Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 21st Jun 2011 09:33 UTC
Internet & Networking Remember when Altavista was the search engine? Or Yahoo? They stuffed their search pages with useless, distracting crap, and using them became unpleasant. And then, bam, along came Google, with a simple, clear search page and uncluttered search results. However, now that Google has become this massive behemoth, tracking our every move, and tailoring our search results, leading to only being fed those pages you agree with - isn't it time for something new? Something simple? It might be, and you've undoubtedly heard of them: DuckDuckGo. I'm switching. Update: Just got an email from Gabriel Weinberg, the guy behind DuckDuckGo. The OSNews !bang (!osnews) is now live!
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I don't see the problem...
by leonalpha on Tue 21st Jun 2011 15:02 UTC
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"What does bother me, though, is the fact that I wouldn't be able to protect myself if the US government ever subpoena'd Google to gain access to that information. Of course, I am of no interest to them (even my porn habits are incredibly boring), but it's the principle of the thing."

I have tried long and hard to see the importance of this kind of privacy, and I have failed. This notion that if the "government" has access to my online browsing habits, "it" will at some point come and destroy me is utterly misguided to me. At the risk of sounding utterly stupid to many, I will ask: What is there to worry about? Ok, so Google (and potentially the government) knows that I go online every day and (1) sign in to facebook, then (2) go on Twitter (3) read technology articles via Google Reader (4) search IMDB for titles and cast (5) look at pictures of landmarks, animals, celebrities, etc (6) check my email, (7) use google docs and calendar to organize a little band I'm part of (8) [whatever else I might do].

Someone please enlighten this fool: WHY ON EARTH SHOULD I WORRY IF GOOGLE KNOWS I DO THAT? Don't get me wrong; I do get the principle of it (or at least I think I do): My online activities should be my concern alone, and neither Google nor the government should have access to it. That I get. What I don't get is this movement that the world will lose its balance because Google knows this and we should act now before it's too late. What are you expecting will happen? That, given the fact Google has online activity info of so many people, it will use it to create an indestructible empire and make us all slaves? That it will create a distortion field and show everyone only what it wants (thus, people won't be able to make informed decisions about anything)? That your enemies at Google are going to track you down and kill you and your family? That the government is going to come after you because you look at pictures of J-Lo all the time? That Google will broadcast the to the world the fact that you, as well as who knows what percentage of the male population, look at porn every night?

Again, this whole thing is somewhat ridiculous to me. It falls under the same category of the mentality that the 911 attack was carefully planned and orchestrated by an elite group of extremely secretive and powerful people (the Masons if you will) who control everything and, honestly I almost find this mentality upsetting.

Now, I do understand that a great deal of people do frown upon the fact that others are spying on online activity. That's very understandable. If nothing else, at least it's creepy to know that everything you do online is being monitored by others. But my point is that this ISN'T the case. NO ONE is monitoring this information. The data comes in as part of millions of people and, trust me, Google servers don't care about your online activities. Google the company cares about making money, and that's why it makes sense for them to somewhat 'track' what you do, for the sole purpose of increasing THEIR revenue. If there were something in place that broke the link between data-gathering and money making, Google would stop it at once.

Yes, I do understand that the government might see this a great opportunity to have a database they can tap into if need be. And that's the key: "if it's needed." Hey, if my neighbor is constantly browsing Al-Qaeda supporting websites, and reading articles titled "Bomb Making For Dummies" or "Explosives 101", hell I WANT the government to track him down. Why? Because if they do and it turns out he's a lunatic, an explosion that could potentially kill my two daughters can be prevented. If, on the other hand, it turns out the guy is a professor at MIT who is just trying to understand some complex physics and their effect on Al-Qaeda websites, then that will turn up as well and that's where it will end. Maybe the professor will get a visit from the FBI or CIA; maybe he'll be harassed a little or a lot; but that's something I'm willing to live with. As normal human being who is not interested in bomb-making websites and Al-Qaeda, I don't mind if this kind of track-down occurs.

The line will inevitably be gray at times but again, that's something I am willing to deal with as, from my personal perspective, the pros heavily outweigh the cons.

Reply Score: 3