Is Google Evil?

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by Brandonn2010, Feb 22, 2013.

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  1. Brandonn2010

    Brandonn2010 Registered Member

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    I like Google. I use Chrome and Gmail. I know though that they have a track record of invading users' privacy. However, I hear conspiracies about them spying on users and working with the US government, etc. Is this all FUD, or is there some truth to it?
     
  2. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Is Google Evil? I don't know but I have often suspected that they were a front for SMERSH. ;)
     
  3. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    I know for a fact they request a warrant now to look at emails so that is something positive.
     
  4. The Hammer

    The Hammer Registered Member

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    I would have said SPECTRE. They're capitalists after all.;)
     
  5. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    You mean the exact opposite.

    It's a fact that under federal law in the United States all email services require a warrant if a personally identifiable name is attached to the body of an email with an IP address or if there is a voice message involved. Google gets around this with a clever defense of servers being hosted remotely. It's spelled out fairly well in the story linked below.

    Google themselves admit to lowering the threshold of what they need to turn over information due to the overwhelming numbers of those requests.

    This report was just today...
    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/13753-gov-t-requests-google-e-mail-data-2012-most-without-warrant

    To be fair, at least Google is being honest and now reporting the numbers. But in no way do they "request a warrant" to look at emails.

    Edit: I wanted to mention how strange it is that Google's own "transparency report" is at odds with what they've told the media.
    An example is here:
    http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-v...il-providers-require-warrant-for-private-data
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  6. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    I stand corrected, that's pretty bad. They should at least request a warrant to search ones email. That system they have in place can be abused very easily.
     
  7. Techwiz

    Techwiz Registered Member

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    That would depend on your view of data mining. Is this a price that your willing to pay for a really great (free) service? I don't particularly use e-mail too often and what I receive and send generally isn't anything to worry about. But if your concerned, there are more private e-mail services that have been mentioned in the forums. That or you could just encrypt your message and send it as an attachment. It would be interesting to see how the government interprets this when evaluating people for security clearances.
     
  8. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    Investigator: During our investigation we discovered that you are emailing encrypted attachments to various people. What is going on there?

    Applicant: Many email providers, including Google, do not respect other people's information and their data handling procedures are beyond my ability to audit. Furthermore, most Mail Transfer Agents don't negotiate a secure connection when exchanging email between themselves and thus it is easy for intermediaries to capture. My personal discussions with friends and family... even my medical and financial records... aren't as sensitive as the the material I'm applying to handle. However, I have some understanding of information security. I believe it is in important. I think it is best to be conservative and practice it routinely. You can see from the envelope and header information who I was communicating with and you can investigate them if you wish to.
     
  9. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    I'm convinced there are many secret societies, shadow governments, very powerful lobbies which are controlling the way people live in this planet for good and evil reasons. Google and many other Internet giants can be used by these people for their purposes, but I think that the company itself has two targets, innovation and making money.
     
  10. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    Google isn't evil but it certainly has a plethora of privacy issues which are easily exploited by any smart cyber criminal. In order to stay safe restrict your usage of google by as much as possible.

    The fact google blocks tor shows that it wants to know everything you do although using Tor for personal stuff negates its anonymity.

    Yes DON'T USE GMAIL AT ALL and restrict your google usage as much as possible.

    Also don't ever create a youtube channel, a gmail account (which is now unfortunately required for a youtube channel), so that you never have to worry about posting youtube comments which are easily searchable on Google.

    Google purports to protect its users identities from cyber criminals but that's not true. If you have a youtube channel and you ever post comments, all your comments will be easily searchable on google. Even though you think the gmail account is hidden, there are search engine which negate this.

    tl;dr Don't use gmail, yahoo mail and other emailing services which leave easy-to-find bread crumbs on publicly-accessible search engines.

    Use hushmail which will at least conceal your personal info from publicly-accessible search engines. Nevertheless don't do anything illegal from hushmail since it cooperates with authorities quite readily.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2013
  11. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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  12. DrBenGolfing

    DrBenGolfing Registered Member

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    Not if you are a long time stockholder. Just topped $800.
     
  13. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    They aren't "evil", but they are the biggest non-government data miner in the world and they do use their users as products. Evil? No. Scary? Yes. However, it isn't as simple as "Don't use Google", because MS does the same thing Google does through their Bing. It's undisputable, data is now king and too many users don't have enough concern about the implications of that.

    I'll quote Mark Zuckerberg:

    "They trust me. Dumb fu**s"
     
  14. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    Food for thought, & evasive action, if you havn't already ;)
     
  15. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Yeah, that's who I meant. What was I thinking? :D
     
  16. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    Greatest quote ever. So true.
     
  17. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    I either missed that or forgot about it. In case I'm not the only one, from http://www.businessinsider.com/well...s-wont-help-facebooks-privacy-problems-2010-5...

    I'm sure we've all heard the saying, probably in a movie: "its nothing personal, this is just business". Usually before they are going to do something ugly. As that line accurately reflects, for some there are two standards and many who are in "business mode", "me mode", "profit generating mode", "power grabbing mode", whatever you want to label it in general, will lower their standards of behavior and cross lines that are considered inappropriate at a personal/human level. Possibly even illegal and/or something that could be fairly called evil.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  18. ght1

    ght1 Guest

    Google Chrome is nice, but I wouldn't use Google Chrome, Gmail and Android together. :'(
     
  19. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

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  20. user405

    user405 Registered Member

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    I don't want to be associated with those censoring people but I think as Mman79 said it is scary that a private company owns so much information. There will always be temptations to abuse it in order to gain much more market share or higher revenue.

    That been said they have some great services but remember there is no such thing as a free meal.
     
  21. PaulyDefran

    PaulyDefran Registered Member

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    I use Google as little as possible. I run my own email server for the email that matters, and I also have a Countermail acct. I have Gmail accounts, but one is just for VOIP on a tablet and the other is the main email account (that only gets useless stuff) and the Google Voice account. I don't run regular Android, but an AOSP based custom ROM. Do I "trust" them? No. Do I trust them 'more' that AT&T/Sprint/Verizon? Heck yes. Just pick up James Bamford's books...Telco's turn over everything about you at the drop of a hat. At least Google 'pretends' to require more. Sad that you have to pick the lesser of two evils.

    PD
     
  22. Fontaine

    Fontaine Registered Member

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  23. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    And I'm loving it!!!! :D Capitalist pig that I am.
     
  24. DrBenGolfing

    DrBenGolfing Registered Member

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    :thumb:
    :thumb: ;)
     
  25. BBCooper

    BBCooper Registered Member

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    For what reason will they request a warrant?
     
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