[IP] Google search and seizure, etc. vs. technologists

Bob Frankston Bob2-19-0501 at bobf.frankston.com
Sun Dec 4 12:48:19 PST 2005

After writing my comments below I was going to close by noting that
is far more to worry about with fingerprints than Google since there is
still a belief that finger prints are authoritative even if there is
only a
small portion recovered and the matching is subjective.

In the same way we can try to avoid leaving any tracks and live a very
circumscribed life. Or we can hope that our trails are noisy and that a
visit to whitehouse.com (vs whitehouse.gov) will not mark us for
life. Who
knows if the visit was intended, unintended, prurient or just curious?

This isn't really about technology in isolation or Google per se.

We should do what we can to make people aware of these issues -- as with
Sony DRM ultimately it's people's perception. If Google is seen as
on us then they will lose too much business. Ultimately it's that rather
than users setting complex option that limits threats.

It's about transparency -- we need to pry into Google's closets
before they
pry into ours.

The average user didn't understand the Internet until it was packaged
in a
browser and today the internet is the web and people still don't
it beyond the simple examples they have. But even if they think that
are watching them they don't know what it means. Even the so-called
implement link level security instead of end to end.

As to Google keeping track of your searches ... what about the trail you
leave in that old world of physical objects when you use your credit
A few key words on Google are mild compared with you are stop at the
and the cell call you made or the email messages. The threat of Google
keeping track of your keywords is very abstract. The reason this
story made
the news is that it is very unusual.

Those who say users will never be able to use computers for word
for have LANs at home were right.

And completely wrong.

There is a middle ground -- it doesn't just happen by accident.
Someone has
to create a bridge. If the other "side" is visible then more people
try. There is a book, "Crossing the Chasm", about getting people to make
the leap. More often we have to build the bridges before people know
is even an other side.

And very often there really isn't or we pick the wrong one. Handwriting
recognition was a big deal but a failure until Graffiti. Today oddly
Palm is emphasizing little keyboards and Microsoft is trying to push
handwriting recognition. So much for presuming a simple linear path.

Home networking (LANs) is personal for me since I had to make sure the
Windows had the enabling mechanisms and I was trying to move in the
direction of encrypted IPv6 with legacy ports locked down.

Unfortunately we still haven't learned the lessons of Multics and
MAC (http://www.frankston.com/?name=Symbiosis as in Man/Machine
in giving users a way to understand and express their intent. Of course
it's far more difficult today. At least in Multics you had to take a
to make your files visible while Unix defaulted to starting with the
wide open.

We do have a way to say "no cookies" but you can't really do much
that way.
Same problem with the Java VM in the browser -- there is an all or

Worrying about Google tracking you is in the same vein. If you use their
single login it's like being tracked by American Express or by your
library. Of course we know librarians won't track you -- but they will
track which books are popular and a really good library may try to make
better predictions so they can better serve you even if the chortle
at some
of the findings.

If you don't use a single login then it's really hard to avail
yourself of
their set of services. Same for Yahoo, AOL, MSN etc. As much as I have
problems with passport there seems to be some separation between your
"identity" and its use.

The reason I keep coming back to phishing is that it goes to the
heart of
some of our perceptions. Is "Google" a nice warm friendly site or a site
that promises to be worth more than a few billion dollars?

I once looked up "Sodomy in Georgia" on Yahoo which was the title of a
David Bunnell editorial in the 1980's. The ads that popped up showed
they thought of my search (a good reason for not having animated GIFs in
ads) and, by extension, me. BTW, just tried the search on Google in an
attempt to pollute my legacy and the law was eventually repealed.

Should I shy away from searching? Should I not give to political
(the disclosure laws are indeed a violation of the first amendment)?
I worry too much about police finding a latent pencil line on a pad of
paper in my house having the words "dead meat" on it (a reminder to buy

-----Original Message-----
From: David Farber [mailto:dave at farber.net]
Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2005 05:52
To: ip at v2.listbox.com
Subject: [IP] Google search and seizure, etc. vs. technologists

Begin forwarded message:

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