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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RE[2]: I don't see the problem...
by leonalpha on Tue 21st Jun 2011 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't see the problem..."
leonalpha
Member since:
2011-02-02

Having access to everything we do will tilt the balance of power even more towards the governments

Well, you and I disagree but that's cool. We can agree to disagree. Now, 1. Can you explain what "power" this info will give governments? 2. Can you site some examples where this "power shift" has proven to be hurtful for citizens.

Laws exist to serve us, not the other way around.

The way I see it, laws exist to bring order and protection — protection from the government and protection from citizens themselves.

You seem to have missed the gist of my argument: as a normal US citizen, I don't consider the government having access to my online browsing data as a threat to me. You (and many others), on the other hand do, and what I ask is that you please elaborate on WHAT that threat is. Saying that "power will shift" towards the monster who will eat us all might be eloquent, but isn't sufficient enough to justify a semi-schizophrenic mentality where every single governmental action implies the Illuminati will take over the world and enslave us all.

I do not want to give up my rights. As you say, that would be cute and naive. But again, I don't know how to label those who fear others are watching their online activity and using that info to prepare for an attack.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You (and many others), on the other hand do, and what I ask is that you please elaborate on WHAT that threat is.


Oh that's so simple I assumed you figured that out by yourself.

As LulzSec and Anonymous have shown - no data repository is safe from hackers. Say Google gets hacked, and search data, purchase data, and god knows what else is out on the street. Criminals could simply take a peek at the data, see when you booked your family vacation, and burgle your home. They don't even need to stake out any more. A simple peek at such data, et voila.

The data doesn't even need to be leaked. You have no idea what kind of people have access to this data at Google, or, in the case of a subpoena, who in the government has access to it. What if they sold such data to criminals? Such data is incredibly valuable, and there's no reason to assume that just because people work for the government or Google that they won't be susceptible towards abuse of the access they have.

This has nothing to do with weirdo black helicopter bullshit - these are real and valid concerns, especially after what LulzSec, Anonymous, and others have shown us.

Reply Parent Score: 2

cmchittom Member since:
2011-03-18

" You (and many others), on the other hand do, and what I ask is that you please elaborate on WHAT that threat is.


Oh that's so simple I assumed you figured that out by yourself. As LulzSec and Anonymous have shown - no data repository is safe from hackers. Say Google gets hacked, and search data, purchase data, and god knows what else is out on the street. Criminals could simply take a peek at the data, see when you booked your family vacation, and burgle your home. They don't even need to stake out any more. A simple peek at such data, et voila. The data doesn't even need to be leaked.
"

Sure, I'll grant that anybody, including Google, is potentially hackable. But I have to say I think people saying "Off to vacation!" on Facebook/Twitter/whatever is a much more likely scenario to lead to them being burgled. Not to mention that usually burglary is not one of the things organized criminals do—not that they're necessarily against it, it's just that it entails one of the biggest risks of being caught of any crime.

You have no idea what kind of people have access to this data at Google,


Nor do you, Thom. Unless you're in charge of Google's data and not telling us?

or, in the case of a subpoena, who in the government has access to it.


If documents are subpoenaed, the subpoena should say who you're supposed to give them to (and subpoenas themselves, with some exceptions, are public records, although the documents named in them may or may not be), so you know who has access to it.

What if they sold such data to criminals?


Government officials—at least in the US, and I would think, the EU—are unlikely to do this; the penalties are just too great. The calculus isn't worth it.

Such data is incredibly valuable, and there's no reason to assume that just because people work for the government or Google that they won't be susceptible towards abuse of the access they have.


There's no reason to assume they will be susceptible either. That's not to say that we (interpreted broadly) shouldn't protect against unauthorized access—but we do protect against that, with privacy laws as well as private penalties (Gcompanies or governments firing employees who leak data) and civil lawsuits.

Reply Parent Score: 1

marblesbot Member since:
2009-12-25

2. Can you site some examples where this "power shift" has proven to be hurtful for citizens.

Really? An entire tribe of people ran out of Africa because of Pharaoh! Or, have you heard of the Dark Ages in Europe? Do you know why the Renaissance was so important? Did the American and French revolutions just slip your mind? Do you know anything about slave trade? You should learn Chinese history. They were about 2000 years ahead of the western world, until one day... How about modern times? Nazi Germany? Look at USSR under Stalin, or China under Mao (is that controversial?). Democratic People’s Republic of Korea? We could just look at the USA since September 2001, or even earlier. November 1963? March 1929?

Reply Parent Score: 3

M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

Woah there. You've listed a lot of exciting moments and epochs, but cast the net a bit broad I feel. The Dark Ages were a period of transition from a central Authoritarian power (Rome) to anarchies and local powers, which gradually became kingdoms. How does that fit the topic in question? And at what moment did China become, and then cease to be, 2,000 years ahead of Europe, and why? China was about five hundred years ahead of Europe for about five hundred years, then entered a period of decay that lasted over four hundred and fifty years, ending with the murderous Mao. I don't see you point.

Reply Parent Score: 1