Version 3/2/06
These notes are from the book: The Search: John Batelle
Class Support Material: Hackers, Hits and Chats

Search, Privacy, Government and Evil

Information is simply easier to find.
Tension between personal privacy, others' right to know and technologies ability to allow us to seek information: "reverse directory lookup". Imagine a phonebook ordered by telephone numbers; ordered by addresses.

Perform a Vanity Search and see what you discover about yourself that is freely available on the web. Feel free to blog the results!

Current Privacy Issues
Consider Gmail, and its ability to serve advertisements that are based on the content of e-mail received. Like their search, Gmail is another distribution channel for their adwords program.

Is this a privacy issue we should be concerned about ? Legislator seeks to block Gmail

Consider also your relationship with your ISP, do you trust they will not disclose your online behaviour, or use it for purposes which may cause you concern ?

Search Behaviour:
Google understands our search habits and has huge databases of our intent based on our search behaviour. Do we 'trust' google to keep this private ? Should we ?

Department of Justice is trying to gain access to this information, with respect to the Child Online Protection Act. Are we able to know if Google is being compliant with our trust, or with the Department of Justice's request ?

Review Google's Privacy Statement for class discussion.

Choice Point: Commercial data broker.

Epic: EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values.

What powers does the USA Patriot Act provide the DOJ that were not provided before the Act ?
House vote: Last bar to USA Patriot Act renewal

The China Question ?

Be prepared to debate both:

Why is Google moving search records out of China ?