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Yahoo, MSN & Google: Are your questions your own?

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posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 07:32 PM
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In the last few days we've learned about subpoenas that have been served on at least three of the major search sites on the Internet, demanding that records of all searches be turned over to the US government. Two of those sites, MSN and Yahoo, complied with the subpoenas, giving up their records, but Google did not. The reason that the government gave for wanting these records is that they would help them protect children from pornographers. I have a few questions for the ATS community:

1. Does Google's refusal to provide the government with records of searches make you more or less likely to use them for your research in the future?

2. Does the government's explanation of "protecting the children" convince you that this potential invasion of privacy is warranted?

3. Do any of you believe for a moment that this subpoena has anything at all to do with child pornography?

4. If you believe that the government should have the power to know what people on the internet are searching for, does this power also extend to research done in a library? How would you feel about cameras placed in library ceilings to watch which books people are reading? Is there a difference?

5. Do you believe that personal liberty, given away to the government in the name of "protection" can ever be reclaimed? Can you name a single time in history that a government gave back a freedom willingly to the citizenry?

Some of the bravest, most brilliant men who ever lived fought and some died in the second half of the 18th century to give us a new kind of government, where powers flow from the people themselves and are stingily given to the government, but only as far as those very citizens are in agreement, and only to the very specific extent laid out in laws. What was hard-won by great men is now being destroyed by small men, by men for whom liberty holds no value, by men for whom power is it's own reward.

The constitution is clear that any powers not specifically given to the government are held by the people, by individual people, by us. Wars were fought to maintain this principle, to keep this notion of liberty alive. Are we so willing to squander that treasure of freedom now just because men with small minds and smaller hearts tell us we should be afraid?

I actually believe that some of the people who make up the ATS community are the philosophical offspring of the men who built this country, and that's why I pose these questions to you tonight. Before ATS turns into a chat room for the religious Right, do any of you care to discuss something a little more important than whether there's too much sex on TV?

For one moment, I want to go back to the government's assertion that "protecting the children" is worth having a beaurocrat sniffing around all of our computer records. [NOTE: remember, this subpoena does not specify the search of the records of suspected pornographers or child molesters, but every single search record of every single person who uses those search sites.]

My wife and I raised a child, a daughter, to the age of 17, who is now preparing to go to college. During those 17 years, we did not ask the government to walk my daughter to school, or to tell us which television shows she should watch, or which books she should read. We did not ask the government to make sure that our daughter didn't speak to strangers, or hitchhike, or even do background checks on her schoolchums. We took our daughter's safety as a solemn responsibility, and the decisions we made in her behalf, for her safety, belonged only to us. Yet today, we're being told that that just wasn't good enough. American parents aren't good enough, or smart enough, or worthy enough, to protect our own children from the electronic equivalent of a sleazy pervert with a greasy overcoat. Forget for a moment that the government's excuse for wanting the research records for every American is about as flimsy as a politician's honor, even if it were real, which it is not, and even if it were sincere, which it is most certainly not, the assertion that we need a government overseer to watch for certain words being Googled is insulting, inherently phoney, and disturbing in the extreme. I have enough faith in the founders of this great Land to take the Constitution at its Word. These powers are better held by common folk like you and me than given away to those who want them so badly.




posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 07:47 PM
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In short, I have three daughters and will die for all of them. I have used Google for many years, and will continue because I agree with them! I think the powers that be already know how to find out what they want.....they have no business knowing what ringtones I am thinking about downloading

Just my opinion



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 08:06 PM
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Good thread, my answers...

1. More

2. No

3. No

4. No to the last part of the question

5. No


8th

posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 08:11 PM
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I'm sorry if I cant get as deep as I want to into this, but I have to leave soon. I will try and answer your questions though.


Originally posted by vuoto
1. Does Google's refusal to provide the government with records of searches make you more or less likely to use them for your research in the future?


I have used google for years, and still continue to use them daily if possible. If anything, the refusal gives me an encouraging nudge to continue using them. When I heard they wern't going to let the government gain access, I had a "Good for them" mentality about the whole situation. It gives me a sense that google wont sell your information.


Originally posted by vuoto
2. Does the government's explanation of "protecting the children" convince you that this potential invasion of privacy is warranted?


Not at all. As you mentioned, you didn't ask the government to walk your daughter to school, ect. You and your wife took care of that. I think the title of protecting the children is just a mask with a catchy tittle aimed towards concerned parents.


Originally posted by vuoto
3. Do any of you believe for a moment that this subpoena has anything at all to do with child pornography?


Once again, not at all. I'm sure they can spring up some sort of compiled data report that says how they helped to protect online surfers against child pornography and what not, but I think this whole ordeal is for another purpose.


Originally posted by vuoto
4. If you believe that the government should have the power to know what people on the internet are searching for, does this power also extend to research done in a library? How would you feel about cameras placed in library ceilings to watch which books people are reading? Is there a difference?


In my eyes, they go hand in hand. Weather I am reading Emrils Cookbook or the Anarchist Cookbook, I should be able to do so without somebody looking over my shoulder.


Originally posted by vuoto
5. Do you believe that personal liberty, given away to the government in the name of "protection" can ever be reclaimed? Can you name a single time in history that a government gave back a freedom willingly to the citizenry?



I'm sorry but I cant quite grasp this last question. Maybe some examples or clarification



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 08:14 PM
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Originally posted by vuoto

3. Do any of you believe for a moment that this subpoena has anything at all to do with child pornography?



The government is not claiming that they are doing it to stop child pornography, they are doing it to stop children from accessing porn on the net.

Personally I boycotted google when I found out that they have no policy for deleting old search info, they plan to keep all info forever. I think that is wrong. Of course the irony now is that the search engine I do use didn't even fight the suboena. I guess you can't win...

Vas



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 08:21 PM
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Bravo! Excellent post!




Originally posted by vuoto
1. Does Google's refusal to provide the government with records of searches make you more or less likely to use them for your research in the future?


I have switched from Yahoo to Google because of this.



2. Does the government's explanation of "protecting the children" convince you that this potential invasion of privacy is warranted?


Absolutely not!



3. Do any of you believe for a moment that this subpoena has anything at all to do with child pornography?


Absolutely not!



4. If you believe that the government should have the power to know what people on the internet are searching for, does this power also extend to research done in a library? How would you feel about cameras placed in library ceilings to watch which books people are reading? Is there a difference?


N/A It's none of the government's freaking business what I'm doing. I'm a law abiding citizen of this country. I don't even speed!



5. Do you believe that personal liberty, given away to the government in the name of "protection" can ever be reclaimed? Can you name a single time in history that a government gave back a freedom willingly to the citizenry?


I think it can be reclaimed, but we the people will have to take it. I'm not convinced the apathetic citzenry of the US is prepared to do so.



We took our daughter's safety as a solemn responsibility, and the decisions we made in her behalf, for her safety, belonged only to us.


Exactly. This is not about taking care of our kids, though, it's much more sinister than that. This is a cheap, front for getting more control of the people. It's happening a little every day.



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 09:24 PM
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Good post!!

No, I thihnk this is about more than porn on the web.
But, from what I have read, it sounds like MSN and Yahoo do not collect information as deeply as Google does--Google has more to lose because it keeps more files. It is more dangerous to our privacy if Google caves in.


Privacy watchdogs have worried about the massive store of data that Google has assembled about the online behavior of Internet users. Google keeps log files that record search terms used, Web sites visited and the Internet Protocol address and browser type of the computer for every single search conducted through its Web site. It also sets cookies that can be used to correlate repeat visits to the company's growing network of Web sites.

news.zdnet.com...



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 08:11 AM
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I don't buy the explanation about protecting kids from pornography is the real reason either. There is plenty of software that will do the job better than the US Government and can be controlled by the parents who should have the final say over what is appropriate for their children.



Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
Good post!!

No, I think this is about more than porn on the web.
But, from what I have read, it sounds like MSN and Yahoo do not collect information as deeply as Google does--Google has more to lose because it keeps more files. It is more dangerous to our privacy if Google caves in.


I feel the reason they collect so much information is because of the amount of revenue that is generated by the search driven ads. Google can deliver targeted ads better than any other serach engine because of all the info they have collected due to the permanent cookies and recording of IP addresses in relation to search terms. Not a good thing for anyone using Google who is concerned about privacy.



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
Good post!!

No, I thihnk this is about more than porn on the web.
But, from what I have read, it sounds like MSN and Yahoo do not collect information as deeply as Google does--Google has more to lose because it keeps more files. It is more dangerous to our privacy if Google caves in.


Privacy watchdogs have worried about the massive store of data that Google has assembled about the online behavior of Internet users. Google keeps log files that record search terms used, Web sites visited and the Internet Protocol address and browser type of the computer for every single search conducted through its Web site. It also sets cookies that can be used to correlate repeat visits to the company's growing network of Web sites.

news.zdnet.com...


You do know if you have a website of any sort that this is the same thing that is seen in your log files for site.. using AWstats, Webalizer, or another logging program such as this. Yes alot of places use these programs to see who and how people are getting to thier site. I recall seeing ATS's log files on how many people have come to thier site awhile ago when they used to show it on the front page. So regardless of what you say this is how things are dont. Everything you do is tracked while being online.... Almost like being in london with the 3 million cameras up you ass waiting to see if you look the wrong way.

Face Facts thats how things are. Its not only google who goes it, its every site you visit.

And to see what I am talking about here is ATS's stats

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Its everything you are griping about in that post.



[edit on 1/23/2006 by ThichHeaded]



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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I understand Americans being pissed about this, but google is also an international search engine.. if google were to comply, what guarentees would the US government take to ensure the privacy of non Amercians is not violated? We don't fall under the protection of the constitution so it doesn't owe us anything [and the UN aren't any help]. Kind of reminds me of "We are alloud to own WMD but no-one else is."



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 08:48 AM
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Originally posted by vuoto
1. Does Google's refusal to provide the government with records of searches make you more or less likely to use them for your research in the future?


Speaking from a non-personal point of view, Google is just so versatile, quick, reliable and accurate, I wouldn't switch for many reasons. Their refusal to let the Gov't shank them is admirable. Based on a personal opinion, I would keep using them because of their refusal. I can see an "innocent" search used against someone simply because of the results it turned up, especially if they were results the Searcher never intented to see.



2. Does the government's explanation of "protecting the children" convince you that this potential invasion of privacy is warranted?


Not completely. It may have some merit, but..I have been learning a lot from ATS, and the one sure thing is to question everything. If it comes from the Gov't, and they say it's an apple, you may just have received an orange.



3. Do any of you believe for a moment that this subpoena has anything at all to do with child pornography?


Sure. As I said before, it may all begin with that, and it may have some truth to it. But then, it is easy to delve into the "well, while we arehere, let's look for pipe bomb searches and terror searches..."



4. If you believe that the government should have the power to know what people on the internet are searching for, does this power also extend to research done in a library? How would you feel about cameras placed in library ceilings to watch which books people are reading? Is there a difference?


Put that way, no, there is no difference. I think I would pretty damn offended if some camera was watching me read Ethan Frome. I have heard that "they" track your library check-outs via your library card. I wonder if there is any truth to that?



5. Do you believe that personal liberty, given away to the government in the name of "protection" can ever be reclaimed? Can you name a single time in history that a government gave back a freedom willingly to the citizenry?


I don'thave the knowledge to answer this one. I don't know of anyone, although there may very well be. (I have hope?)



We took our daughter's safety as a solemn responsibility, and the decisions we made in her behalf, for her safety, belonged only to us. Yet today, we're being told that that just wasn't good enough. American parents aren't good enough, or smart enough, or worthy enough, to protect our own children from the electronic equivalent of a sleazy pervert with a greasy overcoat. Forget for a moment that the government's excuse for wanting the research records for every American is about as flimsy as a politician's honor, even if it were real, which it is not, and even if it were sincere, which it is most certainly not, the assertion that we need a government overseer to watch for certain words being Googled is insulting, inherently phoney, and disturbing in the extreme. I have enough faith in the founders of this great Land to take the Constitution at its Word. These powers are better held by common folk like you and me than given away to those who want them so badly.



Fabulously worded. There should never be any shame in standing up for what you believe in. Politicians have been raping good citizens for way too long and standing behind their power to do so.



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 12:07 PM
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I am moved and encouraged at the responses in this thread. I don't believe that the spirit of the Founding Fathers is still alive, and I'm convinced that there are members of ATS who still hold their principles dear.

But I don't believe that the people in our government (from the very top on down) who are so quick to claim that they have the power to spy on us and our families, are going to give up this power they have seized, willingly or without a fight.

I pray that it never comes to this, but I'm afraid that those of us who believe in the values of the men who formed our Nation, who believe in Liberty, who believe in the Constitution, are going to have to be ready and willing to fight to take back those sacred things, even if it's other Americans we have to fight to do it.

It's such a shame that the cynical people who we have elected, who holler over the airwaves, who pass envelopes of cash to one another in a corrupt club, have used a bitter rhetoric to divide those on the Right and on the Left who believe that there is a good reason for the Constitution, for the Bill of Rights. They have told us that the ones on the other side are our enemies, that if you're a Christian, the ones on the Left are the enemy and if you're Progressive, it's the religious who are the bad guys, when all along it's them that are the enemy of our Nation. I have finally come to believe that when I hear a radio talk show tell me that someone is fighting a "War on Christianity" or is a "traitor" or "has a mental disorder" or is a "Nazi", a "Liberal", a baby-killer, a coward, or is part of a vast conspiracy on the Left/Right, that it's a sure sign that the person saying these things on the radio, cable news show or political blog who is the real enemy, along with the politicians who benefit from their bitter rhetoric.

Just this morning, I heard Bill Bennett, the well-known former Sec'y of Education, degenerate gambler and talkshow host talking about how Democrats just don't have any soul or any spine or any heart or mind, and how they're just mean and nasty, and how they're morally corrupt. I have no doubt at all that Bennett's purpose is to have lovers of freedom divided so that it's easier for his masters to pick our pockets, read our mail and steal our freedom. I'm sure someone could find something just as objectionable on the other side of the political fence, but it so happens that it's now the Republicans who are the ones in power, the ones who are getting fat on the spoils, who are trading the envelopes full of cash, who are using the sincere beliefs of Christians to create an environment of hatred and division, to make it all the easier for men like those in the Bush administration to accrue power. And if a Hillary Clinton should gain the White House and when Congress goes back to Democratic control (as it surely will, history teaches), it'll just be another group of self-serving loudmouths calling the tune to change the rules, to divert our attention, to foment hatred among the natural allies on both sides of the ideological divide.

So the next time you're listening to your favorite radio political talk show host, and he's hollering about "bad people" on the other side, think for a moment about what's actually at stake here, and whether that fat, drug-addicted, tanning-booth-browned, golf-playing, lickspittle of a loudmouth "fair and balanced" talk-show host (take your pick, there's plenty) is doing us a service or tightening the leash around our necks.



posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 05:46 AM
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excellent thread!
I dont know who said it but apathy kills. A corrupt government will continue to win as long as the people are to apathetic to do anything about it.



posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 07:52 AM
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Awesome Vuoto!

I wont echo the responses already made. It goes without saying that this is BS. Another example of our systems impending doom if WE dont stand up and fix it.

Who was it that said that when the gov't fears the people there is liberty, and when the people fear the gov't there is tyranny?

This seems to ring especially true today...



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