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#76 2010-07-11 11:21:30

benj1
Wiki Wizard
From: Yorkshire, England
Registered: 2009-09-05
Posts: 1,084

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

I too would like to appologise, as i posted more than my fair share of off topic posts, no offense was intended.

Having said that i do stand by what i said in post 9, I am for the moment satisfied that google 'gets it' with regard to privacy issues etc, i think there are other companies that we need to worry about more than google, although that doesn't mean we shouldn't remain vigilant.


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#77 2010-07-11 15:12:45

winotree
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2010-03-26
Posts: 548

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

Just a question that occurred to me: is it Google the company we fear or Google the disgruntled employee we fear?

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#78 2010-07-12 03:43:51

chillicampari
Pinball Wizard
Registered: 2009-10-09
Posts: 2,728

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

pvsage wrote:

@chillicampari:  I believe the app's called Layer.  I believe this is cause for concern because if they're able to see what you're looking at and where you're going, they can follow you as you go there, then further target advertising based on how much time you spent at the gun show, the bakery, or the fetish shop.  (Seriously, how many of us *haven't* gone to each of these at least once?  I'm a Brady Bill supporter, and even I've been to a gun show!)

Yes, I have indeed gone to all three! At least once! Bakeries are awesome!  big_smile

I wonder if Layer is sort of like a pumped-up foursquare.  Looks like I've got some reading to do!

Thanks for mentioning Buzz.  I've never followed nor been followed by anyone in Buzz, but I've now disabled it and completely removed my "public profile", whatever that was.

No problem. I actually tried using it a bit for business (on a separate account, after culling the personal one that was created), but it ended up being kinda bleh. I just feed in the rare Twitter notice now.

Sector11 wrote:

See, now I just "Googled" BUZZ to find out what it is.  Looks like another spinoff of facebook that is a spinoff of ...

(snip)

That really bothers me ... that's why I do not join places like that.

Most of us who ended up on it didn't join either, it was just created from our email accounts. hmm I think *that's* what was the most annoying thing. I do realize terms of services and online agreements can change at any time but for something like this, maybe a courtesy heads-up would have been nice.

benj1 wrote:

... I am for the moment satisfied that google 'gets it' with regard to privacy issues etc, i think there are other companies that we need to worry about more than google, although that doesn't mean we shouldn't remain vigilant.

I *almost* think that a lot of times, and then something will happen to make we wonder what they were thinking. A lot of people in that area (career in the SV or SF Bay)  have a certain sort of tunnel vision combined with quick action without always thinking though the ramifications. Not usually _bad_intent_, but are truly surprised that people may have a problem with some things they are doing. I haven't talked to anyone from there in quite a while, but I don't think it's changed much.

winotree wrote:

Just a question that occurred to me: is it Google the company we fear or Google the disgruntled employee we fear?

Hmm... your question can be interpreted multiple ways. Heck, I'll take a stab at the ones I see!

Could Google itself as an entity go rouge and start blackmailing people? I doubt it, but it would make a great James Bond plot.

Could a former Google employee use information to blackmail individual people or use a data grab with threats to leak it to blackmail Google itself? Possibly.

Could a former non-Google employee or co-worker use Google (and some SEO skills) to trash the reputation of someone else? Completely.

pitje wrote:

...
The web has become one big chatroom, filled with idiots repeating the same things over and over again.
...

So... what I think you're saying here is that you want a *whole* *bunch* of funny pictures with animals and captions on them, right?  tongue... big_smile

Last edited by chillicampari (2010-07-12 03:45:24)

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#79 2010-07-12 11:32:40

pablokal
#! CrunchBanger
From: Nijmegen, Holland
Registered: 2009-12-11
Posts: 232
Website

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

Let us assume that Google has become a too big  of a brother, to trust.
What can we do?
Vote with our feet, use our consumer freedom and don't use it; this is what I read here a lot.
What is needed for that  is information on and creation of alternatives.
I've found about and am using duckduckgo now, so I have an alternative search engine.
But what would be a good and in the long run trustworthy alternative for Gmail, picasa, google maps, blogger, youtube etc, etc?
I don't really know, but I wanna find out.

In the Virtual Revolution, a very informative series of the BBC, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Revolution - power and traffic knots on the internet were represented by planets. Google is the biggest one. What should be our goal to spread power on the internet as much as possible.
From egalitarian meeting place to battle ground of billion dollar companies to use our internet traffic for their profit, that's the history of the internet; it overly optimistic to think it can't get worse. The big US phone companies try to get a further hold on the internet.

The save the internet campaign is an important element in this fight: http://www.savetheinternet.com/
I saw a photo of where I live of the beginnings of the 20th century. A road, a main road here was a toll road back then. Another road to reach to same place was a toll road too. So to get to where I live know, you had to pay. It seems incredible now, but it must have been that way for centuries.
The future of the internet may seem incredible now, too. I see the fight about the use on the internet also as a big fight to create tollroads and customs on the internet.
Every means of communication or transport has been the battleground historically over control and domination.
Holding doves was (about the 16th century) a very expensive taxed privilege for rich because the post dove was a fastest means of communication.
For the people starting the internet it was the realisation of the dream of egalitarian and non profit use, mostly for the sake of science and the better understanding between people all over the world; it meant that they hoped to have created a means of communication that would be beyond this power struggle.
Fora like this one  are an expression of that this way of using the internet is still an option.
But we shouldn't  be ignorant sheep about when we swap our autonomy for the easy use of "free services".
Free software was in the beginning for me just an alternative to strange and for me the not understandable crippled-by-design software.
The more I 've read about it, for instance on the http://www.fsdaily.com/ site, the more I realise this is all part of  a much bigger picture.

Last edited by pablokal (2010-07-12 11:38:11)


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#80 2010-07-12 14:57:07

Sector11
#!'er to BL'er
From: SR11 Cockpit
Registered: 2010-05-05
Posts: 15,667
Website

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

chillicampari wrote:
Sector11 wrote:

See, now I just "Googled" BUZZ to find out what it is.  Looks like another spinoff of facebook that is a spinoff of ...

(snip)

That really bothers me ... that's why I do not join places like that.

Most of us who ended up on it didn't join either, it was just created from our email accounts. hmm I think *that's* what was the most annoying thing. I do realize terms of services and online agreements can change at any time but for something like this, maybe a courtesy heads-up would have been nice.

Big post I'll deal with my part....

That's WRONG!  There is no other way to put it.  I don't care that "online contracts can change" ... that is just WRONG!

If it is was changing something that existed - I might have a tendency to say "OK, that's not good, they should have given us a heads up."  But this is a creation of a whole new service and "padding it with every gmail" account they have, trying to make it into something it isn't.

Now that is scary!


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#81 2010-07-12 14:57:43

anonymous
The Mystery Member
From: Arch Linux Forums
Registered: 2008-11-29
Posts: 9,419

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

pablokal wrote:

But what would be a good and in the long run trustworthy alternative for Gmail

Yahoo Mail, Windows Live Mail, Inbox.com, FastMail, Hushmail, Freemail, safe-mail.net, icmail.net

pablokal wrote:

picasa

Flickr, KoffeePhoto

pablokal wrote:

google maps

Bing Maps, Mapquest

pablokal wrote:

blogger

LiveJournal, Blog.com, and if you have a host, then theres a ton of alternatives like WordPress, Movable Type, b2evolution, etc.

pablokal wrote:

youtube

dailymotion, revver

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#82 2010-07-12 15:05:17

Sector11
#!'er to BL'er
From: SR11 Cockpit
Registered: 2010-05-05
Posts: 15,667
Website

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

pablokal wrote:

{snip}

The more I 've read about it, for instance on the http://www.fsdaily.com/ site, the more I realise this is all part of  a much bigger picture.

Nice read ... and more at those links.  Thanks.


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#83 2010-07-13 05:27:33

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2009-01-07
Posts: 4,148
Website

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

@Schadt91 you made many valid points, but

Schadt91 wrote:

And in the event that you live in a place where you are not given the opportunity to vote for your officials, where they may not be elected at all, then I suppose you have worse things to worry about at night than Google hording your personal information.

I think the 100% access to all kinds of information about us that is coming into the hands of people in power is something to worry about very much for people who live in such countries, as well as for those slightly more fortunate. Any kind of movement for democracy in China, for example, might become impossible.

The internet, by making information freely available, has been a great force for freedom and democracy, but obviously there's another side to the IT revolution. Information = power. Power to the people, or power to the oppressors? As you say, it's up to us.

(edit: I posted without reading the last page, so just to add that apart from at least talking about these issues in places like this, I guess we can make our own small efforts to keep information dispersed by using the alternatives mentioned in this thread.)

btw anyone who hasn't yet read 1984 and Brave New World I recommend both of them. Not bad reading just as entertainment, but chilling to notice how much of that stuff is now coming true. sad

Last edited by johnraff (2010-07-13 05:34:41)


John
--------------------
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#84 2010-07-13 07:01:19

Schadt91
#! CrunchBanger
From: Prescott, AZ
Registered: 2010-04-27
Posts: 159

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

johnraff makes a good point; in the event that we live in a non-democratic nation, or in a democratic nation in name only, or in a democratic nation where certain government agencies or companies operate without oversight, (as has happened in the United States at some points in history,) what is to stop our personal information from being used in order to conduct illegal actions against us?
What is to stop such company-supplied information from being used to render an individual into a Third-World hell? Or to even assassinate them? Or to simply imprison them in their country under false charges?

Or even, as I believe is more common, to simply target them for advertisements, spam and non-national, criminally organized malware production and distribution?



The problem, as it exists in the situation being dealt with in this thread, is that ideally a company such as Google, indeed any company dealing in information, would realize that working with a despotic government such as the Chinese government is, morality and legality aside, is simply bad business.
It is bad business because you cannot trust the despot to uphold their side of the business deal, you cannot trust the despot not to use what you give/sell them against you either by itself or in an effort to clandestinely obtain information you haven't given/sold them, (for instance, if you encrypt the sold information in one way and they break that encryption to obtain information you have not sold them which is encrypted the same way,) etc.

Now, of course, that perfect world does not exist. The ideal situation isn't the actual situation. Companies like Google in fact do business regularly with despots, dictators, mass murdering a-holes, etc. And, of course, those bad people of the world don't even need to be in league with an information company, they don't need permission or official notice or anything of the sort.
-It is not hard to imagine that the life of a security cracker is a well-paid one.


So, what can we do? We can first of all not do business with any company which, no matter how honest and forthright and law-abiding they are in our countries, operates with the official sanction of despotic governments in the territory of said despotic governments.
This means, simply, stop using their services, stop investing in them and, the part 99.9% of people will bail on: daily, 365 1/4 days a year for the rest of our lives write letters to your elected officials, send them emails, make incessant phone calls to their offices and the offices of said companies and any companies which do business with them, (say, if Microsoft and Google came out with a joint product that they shared the profits from, or if they shared the user-supplied information,) and, essentially, do unpaid lobbying among your friends.

This will accomplish two things:
1) It will show how scummy these companies just really are to the world in press, radio, film, Internet and person;
2) It will apply pressure to these companies to stop the acts which make them such scumbags;

-Any politicians defending or indeed economically related to these companies should also be targeted in this NON-VIOLENT!!! campaign to expose the underworld of the Internet.
This should only be undertaken if you have evidence such companies, say Microsoft and Google, are using your information in any manner of which you have not been informed by said companies at the time you provide said information, including any manner which is not necessarily a threat to your safety or the safety of other human beings.

You have a right as a human and as a customer of these companies to know exactly what they are doing with the information you are providing them, including information which may not be used to identify you but instead is used to enhance the algorithmic processes of a search engine to provide accurate search results; i.e.  information about how many times a given term has been entered into the search engine and how many resulting web pages are clicked on so that, in the future, the search engine provides results which are better tailored to your searches.





Now, what about another issue of information, namely identifying information about individuals, and such non-declared organizations as groups of friends on Facebook, for instance? This information includes name, physical address, mailing address, email address, birthplace, SS number, (in the United States, that is,) and also information which may not seem obvious to the average user of the Internet such as their IP address.

This is neither the forum nor the time to discuss the morality of using means, which may or may not be legal, to hide such information, such as ANY method of "faking," your IP address or providing false identifying information such as a fake name.

What if this information is collected clandestinely by any entity other than the entity offering the service which requires the input of such information? Is it then the fault of the company, such as Google, that they collect and, apparently, retain that information for a period of time which, apparently, they have arbitrarily decided the length of? (That is to say, a regulatory body has not, apparently, mandated that they destroy their collections of such information after a period of say, 3 years, and instead the company has probably decided they can make no use of it after a period of time.)


I believe that the described situation or any similar to it which results in the same or similarly negative outcome is their fault if they have not taken all possible steps, irregardless of cost so long as the company remains economically viable, to appropriately secure such information from outside attacks even if they have neither a history of providing such information to known or widely-suspected despots or criminals nor a stated, in either a private or public forum, intention of doing so either willingly or through neglect of the security of their information systems.

(A possible problem occurs with the private forum thing, say a board meeting of which there is no record; in this case I can only hope we have all done our part to uncover any criminal activities, past or present, and other unsavory and potentially dangerous aspects of the people in these companies who could do bad things with the technology of the companies; and that we have done our part to ensure the technology itself is not at fault.)

Now, this means we will need many people from different backgrounds developing anti-intrusion/anti-malware technology, including software, hardware and secure facility technology such as door locks and, potentially, biometric access systems, (the most modern, and not necessarily most expensive, of which cannot be fooled by synthetic fingerprints, etc.-although it should be noted that this is an ongoing arms race, so to speak-) and other people to regularly inspect said software, hardware and facilities to ensure compliance, modernity and upkeep.


We should also consider denying individuals and groups of individuals, especially elected officials and most especially those who seek to be involved in the aforementioned independent review groups, the permits or paperwork required by law, (or enacting such laws,) to start a company that in any way could have access to identifying information which have not in the past followed the regulations or have been convicted of criminally providing such information to any criminal entity without the providers knowledge and consent.
-We should inform these people why they are being denied the opportunity to start another such company and also provide government subsidies to help ensure regulation compliance, which in turn, hopefully, ensures the safety of your person and personal information.



Furthermore I will only say that I believe convicted rapists, child molesters and child pornographers, (including those who view child pornography,) as well as any criminals convicted of a serious crime, (for instance a felony or its' equivalent in your justice systems,) which they perpetrated with the help of computers or person-identifying information obtained with the use of computers, either by their own actions or from a third-party, should be forbidden from ever so much as using a computer again, including computers available to the public in libraries and colleges, etc. and from even so much as having an email address.

-A system should be put in place which allows these individuals, should they ever join the public again, (I will not elaborate on my thoughts on THAT subject, as I hold extreme and prejudiced views concerning the punishment of such individuals as a result of abuse suffered at the hands of a certain type of those individuals many years ago,) to function in society without an email address or access to computers.

Also, an organization should be created, perhaps multiple such organizations, to monitor those individuals in a minimally invasive manner; keep in mind that they are not being monitored because they were the best singers in the church choir.


EDITED BY AUTHOR FOR CLARITY AND GRAMMATICAL ERRORS.

Last edited by Schadt91 (2010-07-13 07:11:16)

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#85 2010-07-14 05:41:30

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2009-01-07
Posts: 4,148
Website

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

This stuff is happening in China because people there seem to think there's nothing wrong with using every means available to control the way people think. There's no reason why it couldn't happen anywhere else too:
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/techno … 109hc.html
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/art … QD9GUI6VO0
(Right-wingers add "if socialists like Obama stay in power", left-wingers add "if someone like Bush gets back in power" roll )


John
--------------------
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#! forum moderator    BunsenLabs

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#86 2010-07-14 07:57:44

xmichaelx
Member
From: Rzeszow, Poland
Registered: 2010-07-13
Posts: 17

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

You know it's happening in China but I think it's as likely to happen in countries with socialistic governments. They will have simply different excuses : they will be trying to protect your children from paedophiles, fight with terrorism, etc. While fighting with those things is fair, it can be also a useful roomful of smoke to get what they need. In Poland we have an expression for this (not sure it exists in other countries) "turbid water is a good place for fishing". Fish in this case may be killing off political enemies, keeping society in line or whatsoever.

Personally, I'm not afraid of Google at the current time, but I won't fool myself if the government will need information from Google, sooner or later it will get it.


Crunchbang 9.04 on Asus K50IN (Intel Core Duo 2 T6500, GeForce 102M)

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#87 2010-07-14 08:36:14

Schadt91
#! CrunchBanger
From: Prescott, AZ
Registered: 2010-04-27
Posts: 159

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

Then, you know, change your government.

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#88 2010-07-14 09:20:28

Coop
New Member
Registered: 2010-07-13
Posts: 6

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

Tunafish wrote:

It doesn't matter to me if i have something to hide or not... the question for me is why they (google, bing, the government, the rail company, the library, etc) want to keep all this information about me. If it's not important, why do they keep it?

Totally agree, I have no qualms about hiding anything..I don´t cheat, I don´t do drugs, I don´t break the law...but what on earth do they want to keep tabs on everyone for? I think I´m a little naive to what they actually do have power over, and what they are capable of.

For xmichaelx and johnraff - Australia put a censorship on google searches, the list was leaked onto wikileaks and what an interesting list it is. There is even an Australian dentist who has been black listed, as well as euthanasia sites, poker sites, various YouTube links, Wikipedia entries, satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, controversial movies, and games which are designed for people over 16. We´re following right behind China, and are the first western country to allow such censorships.

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#89 2010-07-14 10:53:51

Tunafish
#! Die Hard
From: the Netherlands
Registered: 2010-03-07
Posts: 1,204

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

Coop wrote:

For xmichaelx and johnraff - Australia put a censorship on google searches, the list was leaked onto wikileaks and what an interesting list it is. There is even an Australian dentist who has been black listed, as well as euthanasia sites, poker sites, various YouTube links, Wikipedia entries, satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, controversial movies, and games which are designed for people over 16. We´re following right behind China, and are the first western country to allow such censorships.

And (i mentioned this before) the ability to buy search results on google (or bing) by governments and companies. A more distinctive way than blocking, keeping up the appearance of freedom and objectivity. Google doesn't show ads as ads, but as 'sponsored links'...
http://searchengineland.com/google-blur … gain-36268


sed 's/stress/relaxation/g'
Privacy & Security on #!

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#90 2010-07-14 11:22:33

xmichaelx
Member
From: Rzeszow, Poland
Registered: 2010-07-13
Posts: 17

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

Schadt91, and what do you suggest? Voting? Moving to another country?


Crunchbang 9.04 on Asus K50IN (Intel Core Duo 2 T6500, GeForce 102M)

There's no time to discriminate, hate every bad guy in your way wink

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#91 2010-07-14 21:05:36

luvva_cuppa
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-09-06
Posts: 214

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

A good strong vpn connection and duckduckgo should keep the powers and forces of evil guesssing! And when they do track me down, they'll find searches on linux forums for speeding up iceweasel!  ...which are really coded messages meant to topple the state.
Perhaps I should look into encryption as well!


"In spite of the cost of living, it's still popular."
Kathleen Norris

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#92 2010-07-14 21:49:16

valbaca
Member
From: Texas
Registered: 2010-07-14
Posts: 47
Website

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

I'm much more afraid of my ISP.
Using Google is a choice with alternatives.
Using an ISP is a choice with poor alternatives (other ISPs or no internet).
One day I'll shell out for a VPN and actually get around to encrypting my hard drive, etc.
PM VPN suggestions please.


For the love of freedom.
Thinkpad X200s CrunchBang 10a2 amd64
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#93 2010-07-14 22:12:41

AnInkedSoul
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2010-06-30
Posts: 232

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

what is this....goooogle....that you speak of?

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#94 2010-07-15 03:18:39

Schadt91
#! CrunchBanger
From: Prescott, AZ
Registered: 2010-04-27
Posts: 159

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

xmichaelx wrote:

Schadt91, and what do you suggest? Voting? Moving to another country?

I think I already addressed your question.

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#95 2010-07-15 03:38:22

corenominal
WRONG
From: Lincoln, UK
Registered: 2008-11-20
Posts: 5,131
Website

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

valbaca wrote:

One day I'll shell out for a VPN and actually get around to encrypting my hard drive, etc.
PM VPN suggestions please.

I have started using SwissVPN. It can take a while to establish a connection, but otherwise it works well. smile


Ex-developer of #! CrunchBang. Follow me on Twitter smile

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#96 2010-07-15 03:39:11

winotree
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2010-03-26
Posts: 548

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

....And when they do track me down, they'll find searches on linux forums for speeding up iceweasel....

tNHR1bw

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#97 2010-07-16 00:21:25

IgorP
#! Junkie
From: Zagreb, Croatia
Registered: 2009-07-10
Posts: 338

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

I'm not afraid of Google. In moment you're on internet you are exposed.. And Google isn't worst beast in the jungle.
For paranoids over here, encrypt your stuff with 30 character password and be still for a day smile

Regards!

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#98 2010-10-29 11:57:35

Tunafish
#! Die Hard
From: the Netherlands
Registered: 2010-03-07
Posts: 1,204

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

Google is collecting a lot of data about how we use the web. The new Google Alarm Firefox addon visually & audibly alerts you whenever your personal information is being sent to Google servers.
http://fffff.at/google-alarm/

I tried it for 15 minutes while doing my usual things on the internet..... might be useful during a football match, but otherwise it's incredibly annoying.

Tuna.

Last edited by Tunafish (2010-10-29 12:05:38)


sed 's/stress/relaxation/g'
Privacy & Security on #!

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#99 2010-10-29 13:18:39

isidor_swe
#! Member
From: Sweden
Registered: 2010-10-28
Posts: 57

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

Not going to jump into the discussion, but those of you who do worry about Google, have you heard of Ixquick? It's the only search engine that has been approved by [some official European Union group that cares about privacy, can't remember the name].

Anyway, it's over here.

I'll leave to someone else to discuss the possible irony of the EU looking to protect Internet privacy... wink


Running Linux Mint 9 "Isadora" and Statler/Sid on a Sony VAIO VGN-NR31Z/S.
"I'd horse-whip you if I had a horse!" --Groucho Marx

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#100 2010-10-29 13:58:50

Tunafish
#! Die Hard
From: the Netherlands
Registered: 2010-03-07
Posts: 1,204

Re: On a more sinister note: Are you afraid of Google?

isidor_swe wrote:

Not going to jump into the discussion, but those of you who do worry about Google, have you heard of Ixquick?

Yep, and there's more alternatives over here:
http://crunchbanglinux.org/forums/post/74826/

If you've something to add there, please do!

cheers,
Tuna


sed 's/stress/relaxation/g'
Privacy & Security on #!

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