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theEweekly Wrap

Snapchat valuation – Unworkable right to be forgotten – Hacker SEO expert

Snapchat valued at $10bn

This week, the Guardian has reported that the disappearing message service Snapchat may be worth as much as $10bn (£5.9bn).

The report tells us that Snapchat Inc is in talks with investors, including Alibaba Holding Group Ltd, the Chinese internet giant.

Last year the chief executive and co-founder of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, turned town a huge $3bn buyout offer from Facebook, and later a $4bn offer from Google. He said Mark Zukerberg went on to warn him that if Snapchat did not sell, then his company would release a competing product. Such as the new Facebook app, Slingshot.

Slingshot isn't Facebook's first attempt to pull some users from Snapchat. But its first try with the app Poke did not go very well (it bombed). Now with news that Snapchat's valuation is so high we can only wonder what Zuckerberg is thinking, while for Spiegel things look better and better.


Right to be scrutinised

Next up, more developments in the story of the right to be forgotten.

The Lords Home Affairs EU Sub-Committee has said that demands for the search engines to remove links from the web are unreasonable, and what's more, that the search engine guys should not be the ones who decide what links need to be removed.

In a report, the committee also criticised the 'right to be forgotten' ruling in general, and said that it is "unworkable, unreasonable, and wrong in principle".

The ruling came about in May after one Mario Costeja Gonzalez fought and won a legal battle to remove Google links to articles about the repossession of his home.

Much like mishearing a makeup advertisement say 'all free' instead of 'oil free', this controversial reinterpretation of the law has generated a huge demand. Google has so far received over 70,000 requests to be forgotten.


UFO hunter cum Pentagon hacker to SEO wizard

And to wrap up this week, news broke that the computer hacker Gary McKinnon has re-invented himself as a search engine expert, setting up his own his own businesses - Small SEO.

Back in 2002, US authorities said McKinnon had perpetrated the "biggest military computer hack of all time" after he hacked into the Pentagon and caused '$800,000' (£471,000) of damage. McKinnon, who is autistic, said he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

The authorities tried to extradite Mr Mackinnon to face charges in the US. But in 2012 and after a ten year legal struggle, home secretary Teresa May said that the Glasgow-born computer whizz should remain in the UK on grounds of human rights.

Had he been sentenced in the US of A, the BBC reports that he would have been given up to 60 years in prison alongside the massive fines. Now settled in the UK, the website once used to fight against his extradition,, links to a site promoting his SEO services, about which he says "All of my clients have so far reached the first page of Google search results for their primary keywords."

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