Friday, January 20, 2006

The USS No Privacy is sailing in a harbor near you!

ABC's coverage at Googleplex was weak tonight and Sergey Brin probably did not sway skeptics with his suggestion that we should support Google's refusal to comply with DOJ info request because we would not like the Govt sending agents to come and snoop around our house for playboy magazines. "This is Roberto Gonzales - DROP THAT CENTERFOLD and Welcome to Gauntanamo you helper of the Axis of EvilDoers!"

ABC did briefly interview the insightful John Battelle who is also hosting some of the best breaking news and info about this story at his blog. John's the best Google watcher out there and he really is the guy that seems to know....everybody!

Many are arguing, speciously, that onliners should enjoy total privacy protection.

Does Google have an obligation to turn over info they uncover that clearly indicates a plot to destroy New York? Of course they do - probably even without getting a subpoena.

The USS No-Privacy sailed years ago and we have at best only a modest level of protection. ISPs, Google, NSA, and many related entities are watching.

I'm more concerned with how this is used and establishing legal protections from unreasonable USE of my data rather than worrying about impossible restrictions on COLLECTION of my data.

JoeDuck's Blog

Google vs Uncle Sam vs Privacy vs YOU

Lots of superficial reporting of the Google vs DOJ subpoena to turn over search information. I think the Gov't is less interested in the info, which they could obtain elsewhere, than in setting the precedent of making search snooping legal for them to do on a routine basis.

Unlike many onliners, I think the type of online privacy held dear by many is 1) not all that sacred in the first place and 2) an unrealistic expectation in the modern online world. Many don't realize the extent to which your financial, health, education, political, and other information are already available for review by anyone with enough money or cleverness to dig up the stuff.

For me the concern is less about collecting info than how that information is used. For that reason I'm as concerned about commercial abuses of the info (e.g. a search engine could notice my "digital camera" search and direct me to sponsor camera sites without telling me they've manipulated the results)

I think developments at Google and elsewhere have quickly eclipsed the ability of mainstream media to shed much light on the issues at hand.

JoeDuck's Blog