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Google and Big Brother

Discussion in 'Computers & Technology Forum' started by HoLogos, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. HoLogos

    HoLogos Guest

    I am not the author of this, and I don't know who wrote it, and I have never been to the web sites it refers to, but I thought it was interesting, and am passing it on.

    -Caveat Lector-

    Google deserves your nomination
    for Big Brother of the Year

    Nominations accepted here during February 2003 only

    1. Google's immortal cookie:
    Google was the first search engine to use a cookie that expires in 2038. This was at a time when federal websites were prohibited from using persistent cookies altogether. Now it's years later, and immortal cookies are commonplace among search engines; Google set the standard because no one bothered to challenge them. This cookie places a unique ID number on your hard disk. Anytime you land on a Google page, you get a Google cookie if you don't already have one. If you have one, they read and record your unique ID number.

    2. Google records everything they can:
    For all searches they record the cookie ID, your Internet IP address, the time and date, your search terms, and your browser configuration. Increasingly, Google is customizing results based on your IP number. This is referred to in the industry as "IP delivery based on geolocation."

    3. Google retains all data indefinitely:
    Google has no data retention policies. There is evidence that they are able to easily access all the user information they collect and save.

    4. Google won't say why they need this data:
    Inquiries to Google about their privacy policies are ignored. When the New York Times (2002-11-28) asked Sergey Brin about whether Google ever gets subpoenaed for this information, he had no comment.

    5. Google hires spooks:
    Matt Cutts, a key Google engineer, used to work for the National Security Agency. Google wants to hire more people with security clearances, so that they can peddle their corporate assets to the spooks in Washington.

    6. Google's toolbar is spyware:
    With the advanced features enabled, Google's free toolbar for Explorer phones home with every page you surf. Yes, it reads your cookie too, and sends along the last search terms you used in the toolbar. Their privacy policy confesses this, but that's only because Alexa lost a class-action lawsuit when their toolbar did the same thing, and their privacy policy failed to explain this. Worse yet, Google's toolbar updates to new versions quietly, and without asking. This means that if you have the toolbar installed, Google essentially has complete access to your hard disk every time you phone home. Most software vendors, and even Microsoft, ask if you'd like an updated version. But not Google.

    7. Google's cache copy is illegal:
    Judging from Ninth Circuit precedent on the application of U.S. copyright laws to the Internet, Google's cache copy appears to be illegal. The only way a webmaster can avoid having his site cached on Google is to put a "noarchive" meta in the header of every page on his site. Surfers like the cache, but webmasters don't. Many webmasters have deleted questionable material from their sites, only to discover later that the problem pages live merrily on in Google's cache. The cache copy should be "opt-in" for webmasters, not "opt-out."

    8. Google is not your friend:
    Young, stupid script kiddies and many bloggers still think Google is "way kool," so by now Google enjoys a 75 percent monopoly for all external referrals to most websites. No webmaster can avoid seeking Google's approval these days, assuming he wants to increase traffic to his site. If he tries to take advantage of some of the known weaknesses in Google's semi-secret algorithms, he may find himself penalized by Google, and his traffic disappears. There are no detailed, published standards issued by Google, and there is no appeal process for penalized sites. Google is completely unaccountable. Most of the time they don't even answer email from webmasters.

    9. Google is a privacy time bomb:
    With 150 million searches per day, most from outside the U.S., Google amounts to a privacy disaster waiting to happen. Those newly-commissioned data-mining bureaucrats in Washington can only dream about the sort of slick efficiency that Google has already achieved. Google deserves your nomination for corporate Big Brother of the Year.

    Google Watch home page


    CTRL is a discussion & informational exchange list. Proselytizing propagandic screeds are unwelcomed. Substance-not soap-boxing-please! These are sordid matters and 'conspiracy theory'-with its many half-truths, mis- directions and outright frauds-is used politically by different groups with major and minor effects spread throughout the spectrum of time and thought. That being said, CTRLgives no endorsement to the validity of posts, and always suggests to readers; be wary of what you read. CTRL gives no credence to Holocaust denial and Nazis need not apply.

    Let us please be civil and as always, Caveat Lector.



    [ February 20, 2003, 01:02 AM: Message edited by: HoLogos ]
  2. Gina B

    Gina B Active Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I'm not too worried that google agents are going to park outside my door and flood me with coupons for Kraft macaroni and cheese because they know it's the last thing I searched for. [​IMG]
    So they know where you search and when, what are they going to do, provide me with better service? OH NO! ;)
  3. Barnabas H.

    Barnabas H. <b>Oldtimer</b>

    Jul 1, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Interesting article. But we knew these things already. Should we be concerned? BTW, I liked the disclaimer! [​IMG]
  4. NateT

    NateT New Member

    Oct 25, 2000
    Likes Received:
    it seems to have been written either by a hacker or a hacker wannabe. The term "script kiddies" definitely smacks of someone who is, or thinks of themselves as, an experienced hacker. It has been my experience that a lot of hackers are paranoid, for obvious reasons. That could be why this article exists...don't know, just speculating.
  5. Padre Bob

    Padre Bob New Member

    Feb 15, 2003
    Likes Received:
    :mad: The problem isn't them camping outside your door, its that they sell the info to others who flood your email with spam.