Brian Vagnoni on 2 Dec 2008 22:01:16 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] OT: Why bashing Google?...

----- Original Message -----
From: Fred Stluka

> So, is Google better/worse than most search engines in this regard?

----- Original Message -----

If you are concerned about privacy, and unintended use of your data than you shouldn't use Google services. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Do you actually think they run one of the most powerful as well as costly networks in the world because they are nice guys, NOT. Just like work, if you are on a work computer it's not your data. There should be very little expectation of privacy on other peoples networks and when using their services, especially for free. Is someone in a Google black helicopter reading your mail, doubtful. Are they mining key words in your e-mail to harvest demographics to sell to advertisers, much more likely. Will they let you know if someone is trying to hack your account, very doubtful ask the Avon Lady :-) about that. Are they a company that always takes the moral high ground, no; e.g China. Do they collect ip/os information as well as what you search for each time; yes. Are they capable of tracing that information back to a given household, yes. If you have a website do they constantly try and index it for the contents, yes. Google indexing attempts are one of my highest reported IDS attempts. 

If you don't care then it's fine. The analogy that allot of the privacy advocates make is that; if you would get upset at some entity opening your snail mail then you shouldn't use Google.

Despite the fact that if someone were reading my mail, they would no doubt die of boredom, yet privacy is important to me.  I also enjoy hosting my own services where I make the rules. My data is my data; yeah that is debatable too because I use an ISP and I connect to other networks across boundaries. Do I use Google yes as a search engine. 

Are the others different, no.

If you want to know steps that you can take to minimize your online presence/exposure please ask. 

Steven Rambam is a PI who does talks about internet privacy. Search for that name on the list and will find my post with links to youtube videos of these presentations. Just so you know the title of his talks is "Privacy is dead, get over it."

Hope that helps. I didn't draw any conclusions because it's really up to you and how much you want to expose about yourself on the net. If you are a parent you should be educating your kids about this to world we live in. Just because they know how to work it, doesn't mean they know how it works.  You can quote me on that. 
Brian Vagnoni
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