Why stop at the search engine, support Microsoft all the way, use IE.
Mozilla director of community development Asa Dotzler - co-founder of the original Firefox project - has encouraged Firefox users to switch their search engine from Google to Microsoft Bing in the wake of Eric Schmidt's now infamous words on net privacy. In an interview aired by CNBC on Sunday, the Google boss insisted that …
Looks like things are hotting up in the biggest divorce since Nicole left Tom. It's not even a week since they announced they want to start developing a proper email client based on Thunderbird - much to Google's indifference at this stage, I would imagine. Maybe five years ago, but not now.
This is nothing to do with privacy laws, anyone can see that. Switching from one US search provider to another accomplishes what exactly, other than a poorer quality search?
Mozilla are starting to panic that their sugardaddy is going off them - they're rally scared - so, knowing they don't have a business model that can ever allow them to stand on their own two feet, they're now looking for a new pimp. The fact that they're having to dance with MS really highlights how in the shit they are, long term. No doubt MS are going to pay handsomely for this, after all it means the two biggest browsers are both pushing users toward its search engine and making it money and good PR, but it also means that as soon as 90% of Mozilla's income comes from MS rather than Google, they become MS's bitch and start doing what they're told to do. Come on - seriously - would you rather be Google's bitch or MS's? They must be in a terrible state to want to make the leap from the frying pan to the fire.
This is nothing to do with privacy - do you seriously think MS are safer in that regard than Google or not subject to the same laws or get the same calls from the same agencies? - it's all about shifting strategic partnerships to make mozney. The problem is that both Google and MS are huge corporations who speak each other's language more than they speak Mozilla's. You might like Firefox, but the truth is that it could disappear tomorrow and the Web would continue just fine, thank you very much. Mozilla is now officially a pawn - and has been pwned. They're also frightened, quite understandably.
Note to The Reg®: There's no icon of Malcolm Tucker to attach to this article about Asa Dotzler.
Is Schmidt serious?
At least Google is *UP FRONT* about how they log everything, and the implications of doing stupid /illegal stuff while browsing - and you can see what they've got in your Google account page.
While it came across badly, the Google guy is correct. If you do something bad on the internet, there are plenty of ways you'll get logged. Tor, shell accounts, next-door's wireless, anonymous proxies are some tools in hiding that, but don't expect any browsing to be completely private.
I use Google, I know that they track my searches, I know that they use it to "tailor" my experience. I have no problems with that - I know that they are doing it.
Do we know how Microsoft track us? We know that their O/S report home about things without telling us, we know that results on Bing can be influenced by money and we know that Bing is using Silverlight which sort of really locks out certain portions of the internet "population".
I know who I'd rather use for search....
I think what people seem to be forgetting, that apart from laws like the Patriot Act or the DMCA, everything that people do online is voluntary. When you go to Google and sign up for their services, you are agreeing that they can hold on to your data. When you make a website and want (or don't want) it to be searched by a search engine, you use (or don't use) a robots.txt file to tell the engine what to do. All this is up to you. No one is pointing a gun to your head and telling you to do as they say or die. That's what the law is for. If you want absolute privacy, then you may as well shut yourself away from everyone and everything, because when you go outside of your house, or on to the Internet, you are trading your privacy for interaction with others and services provided by others. Seriously people, get a grip on reality would you?
So not only are the goverments and companies acting like big brother, people are now starting to act like Winston Smith 's fellow citizens...
I do nothing illegal - it doesn't mean I don't care about my privacy...
As the old addage goes '1984 was supposed to be a warning, not a prediction'
"everything that people do online is voluntary. When you go to Google and sign up for their services, you are agreeing that they can hold on to your data."
Actually, you don't. You don't have an actual contract when you just go to Google and use the search engine - you're never asked to sign up, nor are you informed you have just engaged in a contractual relationship.
This means that existing laws remain valid, and as far as I know most countries have signed up to Human Rights. As for using OTHER Google services you're 100% right, nobody seems to know Clause 11 in their ToS..
The problem with the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" attitude is this:
Maybe you have nothing to hide now, so you have no fear of your habits online or offline being logged and stored away somewhere. You're safe.
Now fast forward a decade, after we've continued down the slippery slope even further, and imagine that some innocent activity you enjoy is now considered to be a "threat" (UK-based photographers are familiar with this issue already, now that their hobby/profession has become something which "arouses suspicion").
Conveniently, your last 10+ years of searches and browsing related to the newly proscribed activity are all ready and waiting for the authorities to trawl through. Please present yourself to your local Ministry of Freedom offices immediately for Thought Realignment.
What you seem to be forgetting is that significant pieces of google's behavioral data collection is acquired entirely outside of google's voluntary services.
Unless one knows about and specifically blocks all of google's domains, there is are plenty more avenues for google to track people online. If it was just google's search engine then this would be a non-issue.
I find it incredibly convenient that CNBC narrates over the 10 seconds before the "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know..." bit. Where's the context?
If he's talking about secrets from your wife/family/friend then you're right.
If on the other hand he's talking about the government, they couldn't give a toss that you like whips and chains/are having an affair/think your boss is a wanker
End this sensationalist crap and give us some context!
Please someone post his address, personal email address(es), phone number(s), Social Security number, bank account details, driving license number...
If I need to visit a confidential help-site for a terminal illness, I don't see why I should have to worry that Google has spotted it through the hidden Java trackers in almost all web pages, and will sell the information to advertisers to target me with cheap funeral services, thanks.
When it comes to privacy people love to make those exaggerations. In one of the posts above somebody wrote something about how 1984 was supposed be warning not a prediction- because we all know that Orwell had Google in mind when he wrote 1984.
"Big brother" must be one of the most misused terms in the history of English language. I think people should read something about Stalin's Soviet Union before even thinking of using it.
Did someone not read the previous articles?
This isn't about iGoogle knowing what you did last Summer, it's about Google knowing what you are doing, all the time even if you don't have or aren't signed in to a Google account.
As for Google being the best search engine in the world.. even if it is.. it's not for your benefit and the sooner it admits to being Craigslist the better.
You got it in one.
I could put up with Google were is not for their pretence at being a bunch of lovely, cuddly, touchy feelly hippies. They are in the game to make as much money as possible and they have been since day one. They really don't care who or what they trample on in the realisation of that goal.
In terms of moral bankruptcy I put Google firmly in the same class as Phorm. The difference for most people is that the media portayed Phorm as evil from day one, it's really only since Streetview launched that the popular media have started to portay Google as anything less than angelic. And what do you suppose all this recent pandering to the news content providers is about? PR, plain and simple. If they don't at least throw a bone to the press pack then they are going to start getting negative press. If they play nice with the press then they will still print nice stories about them.
You have none, The only reason I use Firefox is because of no script. I use Google because I get relevant search results. I use Win 7 for touch screen surfing, 3D rendering, Photoshop and games. I use Ubuntu for online banking and shopping.
When or if I ever become a sexual deviant style terrorist murderer I will do it old style, cash, unregistered phones, face to face, obfuscation, misdirection, and outright lies, rather like the politicians.
If you're active in civil rights, gay rights, sexual health, abortion, contraception, organized labor, someone's political campaign, then invididuals working in government or law enforcement may want to know about what you read and transmit on the Internet, and you may want not to have them know, without crimes being committed on YOUR side. Depending on what is counted as a crime where you are.
I daresay Microsoft also do a reasonable amount of massaging with every client that sucks at its search engines teats, but even if this is half right...
theres a shed load of background churn with Google.
That's all it is. Just a rant. But it's a big rant, and I think it represents feelings of the public at large - at least those who are in the know.
Got something to hide? What about Google's ranking algorithm? Maybe they shouldn't be doing that. Or otherwise, how about publishing it, Google?
Google are one of the worst copyright offenders out there. In addition to scraping content from websites and using that content next to adverts, they publish orphaned books illegally, using money to support lawyers so they don't get done for it. People are slowly becoming wise to it, and are fed up with it, especially content providers.
So google/bing/yahoo/whoever want to keep records of your searches?
Give them some records to keep... http://mrl.nyu.edu/~dhowe/trackmenot/
TrackMeNot runs in Firefox as a low-priority background process that periodically issues randomized search-queries to popular search engines, e.g., AOL, Yahoo!, Google, and MSN. It hides users' actual search trails in a cloud of 'ghost' queries, significantly increasing the difficulty of aggregating such data into accurate or identifying user profiles.
So, the best it can do is throw out a pre-determined set (however large) of queries in the background while you have FireFox up and running.
How long until this get politicized? When will it start throwing out queries for certain "questionable" activities in a "stand up for your rights" manner? Or is it doing it already, and forgot to tell anyone?
Isn't it obvious that this is the case? If you really think you're anonymous on the web and that every search engine, isp, etc doesn't do exactly the same then you're in lala land.
"If you don't want someone to know what you're doing, then don't do it" is not a statement that your privacy doesn't matter, it is simply good advice.
Stop spouting (and spreading) sensationalist crap!
... can we expect a Mozilla created Search Engine in the future ?
On the comparison that Microsoft is no better than Google when it comes to corporate behaviour and putting themselves before their customer's ( the public's ) interests; probably about right but I'm actually more suspicious of Google than Microsoft as advertising is Google's sole revenue stream.
Google's cavalier attitude - while trying to maintain its public "do no evil" stance - is becoming increasingly suspect. Google seems to seek 'world domination' as much as Microsoft, and I suspect more so.
We really need an 'Evil Google' icon.
Ixquick supposedly protects your privacy.
You can use the Firefox Ixquick serch engine add-on, besides BetterPrivacy, CookieCuller, AdBlock, CustomizeGoogle, NoScript (urchin.js) etc ...and despising GOOG just like the Departamentul Securităţii Statului, the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit and all their modern-day incarnations. Respect for the right to privacy, support the Pirates.
Following the 9/11 event in the US, Europe has allowed itself to be swept along in a panic reaction to try to end all evil by increasing the level of surveillance and control over the entire population. We Europeans should know better. It is not twenty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and there are plenty of other horrific examples of surveillance-gone-wrong in Europe's modern history.
The arguments for each step on the road to the surveillance state may sound ever so convincing. But we Europeans know from experience where that road leads, and it is not somewhere we want to go.
We must pull the emergency brake on the runaway train towards a society we do not want. Terrorists may attack the open society, but only governments can abolish it. The Pirate Party wants to prevent that from happening. http://www.piratpartiet.se/documents/Principles%203.2.odt
If you could state your case without all the party politics around it you may get more people intested.
Fact: privacy is a right
Fact: governments like to listen in (various arguments)
Fact: companies like to listen in to make money
Ergo: it's up to you to protect yourself, you're not going to get help from your government unless you live in, umm, Switzerland or Japan.
As Pirate party we can help, but we have the problem of being associated with piracy through our name. Piracy isn't as bad as the RIAA wants us to believe, but fact remains that it is a crime.
There, fixed that for you. Now go and change your name, and learn to write pieces that don't sound as if they come from sandal wearing long haired hippies with a severe pharmaceutical problem.
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And it only took four years:
"ScaredWitless, I don't give one whit whether or not you trust Google.
Posted by Asa Dotzler at August 24, 2005 4:45 PM"
I love the way the Internet never forgets anything.
It's all well and good to direct people to other search engines, but what about the crap that's built into the browser? Safe search, geolocation, the "awesome" bar, search plugins, mail handling via Gfail and so on. Each and every one of these is a potential privacy leak.
Please, Mozilla, remove this dross from Firefox. If I wanted Google to have a record of my browsing sessions I'd tell them myself. As it is I'm stuck compiling a custom build of Shiretoko just to evade this rot.
...the more Mozilla push Google out the less funding Mozilla will have. The vast majority of their funding comes from Google. If they get rid of all the Google stuff they could well end up with a huge hole in their finances. I doubt MS will make up the shortfall for them.
Having said all that this has been coming since Chrome was announced.
Yes, I know Mozilla are in between a rock and a hard place. I don't want to be unfair with them, but I value privacy and. even without taking into consideration Eric's little rant, I do not trust Google. You're right about Chrome, too. All it needs is NoScript and AdBlock-alike plugins and it'll start to take market share right and left and privacy be damned.
Still, configuring a custom build isn't that onerous on FreeBSD. I just have to maintain parity between the official port and my local one and not call it Firefox.
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For the last few days I've been using AltaVista because Google has turned into the Great Privacy Satan and Microsoft is still the same ruthless M$ we all know an love.
Its become my default browser: AltaVista seems to find stuff as well as the chocolate factory ever did, but with the extra benefits of no adverts, no favoured shops at the top of every search list and, best of all, no bloody price comparison sites cluttering up the list.
AltaVsita is owned by Overture Services, Inc. (www.altavista.com/about).
Overture Services, Inc. is the marketing arm of Yahoo (enter the URL mentioned in the "about" page from AltaVista - www.overture.com - and you get Yahoo!).
Yahoo is now used by Micrsoft for searches... including Bing (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091205/tc_afp/usitcompanyinternetyahoomicrosoftgoogle)
You usually don't expect these kind of relationships except in backwater Tennessee...
I tried IxQuick for a week a while back. I like the thought of pushing for these levels of privacy and ethics online. The reason I decided to go back to Google was simple: looks cleaner, better results.
That said, how fantastic would it be if Mozilla did make IxQuick a default search page? If more people use it, it can only get better, grab competition from Google and maybe demonstrate some values to the big players. Making Bing a default search? Is that not like choosing one devil over another... maybe good for encouraging competition though...
Maybe Google was an appropriate search engine for Mozilla in 2002, but surely it's time to accept that Google has evolved into an evil do-er, and open source shouldn't side with evil.
Troll doll... love it's purple hair.
Not that I support Schmidt's position, or am eager to give up on my privacy, but if you think any service by any major (or even minor) online organization is not collecting any data they can get on you, you're delusional. It's in their best interests to gather all the information about its users as possible, so damn straight they're going to do it... and government data protections laws are toothless enough that they can get away with it.
Which leaves a private internet denizen torn: do you fight like mad for your privacy and just not do anything online, or give up the fight since privacy really is becoming a thing of the past?
I saw a presentation a few days ago from a MS employee - and I was surprised to see they were proudly using Firefox and Thunderbird.. Makes me wonder if MS are doing some back-room deals with Mozilla. This makes even more sense when you consider Windows 7 will soon have to offer a choice of browser. Firefox prefering bing! What next - Windows going open source?!
The CEO of an advertising firm that uses search to generate details of individuals in order to make money from advertising doesn't value privacy the same way the individuals he's data mining, does. Sorry Schmidt. I don't use your search engine for that reason. The "Ghost" plug in prevents your web bugs from getting anything useful from me. I already use Bing and like it better than Google anyway because it provides me with more useful search results that return info on the whole phrase, not a bunch of useless links that reference one word out of the phrase.
If Mozilla was to lose Gooogle funding, they'd have to revert to an unpaid volunteer development model, like some of the Linux distributions. It seems to work OK for them.
And maybe a more democratic development process would result in less bloat and questionable design decisions (let's put a database engine in our web browser). Maybe? No, I know, but I can dream, can't I?
Because, Dan, if they did that in the way your text seems to suggest, all hell would break loose with people calling Microsoft silly names and kicking off a whole new round of "Microsoft is EVIL for replacing my default search."
MS have to tread carefully, being in the sights of so many government agencies.
If you mean "Add Bing" on the dropdown when visiting Bing's landing page, similar to the way Cuil does, then that should present no problems.
Did y'all watch the original 34 sec blurb on youtube? Unless there is a more sinister context to it (and, yes, Google owns youtube), Schmidt's not saying much that isn't common sense. Yes, search engines retain search data. And, yes, gmail... retains emails.
If you really really don't want anyone to know what you were doing... what were you doing? Most of the time nobody would really care, except for folks who want to get at your credit card numbers. Or maybe your partner would be interested to know you are on online dating sites. And your porn habits might be of interest to your employer. Maybe. But the masses of humanity could not care less. Though the answer might be different if you were a politician.
For the rest? Google actually _really_ doesn't care, because they already use your habits to show you ads. So their main incentive to be sneaky is already taken care of.
Right after his "privacy nuking statement" he goes out of his way to remind us that well, yes, Google can be legally forced to release information. That doesn't sound all that nefarious, warning people of that risk.
So it really boils down to whether Google is going to disclose your information to a non-governmental third party. Such as your spouse and employer. Or anybody else, really. If they did, I'd be out in a jiffy but it would be killing the golden goose, given how much money they are making based on targeted ads.
As for the government, I do expect Google to ask for warrants or their equivalent binding legal requests. I _know_ Yahoo didn't put up much of a fight with China on occasion, not sure what Google's record is.
Gets google search results without divulging your IP address.
Combine that with the FIrefox addon CustomizeGoogle, - set it to anonymise your cookie's UID (even just doing this without using scroogle gives significantly more privacy than searching naked, although your IP address is still logged with each search), and you're all set - no need to use bing.
BING: But It's Not Google :)
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