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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you guys think of Google? Glenn Beck has been warning his listeners about Google and how it has ties to the government. I am just getting a little hesitant about using it because I have seen how much it has grown and seems to be taking over everything:
Search Engine - text and voice recognition I use
Google Buzz - social network
Gmail I use
Youtube I use
Google Chat - text, voice, and video I use
Google Voice - phone service
Google Chrome - web browser I use

Google Maps/Earth I use
Google Documents
Google Calender

Google cell phones



Thats just some of the things that jump out at me and I know there are many more services they provide.
 

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gawking at Google

Your suspicion of Google is well founded, but, unfortunately, if you have a presence anywhere on the internet you have left a footprint that can be followed. Any belief that you can maintain anonymity, or even a modicum of privacy in today's society is a fantasy. The best you can hope for is to maintain as low a profile as possible. I find much of what Google does as intrusive so I don't use it as a search engine, (try Startingpage at https://startingpage.com/eng/ instead). I use Firefox instead of Chrome; Mapquest instead of Google maps and I only use gmail for times where it is likely to generate spam responses. I have an Android cell but I have turned off the satellite tracking. Again, you try to keep as gray as possible but in reality if someone, (JBT's - PTB) wants to find you they will.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there's not someone out to get ya.:eek:
 

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RTFM

LOL, When you go to the page, is says Starting Page (enhanced by Google)
Startingpage uses anonymity technology and acts as a "gateway" to Google without tracking or recording your ISP, (which is explained clearly by Startingpage when you get started with them). There is no such thing as privacy on the 'net. The best you can do is low profile.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your suspicion of Google is well founded, but, unfortunately, if you have a presence anywhere on the internet you have left a footprint that can be followed. Any belief that you can maintain anonymity, or even a modicum of privacy in today's society is a fantasy. The best you can hope for is to maintain as low a profile as possible. I find much of what Google does as intrusive so I don't use it as a search engine, (try Startingpage at https://startingpage.com/eng/ instead). I use Firefox instead of Chrome; Mapquest instead of Google maps and I only use gmail for times where it is likely to generate spam responses. I have an Android cell but I have turned off the satellite tracking. Again, you try to keep as gray as possible but in reality if someone, (JBT's - PTB) wants to find you they will.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there's not someone out to get ya.:eek:
Kind of makes you wish you never got a computer..
 

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Pleasantly demented woman
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Oh brother. :)
 

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Okay, a few thoughts from someone in the profession (software dev) and who has had some exposure to these various orgs, including Google.

Not using Google as your search engine is not going to help you stay off the government radar one bit - literally; by "bit" I mean the data bits you send and receive on your computer or phone. Maybe some people have forgotten because it hasn't been in the news much the last few years, but the government has been tapping not just the internet, but most incoming and outgoing data lines for years now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_warrantless_surveillance_controversy

This includes phone and data traffic, including many "private" networks that use the public data backbones (which AT&T supplies). In short, anything you view or post on the internet, anything you say or text on a phone, is captured by the government.

If the government has an interest in you they can and will use that data to put together a data package on you. Who you talk to, what you do on the internet and so on. If they are interested then they may dedicate computing power and storage to convert your voice to text and search it for keywords. If they are really interested they may dedicate resources to analyze that data.

For most of us they don't. But the point is they can. Switching to a different search engine won't matter.

Where switching to a different search may matter is when you don't want to share that search info with commercial enterprises. In which case there are things you can do besides switching that will help (private incognito browser sessions, turning off cookies, and so on). But switching isn't going to help because all search companies, whether it is Google, Bing, or Yahoo, do the same thing, this is how they make their money. Ties to government don't matter much either - they all have government contracts and they will all fall over backwards to do whatever it takes to please the government.

If any of the search companies has any balls to stand up to the government it is Google:

http://searchenginewatch.com/articl...ch-Data-Google-Says-No-AOL-MSN-Yahoo-Said-Yes

And no, I don't work for Google and I never have. I have worked about one block from one of their offices, I have worked for a large Google advertising business partner (they also were partners with MSN and Yahoo and AT&T), but I have no ties to Google.
 

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I use Firefox instead of Chrome; Mapquest instead of Google maps and I only use gmail for times where it is likely to generate spam responses. I have an Android cell but I have turned off the satellite tracking.
Using FF instead of Chrome won't help at all, nor will using Mapquest v. Google maps. Turning off your satellite tracking on your phone won't help because as long as there is a cell signal you can be tracked, it just isn't as precise.

You should always act as if everything you do on the internet or your phone is being listened to by the government.

OTOH, just because the government *can* do these things doesn't mean that they are particularly interested in you personally. If you are not a member of a group they are interested in, and you don't go around doing suspicious things that attract attention, and you don't plan to plant bombs or do other bad things, you will probably pass under their radar. After all, while they can and now do pretty much tap into whatever data lines they want to, they don't have the resources to keep tabs on every single person in the USA, much less the world - so they don't. They only dedicate those resources to those people they are interested in - which is probably less than one percent of the US population.

In the long run, you may already be on some list just by visiting this site, or other sites (e.g., anything to do with guns) that may put you on some long list of possibles. Just having friends who have guns can do that. I used to work with a person who is now a friend who worked on some software that both government and some commercial enterprises use to build a view of your social network. The government uses this software to know who you have associated with - it can then know where money goes, and other information that is valuable when trying to put together who belongs to what terrorist orgs even though some members are careful about never saying anything online or on the phone.

I personally don't believe the government is particularly interested in preppers or gun owners. I don't think there is a world wide conspiracy to make us all slaves of a "new world" government or any of that. I don't think it is feasible and I think those in power know that it isn't. They are satisfied with being in power as it is. If anything they have their hands full with in-fighting among the different factions jostling for power.

That doesn't mean you should not try to maintain a low profile. Smaller more local power bases may try to use that info to persecute various groups as they see fit. Private individuals may try to use that info. It is just basically wise to not publish too much info about yourself or your preps.
 

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Bah! Dont even get me started. First of all, you have to understand that YOU are googles product. They make money from advertizing revenue that companies pay google to market to YOU. All the extra apps you get from Google are used to damine you to death. Yes, they scan your email for key terms. Yes, they use IP location information to know where you are so they can better target their adds at you. Google search trend data was used a number of times to get an edge on the markets etc. This is just for starters. Do your research and you will see how "evil" they really are.

V.
 

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Some here may find this useful - free proxy software that protects your privacy online by masking your ip address. What do you think of using tor heretic?

https://www.torproject.org/
I personally would not bother unless you have something that you really really don't want to have tracked. Tor is mostly used by those who are at real risk of persecution from their government - such as somebody in Iran who protests their government policies.

We in the USA and other first world countries really do not have to worry about such things, and I don't see that happening in the future. Yes the government can and does do traffic analysis, but like I said, if you are not a member of the Al Qaeda or some group like that, then they are unlikely to pay any attention to your activities. Indeed, the fact that you use Tor may raise a flag for them - so you have to weigh what it is that you are doing against the flag that you raise by using that system. Moreover, Tor may give you some measure of anonymity, but what you post somewhere is still public - there is just less of a chance that it can be traced back to you via your IP.

Remember, your online activities are only half of what is tracked in your public life; all your financial transactions are tracked too. If you are going to go buy ammo for example, pay with cash, and don't pull that cash from an ATM a block from the gun store on the same day that you are buying the ammo.

As a little interesting aside, when I was using Clearwire at a place I lived, most of the systems that pop up advertisements and other location info, thought I was in Las Vegas, sometimes Idaho. I think it had to do with how Clear did their network setup - Clear sucks anyway. Much better on Frontier FIOS.

In summary, I present no threat to the US government. I may own guns, ammo and I prepare for emergencies, but I do not avocate the overthrow or subversion of the government, I obey laws, and I don't belong to any group that would make them take notice of me. I believe they mostly consider preppers harmless (despite the fact that they think we may fit some profile).

That doesn't mean that I think what the data surveillance the US gov. does is a good thing or harmless. I think it violates the constitution and our rights and it degrades our freedom. I support advocating against it. I just am not looking over my shoulder thinking that soldiers with blue helmets in black helos are going to land on my lawn at any minute.
 

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Prepared Gourmet
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I use Ixquick ... and occasionally Hidemyass - in an attempt (probably vain) to keep the eerie powers that be out there at least a bit confused about my meanderings around the web. Despite their claims, those interfaces probably don't help me hide from government but it is, I think, the best I can do right now.

On principle, I refuse to use a Google product (except I am forced to use one unfortunately because I made a terrible mistake in buying a Droid - which I keep off with battery out as much as I can - I like to think they will be scratching their heads when one day I am in NC and the next I am in Canada.)

My issue with Google is just that it is way too invasive. The news stories about what they can and do capture don't help either, true or not. I know they can see everything in my yard as it is - and while that seemed 'neat' when Google Earth first came out, it is kind of scary when one reflects on the implications of that.
 

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Bah! Dont even get me started. First of all, you have to understand that YOU are googles product. They make money from advertizing revenue that companies pay google to market to YOU. All the extra apps you get from Google are used to damine you to death. Yes, they scan your email for key terms. Yes, they use IP location information to know where you are so they can better target their adds at you. Google search trend data was used a number of times to get an edge on the markets etc. This is just for starters. Do your research and you will see how "evil" they really are.

V.
And you think MSN, Yahoo, AT&T and every other company out there with an online presence that presents advertising isn't doing this too?

I used to work for a provider of advertising campaign provisioning systems. We created the systems that work in the background to do a lot of the ad campaign tracking for these major players and others. There is nothing special about Google in this respect. Switching to MSN or Yahoo won't make one bit of difference. Do you think HotMail or Yahoo mail doesn't look at your email content?? Do you think Bing doesn't track what you search for?

Do you think that the government doesn't capture most every bit of traffic that passes over the major data backbones?

Don't fool yourself into thinking that one search engine or free email provider with advertising is less evil than another, and don't waste time thinking you can make a difference by switching from Google to MSN/Bing.

Use the search engine that you want. I personally like Google best - it is the simplest and easiest to use, and gives me the best results for what it is (semantic searching would be better, but for statistical search it does fairly well). If you prefer to use Bing or Yahoo, then more power to you - it doesn't affect me at all - just don't fool yourself into thinking that it will make a difference with regards to how much the government or commercial enterprises know about your internet habits.

Using a "private" email system, such as that provided by an ISP, *MIGHT* hide your email content from commercial enterprises, but it won't hide it from the government unless you securely encrypt the email you want to remain private. Even then, if they are really interested, they can probably break it.

Moreover, more and more ISPs are getting into advertising and may be surreptitiously reading your email, tracking your internet usage and providing that info to advertisers/etc.

Some ISPs are now presenting advertising when you mistype a URL and either wind up on an error page or a domain addy that is a mistype of a popular website. Type in garbage into your address bar - like "kjasdfuyweruiyrwe.com" and see what happens. If your ISP is like mine, you wind up on an webpage that has advertisements on it and is presented to you by your ISP. If you mistype one letter, you may wind up on one of the websites that and advertising campaign company has bought to present advertising to you (the company I used to work for had millions of these domains - they presented ads on them and sold some at auction).

If you have a domain name you let expire, the next day after it expires you can bet that somebody, quite possibly your domain registrar (especially if it is GoDaddy), will have that domain name as theirs and it will had some "parking" advertisement campaign on it.

It's a racket, one I don't like, but one that all the companies that have any association with advertising participate in. Google is the biggest, but not the most evil - IMO.

BTW - Glenn Beck is an idiot.
 

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My issue with Google is just that it is way too invasive. The news stories about what they can and do capture don't help either, true or not. I know they can see everything in my yard as it is - and while that seemed 'neat' when Google Earth first came out, it is kind of scary when one reflects on the implications of that.
When Google switched satellite photo providers and started getting more frequent and up to date photos, then people started to freak out a bit. The street views didn't help either.

If you look at the satellite photo of where I used to live, you could see me out in the yard working on my dirt bike. The street view showed my car parked in my carport.

Was I scared? No. The government pretty much knows where I live ever since they said we could not use PO boxes for our driver's licenses anymore. If I don't want to risk prison I have to put the right address on the 4473 forms when I buy a gun from an FFL (even though most of my guns are bought from private parties, I sometimes buy a gun from a dealer if I can't find it privately).

The government satellites have much higher resolution than the commercial ones although commercial satellites are catching up. The street view by Google isn't good for privacy though - but in practice it has little impact; there is nothing there that can't be seen from the street anyway, and unless someone already knows where to look they can't connect you with you being somewhere via the street view unless they stumble across it. Can someone find my address via some search and then look online for a view of my house that is a few years old? Maybe - especially if I am a homeowner and not a renter. But they could also get the ownership info and drive by my house too. They could do that before the internet - home ownership records have been public records for decades, it has just gotten easier and cheaper to find them. If someone was determined enough they could still get them.
 

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What makes you say that?...(not to get off topic)
Most of the conservative talk show hosts are idiots. Glenn Beck even more so because he goes looking for conspiracies where there are none, and says idiotic things. Say enough idiotic things and people start thinking you are an idiot.

Yes I know that won't go over well with many people here. Ehh, that's too bad. I call them like I see them. I don't have time to waste with idiotic theories of worldwide conspiracies. If these people have so much power and it is so widespread, there is little I could do as an individual anyway except to keep my head down.

I have very close immediate family that think that Obama is part of such a conspiracy, and yes, in this respect, I think they are being idiotic even though I know they are very intelligent in other respects. Do I like Obama? No. I believe he is a lesser evil than Bush or McCain/Palin (I shudder when I think of Palin in the Whitehouse - talk about idiots!).

I am neither conservative nor neo-liberal. I am libertarian in the sense that I believe in minimal government and maximum freedom. Republicans want to take your porn and drugs away from you, and Democrats want to take your money and guns. Republicans want to be your daddy, and Democrats want to be your mommy. They are both evil in the sense that they both believe government is the solution to every problem.

Whenever someone starts a sentence with "there ought to be a law" I immediately downgrade my opinion of them, whether they end that sentence with "against guns" or "against drugs" or "against burning the flag" or "against porn" or "against junk food" or "against same gender marriage". I don't use recreational drugs (I used to be a federal LEO involved in drug interdiction) and I don't burn flags and I am straight, but I support the right of somebody to do those things and to have equal rights under the law.
 

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I use adblock so I never see any google ads. Google's business plan of making money from advertising is flawed and it's only a matter of time before the world catches on to programs like adblock.
 

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I use adblock so I never see any google ads. Google's business plan of making money from advertising is flawed and it's only a matter of time before the world catches on to programs like adblock.
Most browsers, including Chrome, have ad-blocking built-in in one form or another.

Google is and will be making money hand over fist for the foreseeable future. Their revenue growth has slowed down for a number of reasons; competition, advertisers doing less, and just because there is less headroom in a growth industry - it is just natural as a sector matures.

Most people just naturally ignore ads, but while we are at it, is this forum site evil? Look to the top of the page - there is an ad up there. You know what happens after I visit this site? I see gun and prep supply ads on other sites.

You want to know what is evil? Flash cookies. Up until recently it was very hard to turn them off. It is still not easy (you have to go to a website to do it). How many people know that Flash cookies are persistent? That they don't go away even if you manually delete them? That they are not controlled by your browser?

Who even knows what they are and who makes them?

Adobe. Who here knows who this company is?

They are the company that bought Macromedia and if you use Youtube or most other video websites, a website with any kind of video window on it, you are probably using Flash. Many sites using Flash/Flex/Air (all Adobe) for website presentation.

They also make other software (Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.), but Flash is what I am talking about here.

Google it.

http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager07.html

BTW - I use Chrome because I like how it works - both from the perspective of the UI and what is underneath. I like that the browser won't crash if one tab does, and the security that comes from each tab being a separate sandboxed process (Safari has that now, and I think others are following suit).
 

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Look to the top of the page - there is an ad up there. You know what happens after I visit this site? I see gun and prep supply ads on other sites.

You want to know what is evil? Flash cookies.
What ads? I don't see any ads on this site. Oh wait, I use adblock :) :)

Flash cookies are easy to kill. Erase the cookies and change the permission on the folder that holds the cookies. Set "everyone" to "none" - that means no one can make changes to that folder. No program, no user, not even you unless you go in and change the permissions back. No more flash cookies. Super simple.
 
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