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[News] Google's Approach to Privacy Slammed by Security Guru

  • Subject: [News] Google's Approach to Privacy Slammed by Security Guru
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 18:58:20 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

My Reaction to Eric Schmidt

,----[ Quote ]
| Schmidt said:
|     I think judgment matters. If you have 
|     something that you don't want anyone to 
|     know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in 
|     the first place. If you really need that 
|     kind of privacy, the reality is that 
|     search engines -- including Google -- do 
|     retain this information for some time 
|     and it's important, for example, that we 
|     are all subject in the United States to 
|     the Patriot Act and it is possible that 
|     all that information could be made 
|     available to the authorities.
| This, from 2006, is my response:
|     Privacy protects us from abuses by those 
|     in power, even if we're doing nothing 
|     wrong at the time of surveillance.
|     We do nothing wrong when we make love or 
|     go to the bathroom. We are not 
|     deliberately hiding anything when we 
|     seek out private places for reflection 
|     or conversation. We keep private 
|     journals, sing in the privacy of the 
|     shower, and write letters to secret 
|     lovers and then burn them. Privacy is a 
|     basic human need.
|     [...]
|     For if we are observed in all matters, 
|     we are constantly under threat of 
|     correction, judgment, criticism, even 
|     plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We 
|     become children, fettered under watchful 
|     eyes, constantly fearful that -- either 
|     now or in the uncertain future -- 
|     patterns we leave behind will be brought 
|     back to implicate us, by whatever 
|     authority has now become focused upon 
|     our once-private and innocent acts. We 
|     lose our individuality, because 
|     everything we do is observable and 
|     recordable.
|     [...]
|     This is the loss of freedom we face when 
|     our privacy is taken from us. This is 
|     life in former East Germany, or life in 
|     Saddam Hussein's Iraq. And it's our 
|     future as we allow an ever-intrusive eye 
|     into our personal, private lives.
|     Too many wrongly characterize the debate 
|     as "security versus privacy." The real 
|     choice is liberty versus control. 
|     Tyranny, whether it arises under threat 
|     of foreign physical attack or under 
|     constant domestic authoritative 
|     scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty 
|     requires security without intrusion, 
|     security plus privacy. Widespread police 
|     surveillance is the very definition of a 
|     police state. And that's why we should 
|     champion privacy even when we have 
|     nothing to hide.


Patriot Act Renewal Moving Forward

,----[ Quote ]
| Renewal of two controversial Patriot Act 
| provisions set to expire at the end of the 
| year have been approved by House and Senate 
| Committees over the past month, and appear 
| headed for floor votes in both bodies. 
| President Obama has endorsed extending the 
| provisions.
| The two provisions include the ârecordsâ 
| rule and the âroving wiretapsâ provision. 
| The so-called ârecordsâ rule grants federal 
| officials with a court order the power to 
| force private parties such as businesses, 
| hospitals, and libraries to hand over "any 
| tangible thing" they believe has "relevance" 
| to a terrorist investigation.
| âRoving wiretapsâ allow wiretapping multiple 
| lines of communication without informing 
| FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) 
| courts which specific phone lines or 
| communication media are being targeted.


Gov slams critical database report as opaque, flawed, inaccurate

,----[ Quote ]
| The report assigned each database a status 
| based on traffic lights. Only six of the 46 
| databases were assigned the 'green' status 
| that indicated they worked properly and 
| legally.



Does the EU-Commission use Google Analytics?

,----[ Quote ]
| And if so, does this constitute a national
| security risk? I am just asking because
| even in private sector operations often
| passionate citizens approach us with
| concerns when we use Google Analytics. I
| am curious if the European Data Protection
| Supervisor website also uses Google
| Analyticsâ


EU Chemical Agency and the Analytics trojan

,----[ Quote ]
| I wonder how a public authority can make a
| company use the traffic information of its
| visitors for commercial analysis purposes.
| So in other words, a European Union body
| allows a company from a third nation to
| record traffic data, to spy on the use of
| its government websites and hand it out to
| third nation authorities.


Google chief: Only miscreants worry about net privacy

,----[ Quote ]
| If you're concerned about Google retaining
| your personal data, then you must be doing
| something you shouldn't be doing. At least
| that's the word from Google CEO Eric
| Schmidt.

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