

This was something that was a big deal, but it so upset Mike Pompeo that according to Yahoo News! reporting, which I’ll delve into some more detail with another question, but to this point, we know that Mike Pompeo was hugely embarrassed and did not want to go face Donald Trump and tell him that he had lost control of these files. And that plays into the vengeful spirit in which C.I.A. a decided to go after and destroy WikiLeaks further to go after Assange to force him out of the embassy.

So this reporting from Yahoo News!, which is really one of the only establishment news media outlets, an online news media outlet that has put any effort into trying to uncover what the C.I.A. has done to WikiLeaks, put this report out on Secret War plans that were sketched and put together by Pompeo and officials at the C.I.A..

It essentially said that they were planning to kidnap, or you could read that as rendition or even poison Julian Assange, which would mount to an assassination attempt. And that also by labeling WikiLeaks as a hostile entity, they were able to get around any oversight that they would’ve had to do. I mean, what is oversight anyways? I mean the Congress doesn’t really do oversight, but they wouldn’t have to let Congress or the White House know what the C.I.A. was doing because they could claim that that WikiLeaks was a rival spy service. And as they went after WikiLeaks, they could try to disrupt the digital architecture of the WikiLeaks website. They could try to steal electronic devices from people who were staff or associates of WikiLeaks.

They could plant damaging or false information against people within WikiLeaks and try to turn people against each other and create internal battles. I mean, a classic COINTELPRO tactic that was used against the left in the ’60s and early ’70s. And so this was something in which when the Vault 7 files came out, they now got this permission within their organization to go in and really neutralize WikiLeaks and also get their hands on Julian Assange.

Chris Hedges: Which is exactly what happened at UC Global. This is the Spanish security firm that worked for the Ecuadorian embassy in London. It spied on Julian on behalf of the C.I.A., including filming his meetings with his attorneys eviscerating attorney-client privilege. We only have about five minutes left. I want you to talk, I mean the F.B.I.’s role, but talk about the grand jury because he faces under the Espionage Act. Each act is 17 violations supposedly of the Espionage Act. Each one carries a 10-year sentence, five years for supposedly hacking into a government computer. That’s 175 years.

Talk about where he would be sent in the Eastern District of Virginia because this is terrorism central for the U.S. judiciary. There’s a horrible lynching of all sorts of people, Samuel Erian and others, they hauled. Of course, Chelsea Manning in there as well. But talk about what will happen if he is extradited.

Kevin Gosztola: Yeah. Let me just give a quick, quick few points here. So if he’s put on trial in the Eastern District of Virginia, it’s highly unlikely that he will have a fair trial because he either has the option of a jury, which they’ll pull from people who are working from all of these people, are going to come from, let’s call it Top Secret America, which is what Bill Arkin and Dana Priest dubbed it over a decade ago. These people who work for military contractors, national security contractors, whether they might work for military agencies or they might work for parts of the U.S. government, or they may not work for these agencies, but have family or relatives that work for these agencies.

That would be the jury that would be deciding whether Julian Assange was guilty of these political crimes. And then if he said no to a jury, but wanted the judge to decide, well, that judge is going to be somebody who probably has historically shown deference to the national security state. So he is going to be in trouble either way. The grand jury investigation is a story that has not really been focused on as broadly as it should, but the way it was used going back to 2011 was a fishing expedition, much like fishing expeditions that have been launched against left wing activists.

I think Chelsea Manning has been the most clear example of what this grand jury was trying to do in order to destroy a person for standing up on their moral or political principles. And she was put in this position where they wanted her to basically recant her statement from the U.S. court martial that she had given so that they could try and make her seem like she was part of some conspiracy that she was put up to leak the documents that WikiLeaks solicited her to release documents to Julian Assange. She refused and she went to jail for a year.

And then I also just have to say quickly that on the F.B.I. rule, Siggi Thordarson is named in this 2020 indictment that they added these new allegations to. And this is a person who, the F.B.I. flew to Iceland to interview, who is someone who has been accused of many, many crimes including sex with minors, embezzlement schemes. He stole over $50,000 from the WikiLeaks store.

He was put in jail in 2021 because he was committing so much criminal activity that Iceland needed to invoke a provision in their law to stop him by jailing him. And he is working with the F.B.I. or he is cited in the indictment. It’s where they get a lot of these lies about Julian Assange being involved in hacking, which he later recanted in an interview for Iceland’s Stundin newspaper and the Iceland’s minister of interior, actually kicked the F.B.I. out of Iceland when they found out that they were there because Iceland knew that they were trying to use Siggi as bait to get to Julian Assange.

Chris Hedges: Great. We’re going to have to stop there. That was Kevin Gosztola on his book, Guilty of Journalism: The Political Case Against Julian Assange. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team, Cameron Granadino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at

And the Chris Hedges Report gets some extra time now with a few minutes of bonus material with Chris and Kevin Gosztola.

Chris Hedges: Can you talk about the idea of retaliation? Do you think that that is the chief motivation behind the U.S.’s persecution of Julian?

Kevin Gosztola: In my view, the U.S. government is trying to enforce a kind of discipline on journalists that they will not cover certain aspects of military operations, the true nature of warfare, that they also will not align themselves with people from the U.S. government who leaked these massive sets of documents, I think in an idealistic sense, but in a very unrealistic sort of sensibility.

The U.S. government would like to get The New York Times or Washington Post to recognize that Julian Assange has been made an example. “If you get sent hundreds of thousands of documents, we want you to tip us off that you’ve been sent them and be part of this criminal investigation so that we can get to the bottom of who is leaking.” Rather than do what WikiLeaks did, which is to say, “This material is hugely informative and important to the public interest, and we should share it with everyone around the world so they can know what the U.S. government does in its wars and how it is corrupt in its diplomacy.”

Chris Hedges: Well, that’s exactly what The Intercept did with Reality Winner. Isn’t it? You can explain.

Kevin Gosztola: Right, yeah. Because they showed them that they had gotten this document and when the —

Chris Hedges: They sent them the documents and they didn’t redact them. So it was very clear who sent them and she was arrested.

Kevin Gosztola: They want to put fear in media organizations that this can happen to you. That whole thing of Pentagon secretary Geoff Morrell saying, “WikiLeaks is beholden to nobody.” Well, what they want to end is that independence. They want only journalists who are willing to go sit in chairs and sit at press conferences and ask questions about, let’s say the Pentagon chief will answer and then whatever those responses are, they’ll jot those down and they’ll go back to their newsrooms and they’ll report those.

Maybe they’ll do a little investigation into war crimes, but ultimately, if the Pentagon decides that they haven’t committed a crime, that they accept that as the truth and move on, which by and large, let’s be honest, most of the time The New York Times or The Washington Post does accept those findings from the Pentagon as the thing that rules our understanding of events. So I don’t think there’s really much threat that they’re going to be as independent as the U.S. government fears.

Chris Hedges: You’re very critical of the establishment media justifiably so, and you cite numerous examples to back up their failure to do exhaustive or good reporting. Talk about what you’ve seen over the last decade as you’ve reported this and watching how they have reported this.

Kevin Gosztola: So generally speaking, I’m highly critical of the U.S. establishment media. When the indictment came for Julian Assange, what you saw immediately from broadcast networks and various media organizations was, I’m trying to shoehorn this into the narrative of Russiagate, that we were fed around alleged interference in the election by Russia to boost Donald Trump and get him elected to the White House, when in fact the indictment had nothing to do with it. And there’s not a single word in that indictment that has any relationship at all to those claims that have been put forward and never proven or corroborated mind you, by special counsel, Robert Mueller, when he did the investigation, found nothing to charge Julian Assange with any crimes or nothing to back up any of these scurrilous claims that have been put forward about WikiLeaks.

But in the book, I’m very specific because the decade… You can write a whole book about the media malpractice around WikiLeaks and the way in which they have fed into and made it easier for the U.S. government to prosecute Julian Assange. But I looked at a few examples that are actually referenced in the prosecution’s case against Julian Assange that have been used to get him extradited from the United States.

And first is David Leigh publishing the password in the book that he co-authored with Luke Harding and how that password led to the U.S. cables being available online for everyone to read, unredacted, putting everyone at great harm, and then it left Julian Assange scrambling and he had to try and warn the State Department. Of course, they didn’t want to talk with him because they don’t want to cooperate and treat him like a journalist. They wanted to use this as a pretext now to go after Julian Assange WikiLeaks which they were able to do.

The other thing is there is this story that was published by CNN claiming that the Ecuador embassy was used by Julian Assange as an election meddling outpost. And that’s referenced by Baraitser, and it’s also part of the extradition case.

Chris Hedges: Baraitser is the judge in London overseeing Julian’s case?

Kevin Gosztola: Yeah, Judge [Vanessa] Baraitser was the district judge who first overheard the arguments against extradition. And this story is incredible because it used files from UC Global, the same files that were given to El Pais in Spain, in which El Pais read them and saw what we saw. They saw that attorney-client privileges being violated. The rights of journalists are being violated. People’s privacy are being violated. Julian Assange and his family are being targeted by thugs essentially. But then for CNN, because they’ve got to further their narrative about WikiLeaks and Russia, use this to try to basically conjure and concoct a story about it being an election meddling outpost, which furthers the demonization of Assange, makes it easier to pursue this prosecution.

Chris Hedges: From following the trial in London, I’ve sat in on some of the hearings. I think you like me, because of all the legal anomalies that we’ve witnessed in the trial, see this as just a railroading that it’s unfortunately very likely that Julian will be extradited, but speak about that London aspect of the persecution.

Kevin Gosztola: The London aspect is glaring because you see right in front of you how the United Kingdom is a client state of the U.S. government. They’re not acting independently. There’s some great reporting that I referenced in my book from Declassified U.K.. Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis have done some good work on this case. They go into detail about how the judiciary in the U.K. is compromised. There’s the chief judge of the high court, he’s friends with a minister. He went to school with a minister, I believe at Oxford who is part of the operation that is designed to purge and remove Julian Assange from the Ecuador embassy.

He’s celebrating. He’s taking a trip to Ecuador and giving gifts to people in Ecuador and congratulating them on a good job done. This is the U.K. government. Priti Patel, when she was home secretary and authorized the extradition, she’s pushing for an expanded espionage law in the U.K. so that they can crack down on journalists and whistleblowers to a greater degree. The U.S. is actually working with European countries and Australia and Canada right now, Five Eyes countries, to get them to expand their espionage laws, so they look more like the U.S. Espionage Act.

So what we’re seeing in Julian Assange’s case and the effort to extradite him is a model for controlling the flow of information about national security matters and military operations controlling how we report on NATO and what’s happening in Ukraine and other theaters of conflict. They’re using this to basically send a message that this is what can happen to you if you stray outside of the acceptable narratives.

Chris Hedges: Great. That was Kevin Gosztola on his new book, Guilty Of Journalism: The Political Case Against Julian Assange.

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Microsoft invests $10 billion in ChatGPT creator OpenAI to develop ‘powerful’ AI system

Microsoft has confirmed that it is making a “multibillion-dollar” investment in OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot. Microsoft said that it plans to expand its existing partnership with the company to add more artificial intelligence to its products. In a separate blog post, OpenAI said the investment will be used to “develop AI that is increasingly safe, useful, and powerful”.

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, said in a statement, “We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratise AI as a new technology platform.”

Microsoft makes billion-dollar investments in OpenAI

OpenAI’s ChatGPT gained traction on the internet when the company launched this tool without prior notice in November, allowing users to experience its ability to write articles, essays, and poems as well as computer code in just seconds. Notably, the tool was banned in universities and schools for its ability to help students cheat in examinations. The tool was banned in cities like New York City and Washington, DC, and it evoked serious debates about the future of office work.

Notably, Microsft recently announced that it would soon add ChatGPT features to its cloud computing service, Azure, allowing the ChatGPT tool to be available on the service, which could also help businesses use the tools directly within its apps and services. The latest announcement has come after Microsoft’s CEO announced the plans to remove at least 10,000 employees as what the company called a cost-cutting measure. 

After Open AI allowed access to ChatGPT in November last year, it has been used to write articles for at least one media house, also used to write lyrics in the style of various artists, and also draught research paper abstracts that led to concern in the scientific community. Also, some CEOs have used the platform to write emails or do accounting work.

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Couple Cheats Hyderabad Man Of 14 Lakh By Offering To Make His Daughter Model: Cops

Couple Cheats Hyderabad Man Of 14 Lakh By Offering To Make His Daughter Model: Cops

The accused got Rs 14.12 lakh deposited into various bank accounts. (Representational)


A 47-year-old man, along with his wife, has been arrested for allegedly cheating a city-based resident of over Rs 14 lakh by offering to make his daughter a model, police said on Monday.

The prime accused, who was a model for 20 years and also acted in two Bollywood movies, is a notorious cyber fraudster involved in multiple cases of duping several people, the police said.

The accused would conduct ramp shows in malls in different cities under the pretext of selecting children for modelling and providing chance to feature them in advertisements and also to act with film stars and cricketers by canvassing online, a press release from the Cyberabad police said.

The accused then managed to convince the parents of children who participated in the ramp show to deposit money into multiple accounts as make-up fee, refundable deposit for costumes and other accessories, the release said.

When a complainant visited a mall at Kondapur with his family on December 11, 2022 to celebrate his daughter’s birthday, the modelling agency run by the accused was conducting a ramp show to select child models and they took his mobile number and shared a coupon code.

Subsequently, the complainant’s daughter walked the ramp and they sent a message to him stating that his daughter was selected for modelling, the police said.

Later, the prime accused spoke to the complainant informing that his daughter got selected for an advertisement and can work with an actress and asked him to deposit Rs 3.25 lakh towards refundable deposit for costumes that would be provided by a famous designer.

The accused made the complainant believe that they are going to conduct a six-day photo-shoot and got a total amount of Rs 14.12 lakh deposited into various bank accounts and finally cheated him under the guise of selecting his daughter for modelling following which the complainant approached the police.

Based on the complaint, a case was registered in Cyber Crime Police Station, and during the investigation the prime accused and his wife were arrested here, the police said.

Police further said the accused had got a website designed for him in the guise of a modelling agency and chose crowded malls in metro cities.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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