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Re: What will Google do next?

by TedPride (Priest)
on Apr 10, 2006 at 02:16 UTC ( #542201=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to What will Google do next?

Google is keeping our privacy in that they aren't supplying information to anyone other than what you can already mine from a variety of public sources. They are not giving user search info to government agencies - to do so would immediately kill their market share while not really improving US security. People would just switch to the next largest search engine and the government would be back to square one.

Sadly for Google, being the big dog means that everyone wants to knock them down a notch. It's like being the head of a major government agency - everyone gets on your case while the second in command is allowed to float. The government is busily being a pain to Google, but I bet they aren't bothering any of the other search engines.

Note that I don't really care much if they go through any search results relating to terrorism - that's a matter of national security and anyone stupid enough to search for nuke plans on the Internet deserves what he gets - but once they start investigating civil matters based on search results, it becomes a rather big invasion of privacy. Beyond a certain level of invasiveness, information should only be allowed to move from the police to the national security agencies, not the other way around.

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Re^2: What will Google do next?
by pileofrogs (Priest) on Apr 10, 2006 at 23:32 UTC

    Hey, I learned how to build an atom bomb on the internet.. It's pretty simple. All you do is take two big lumps of..

    <knock.. knock..>

    Er.. hang on...

    < ... THUD .. handcuff... drag...>

      No, no, no, you don't get it.

      Anybody can probably (with great care and planning) put together a gun-type bomb.

      As we are seeing with Iran at the moment, the BIG difficulty is learning how to enrich the Uranium, and then creating the enormous and hugely expensive arrays of gas centrifuges (or Uranium seperation cyclotrons) to do the enrichment.

      But you see, I've discovered a new and really cheap way to enrich Uranium, so just about anyone could do it with a University Materials lab.

      All you need to do is...

      <knock.. knock..>

      Er.. hang on...

      < ... THUD .. handcuff... drag... >
Re^2: What will Google do next?
by spiritway (Vicar) on Apr 12, 2006 at 23:03 UTC

    Google is resisting the government's intrusion, not to protect our privacy, but to further their own ends. As it happens, these two goals coincide. The moment Google perceives an advantage in working with the government, you can count on our privacy being violated.

    I think that other search engines already capitulated. IIRC, Yahoo! and MSN gave up without so much as a sqawk.

    I doubt it would be dangerous to research how to build a nuke. This information has been public knowledge for decades, as one high school kid showed in a science project where he developed plans for a nuclear device. This was before the Internet had become so popular. Remember, too, that there is all sorts of public Internet access, such as libraries or Internet cafes. Anyone who was up to no good (and who had a lick of sense) would seek such anonymous access. The possible benefit of "security" is an illusion; the known risk of invasion of privacy is almost certain.

    Claiming "National Security" is often nothing more than a ploy to invade privacy and dig up dirt on people the authorities don't like - people who may be agitating for legitimate change, but who are causing the administration too much trouble. Look at all the politicians and others who have been forced to step down or to shut up, because some irrelevant and ancient information had been dug up about them. Someone smoked a joint in the 'Seventies, and is now considered unqualified for some position. Or they had an affair, or otherwise did something we don't approve of, facts dug up only to smear them, and not because these things have any bearing on their present capabilities.

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