Tuesday, March 14

Smart peeps

I am curious as to your thoughts.

First: we have this story about a judge ordering Google to turn over records of what people have searched for. The good news: the gov't has substancially 'narrowed' their request parameters. The bad news: it still might friggin' happen.

I view this as an invasion of privacy. The internet is, amongst other things, a giant libarary, and nobody should be able to find out what I'm reading or researching unless I want to tell them. This whole movement by the Chimperor's people is being done 'for the children' of course; the gov't insists they want to hunt down child pornographers-which I'm all for. However, I don't want them using drift nets to do it.

I go into the Fark thread because it's good to get different perspectives. There's the usual: 'If you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear' bullshit that is always spouted by white boys who have never had the system turn on them, and then there was a comment about how Google was stupid for keeping records in the first place.

I don't necessarily agree with this; I could see how this information might be used in a business sense, a way for Google to basically pay the bills, but I can't get that clear in my head. Perhaps the audience will have thoughts? Nonetheless, since the internet isn't run by the public, like libraries are (if you take my meaning), some data is going to have to be collected soas to turn a profit.

Slightly downthread, however, was a posting for Clusty, a search engine that has a privacy statement. Which I think is pretty cool. (Whether or not they actually follow that statement is another matter, but for the time being, let's assume they do.) The question is; can it really equal Google's searching power? Because that's really what it's about; finding what you want in a short period of time.

I must ask though, does it even matter? Doesn't Google have such a meme-presence now that people will just use Google even if they shouldn't because that's what they've always used? It certainly feels like that.

Then again, I'm a Mac user, so there's obviously room in any given market for some kind of competition. In addition, it doesn't seem like Google is taking this lawsuit lying down; I honestly believe it will go to the Supreme Court. However, given the Supreme Court's makeup these days, I have little faith that a right to privacy would be protected there. Even former SCJ's feel the things have shifted in a bad way.


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