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Scroogled – the day Google turned Evil


Don’t be cross with me, but I feel strangely comforted by the thought of a higher authority (Google) watching over me, plumbing the shallow depths of my consciousness, listening to the household dramas (via their ambient patent on PC/mobile device) and sending me signs and symbols (oh, ok, Ads) that I need to hear and see. Now be honest, don’t you? So nice that someone cares and is concerned and interested. Someone who is Not Evil of course. Or Inept. Governments need not apply.

“Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him.” —Cardinal Richelieu. (Read this short story from Cory Doctorow)

Just to follow on from my earlier post and a totally huge hat tip to a Facebook Friend who emailed me the link: Privacy already gone, make the most of it about The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act have you thought about the implications of telecommunications and internet companies that do this…?:

The most contentious issue in the new legislation is whether to shield telecommunications companies from civil lawsuits for allegedly giving the government access to people’s private e-mails and phone calls without a court order between 2001 and 2007.
The central witness in a California lawsuit against AT&T says the government is vacuuming up billions of e-mails and phone calls as they pass through an AT&T switching station in San Francisco.
Mark Klein, a retired AT&T technician, helped connect a device in 2003 that he says diverted and copied onto a government supercomputer every call, e-mail, and Internet site access on AT&T lines.

Well the always brilliant Cory Doctorow (from Radar magazine) has: here’s a short story on an Evil Google called Scroogled.
Googlecleaning? Gosh. If you can’t be arsed reading the short story (and well, if it can’t be said in 140 chars or less, it’s not worth reading, right?), here’s some pictures.
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BORDER CROSSING Immigration—brought to you by Google

The U.S. government had spent $15 billion and hadn’t caught a single terrorist. Clearly, the public sector was not equipped to Do Search Right.

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SMILE! You’re on Google camera

Every time you visited a page with Google ads, or used Google maps, or Google mail—even if you sent mail to a Gmail account—they collected your info.

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PEOPLE WATCHING Keeping an eye out for “persons of interest”

The Stasi put everything about you in a file. Whether they meant to or not, what Google did is no different.

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CAMPUS SECURITY The Google compound in Mountain View

Listening into your household dramas: It might be worth having another read of an old blog post on here from a year and half ago: inside outside and-round and round about Google’s patent on ambient sound. Your PC – mobile device listens and watches what you are doing, watching on TV and ambient environment and then offers up ads based on that:

Lots and lots on the ‘net recently about Google Research into “Social- and Interactive-Television Applications Based on Real-Time Ambient-Audio Identification” and how we would feel about Google listening into our real-life arguments and offering ads for marriage counselling.

Interesting discussions on Don’t Be Evil – restoring the public trust in business, politics and the media. They ask Steve Jobs etc about Google’s Don’t be Evil motto.

Scared yet? Never mind, just keep loading up your fotos to Flickr, videos to YouTube, and silly links on Facebook. You’ll be fine. I’m sure. Well, almost…

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

One thought on “Scroogled – the day Google turned Evil

  1. This sort of stuff does not surprise me. I am always gobsmacked about how many cases on the Bill are effortlessly solved by all those surveillance cameras in all those great locations. With people like like Phillip Ruddock running things here in Australia and applauding any move to gather information on people, my most significant motivation for a change of government here in Australia is to rein people like him way in.

    Not sure how you address this one other than moving to a remote island, cashing in all Howards Election bribes and eating grass.

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