Jump to content

How worrying is this ?


Recommended Posts

While I have no sympathy for those involved in any type of child abuse, and have some ideas on fitting punishment, it is worrying the possible precedent this sort of subpoena sets. Additionally the fact that AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft just bent over as instructed without the media saying boo. If Google hadn't fought the issue, would the public know about what was happening ?


Also is the data being requested purely US based queries, or global - in which case is this a shortcut for other countries to gather information on their residents via the US Gov't, who would of course pass on details in the interests of being the great protector of our freedom from terrorism and such.


Google refuses US data request



Right-to-privacy groups say an attempt by the US Government to force Internet search engine Google to hand over a week's worth of search data sets a dangerous precedent that should worry Americans.


The Government says Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for one million random web addresses, as well as records of all searches entered on Google during any one-week period.


The Justice Department told a US District Court on Wednesday it needed the information to prepare its case to revive the 1998 Child Online Protection Act.


The law prohibits Internet companies from knowingly making available obscene or pornographic material to minors.


The Supreme Court blocked the act two years ago, saying there were potential constitutional problems with the law, and sent the case back to a lower court for consideration.


It is expected to be heard later this year.


A spokesman for the libertarian Cato Institute, Jim Harper, says the Google subpoena is worrying.


"This is the camel's nose under the tent for using search engines and all kinds of data aggregators as surveillance tools," he said.


The US Government is already under fire from a number of rights groups over its security measures it has taken since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, including checking library records and eavesdropping on some telephone calls.




Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales says he rejects concerns the subpoena might violate individual privacy rights.


"We're not asking for the identity of Americans," he said.


"We simply want to have some subject matter information with respect to these communications.


"This is important for the Department of Justice and we will pursue this matter."


The Justice Department says America Online, Yahoo and Microsoft have all complied with similar requests for data.


A Google spokesperson says the company objects to the breadth of the Government's request but does not consider it a privacy issue since the search terms would not include personally identifiable details.


But Electronic Privacy Information Centre spokesman Chris Jay Hoofnagle says he is worried the Government could follow up its initial request with a demand for more information.


"If Google hands over the search logs and the Justice Department finds search strings like 'child porn' or 'naked children', could they not then go back and ask Google for the user's Internet address?" he said.


Centre for Democracy and Technology spokesman Ari Schwartz says the case is a wake-up call to all Internet users that information is being collected on them all the time and is stored indefinitely.


- Reuters

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hmmmm, A very danger prescidence could be initiated here. I don't agree and wouldn't want anyone to be able to view my freedom of choice to searching for what ever the hell I have searched for. It's bad enough tracking cookies from various companies already do that, I wouldn't want the Feds starting to invade my privacy that way too. :angry::/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What next? Insurance companies being given access to IP addresses of those searching for information on medical conditions or the RIAA & friends targeting users looking for "warez", keygens" or "p2p" under a thinly veiled piracy crackdown? What a crock. Luckily, there's a solution.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shamus, cool app man, just downloaded it and it appears to be working. Almost like a virtual router. Is there any ay you know of to check to see if it really is working? <_<



http://grc.com (One of the best security sites on the net)


These snapshots are from different machines on my small lan. I've blurred my IP so knuckleheads don't blast it but you'll see the difference.








EDIT: Left an IP showing. Doh! :doh:


2nd edit: Use "Shields Up!" on grc.com to test your PC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr Gibbins site, excellent, never thought about using GRC to check. Apparently app works great shields up could not dectect my true IP ady............... great App shamus...... thanks :thumbup::w00t:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shamus, just to let you know that the two links point to the same jpeg (ip2) :whistling:


It confused me at first as I couldn't see any difference at all between the two images... :D

Aww..... crap. Thanks, Digi. Fixed now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep - and all it needs is a precedent. And it's not just law enforcement. Imagine, if you will, KMart collecting demographic information on products by state, city and suburb. Used car salesmen banging on your door just because you viewed an automotive auction site. Having your letterbox stuffed with holiday brochures and other assorted crap because you searched online for airfares. Having church groups at the door solely because you might spend time in an atheist forum. The ramifications of this "request" being passed in parliament are broad and far reaching.


<steps off soapbox>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a lively debate with a salesman a couple of weeks ago when I bought a DVD recorder. This knucklehead tried to convince me that he needed my personal details for "warranty purposes". "Fine", I said and gave him the name "Mr A. Customer". He said he needed a real name. "Fine", I again said and gave the name Mr. E. Presley. After supplying a few more names he rejected outright, he lost his sense of humour and demanded to know my name. In a rare moment of maturity and subtlety I told him I didn't give a flying fuck what name he puts on the sales receipt. My receipt is my warranty, not my name on a sales slip to be entered into a database. Not knowing how to deal with me, he calls over the floor manager in an attempt to impress on me how important my name is for warranty purposes. Over he walks in self-assured confidence. A man who knows his job. A man who knows how to deal with uncooperative customers. A man who explained to me that they need my details for warranty purposes. A name they need to attach to a sales receipt. By this time, I had lost my sense of humour and proceeded to passionately describe my feelings regarding their sales policy and the misleading of customers over said policy. After a rather short debate, I held out my hand in an offer of peace and asked the manager his name. He shook my hand and told me. At this point I spun around to the salesman and told him to "put that fucker on the receipt so I can get the fuck out of here." Failure. He refused. Seeing my colour turn blood-red, he offered to give me a hand-written receipt (as the computers won't work without a name), which I took before quickly leaving.


All in all, a complete debacle but it's one less database I'm on. You wouldn't give your name to a stranger on the street so why should you give it to a stranger in a shop with the ability to target you for advertising or to onsell your details to others?


<rant off>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.