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Questioning Google's Privacy Reform

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the how-private-is-private? dept.

Google 134

JagsLive makes note of a story questioning whether Google's recent commitment to anonymize IP logs faster is really as good as it sounds. We discussed their announcement a few days ago. CNet's Chris Soghoian takes a closer look: "While the company hasn't said how it de-identifies the cookies, it has revealed in public statements that its IP anonymization technique consists of chopping off the last 8 bits of a user's IP address. As an example, an IP address of a home user could be 173.192.103.121. After 18 months, Google chops this down to 173.192.103.XXX. Since each octet (the numbers between each period of an IP) can contain values from 1-255, Google's anonymization technique allows a user, at most, to hide among 254 other computers. ... Google has now revealed that it will change "some" of the bits of the IP address after 9 months, but less than the eight bits that it masks after the full 18 months. Thus, instead of Google's customers being able to hide among 254 other Internet users, perhaps they'll be able to hide among 64, or 127 other possible IP addresses. By itself, this is a laughable level of anonymity. However, it gets worse."

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Well (5, Insightful)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999351)

Do all those whining about this anonymize their own server logs? Because I sure don't.... they are doing this to keep the mob away, that's it.

Re:Well (1)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999497)

Well, I do let logrotate throw away old logs a lot faster than 18 months, though.

Re:Well (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25000077)

so tired of hearing about this bullshit. its a (mostly) free country. if you dont like it, dont use it. find a better one.

Re:Well (4, Insightful)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000863)

That's kind of the point. We want to make an informed decision about the costs here.

Without hearing about "this bullshit", you cannot make an informed decision. Imperfect information damages capitalism; and the more imperfect the information, the more damage is done.

There's also another aspect. Just about everybody wants everything to be better than it is now. This is a way this could be better. So we ask for it to be better. The argument can be paraphrased as:

A: Good enough is good enough
B: Yes, but better would be better.

Re:Well (2, Insightful)

centuren (106470) | more than 6 years ago | (#25001699)

+1 Insightful, cuts right to the heart of the matter.

As Google's presence on the Internet becomes more and more significant, specific details on how their operations can affect us become more important.

Re:Well (2, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999685)

I'm shocked. Terrified in fact. If your site, with all the traffic you see, is keeping logs then we should just completely give up on trying to get Google to improve it's privacy policy and make you priority numero uno. After all, what Google knows about the web and it's users can probably be stored on one cylinder of one plater of the tiniest server in your data centre which extends to every horizon.

sorry; which site?

P.S. if you RTFA, you might find out that Google, whilst maybe not particularly well known to you, is actually quite a big search engine.

Re:Well (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999717)

Do all those whining about this anonymize their own server logs? Because I sure don't.... they are doing this to keep the mob away, that's it.

What do our server logs have to do with Google's?

The principle may be the same, but the scale is so vastly different that the practical consequences cannot be plausibly compared to one another.
Subpoenaing logs for IP 123.456.789 from Google is not the same as getting logs from icanhascheezburger.

Re:Well (-1, Flamebait)

Colz Grigor (126123) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000309)

...logs for IP 123.456.789...

Let's hope the courts understand IP addressing as poorly as you do, then...

Re:Well (5, Funny)

Silas is back (765580) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000359)

Subpoenaing logs for IP 123.456.789 from Google is not the same as getting logs from icanhascheezburger.

I'm not sure whether you're qualified to talk about IPs giving this example IP.

Re:Well (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000849)

If I were giving a random example IP, I'd certainly choose an obviously invalid one.

Re:Well (1, Offtopic)

RedK (112790) | more than 6 years ago | (#25003125)

Except yours wasn't even a dotted decimal IP, having more than 8 bits in the 2nd and 3rd fields, and lacking a 4th field completely. A proper example would've simply used the reserved address space (anything over 240.0.0.0/4) in which there is no assignments at all. 242.242.242.242 would have been a proper example.

Re:Well (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 6 years ago | (#25003233)

Mine? I didn't give one :P But I see your point, and if the occasion arises I will use an IP in the reserved space as my example.

Re:Well (2, Funny)

dw604 (900995) | more than 6 years ago | (#25003387)

12.34.56.78

Re:Well (4, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999803)

yea, also i don't think the author of this article understands statistics.

if Google changes random bits in the IP address even before they remove the last byte at 18 months, that would already make guessing the original IP address near impossible since you don't know which bits were changed.

if they only changed 1 bit in the entire address, then there would be 32 possibilities, but if they changed 1 bit in each octet, then there would be 4096 possibilities. if they changed 2 bits in each octet, there would be 61,4656 possibilities. if they changed a random number of bits in each IP address, then the possibilities grow even larger. and this isn't a login password or encryption scheme. there's no way to brute-force the original IP address from the anonymized IP address even if only a single bit was changed.

this is just more unwarranted alarmism. google has stated that they are working on developing a method of anonymization that would protect user privacy while retaining the useful characteristics of their log data. frankly, as long as they're not giving up user data to 3rd parties anonymization is a non-issue.

Re:Well (3, Insightful)

figleaf (672550) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999977)

I didn't see any mention of random bits being changed in the article.

Re:Well (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000901)

I didn't see any mention of random bits being changed in the article.

Not to mention that, IMHO, 'anonymizing data' is not the same as 'making the data anonymous'.
Anonymizing data = preventing it from being personally identifiable
Anonymous data = scrubbed of all context

http://www.answers.com/anonymous [answers.com]
3. Having no distinctive character or recognition factor

You can anonymize data and still retain geographic and/or demographic data.

Who cares about the IP? (4, Insightful)

compumike (454538) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999375)

Everyone makes it much easier than matching IP addresses... As the article discusses, many people use Google logins for e-mail and other services. This is a much more reliable way to track all of your information.

What I'd like to see is some significant differentiation between logged-in and logged-out states and the level of anonymity that is provided in each case.

But really, if you're voluntarily storing your stuff on someone else's server with the known understanding that they're parsing it for ad matching, what kind of privacy expectations do you really have?

--
Hey code monkey... learn electronics! Powerful microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

Re:Who cares about the IP? (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999749)

What I'd like to see is some significant differentiation between logged-in and logged-out states and the level of anonymity that is provided in each case.

There's no difference.
Google sets a tracking cookie.
That cookie gets tied to your current IP.
If you log in, that gets tied to your login name.
Logging out doesn't undo the log entry saying IP 127.0.0.1 = cookie 34kl5j2345 = compumike@gmail.com

The spread of google-analytics makes avoiding their tracking cookie all the harder.

Re:Who cares about the IP? (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 6 years ago | (#25001169)

1. Open hosts file.
2. Set all google-analytics to: 127.0.0.1
3. Profit...er...hide.

Hide (3, Interesting)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999391)

I'm on IPv6, so I hide behind ::1/128

Re:Hide (5, Funny)

Anti_Climax (447121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999727)

If you're using google services from IPv6, it's even easier to figure out who you are.

I mean, it's either you or the other guy...

Re:Hide (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 6 years ago | (#25001951)

OH SHIT!
They're on to me!

Re:Hide (1)

paul248 (536459) | more than 6 years ago | (#25001635)

Your comment makes no sense at all. It's equivalent to saying "I'm on IPv4, so I hide behind 127.0.0.1/32"

Question (1)

TuaAmin13 (1359435) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999399)

What benefit does Google have to semi-anonymize after 9 months, then "fully" anonymize after another 9 months? Does it really make any difference? I guess it does give you a bit more privacy after 9 months as opposed to waiting 18 months for the full anonymization process, but it makes no sense to me why they wouldn't just totally get rid of the IP information after that long. I mean, it's data; data must be stored. It's just sitting somewhere taking up space.

Re:Question (1)

DanZ23 (901353) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999733)

It's just sitting somewhere taking up space.

Do you really think Google isn't doing anything internally with this data, and it's "just sitting someplace"? Because I sure don't....

Re:Question (1)

TuaAmin13 (1359435) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000179)

Duh, I should have thought of that. Thanks for pointing out the obvious to me. Lazy Sundays...

Re:Question (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000549)

What benefit does Google have to semi-anonymize after 9 months, then "fully" anonymize after another 9 months?

They get 9 months longer to attempt to tie that data to a username on some other Google service.

Once they have it hooked to a username, ie if you logged into any Google service during use of that IP then they can throw away the IP (once they've tied it to the ISP and location of course) - so they know your @gmail.com email address (and your profile data) and can link that to your usage pattern, location and ISP .. why do they still need to keep your IP address then?

Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (5, Informative)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999423)

Dont trust anybody what they say about your "privacy".

Install Firefox 3, AdBlock+, noscript, and torbutton.

You want complete anonymity, click torbutton (you have to set up tor). You're now damned hidden. No cookie leaks and stuff;.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24999477)

Yah, but it is unbearably slow.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999511)

If more people set relays, no.

Also, I2P is coming out eventually. They need more developpers though so... heard that, Slashdot?

I2P: http://66.111.51.110/ [66.111.51.110]

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (2, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999829)

And you linked to an IP address, why?

http://www.i2p2.de/ [i2p2.de]

The picture sucks, though -- I think I know how it's supposed to work, but looking at that, I have no clue what it's trying to say.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999919)

Your link worked. Downloading I2P now. Cheers.

I2P will never get out of beta. (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#25003721)

The problem is that to enter I2P you need an i2p gateway to connect to. It's like TOR but reversed: TOR nodes let you get from the anonymous net to the outside world... I2P gateways let you get from the outside world to the anonymous net. So what happens when these addresses get banned?

No matter how you look at it, if it ever gets popular it will be declared illegal by governments for supporting "terrorism or other illegal activities" (such as p2p, doh) and they'll come out with "if you have nothing to hide...".

My conclusion is that I2P will *ALWAYS* be in "beta" and therefore it will never be announced to the world. And because of that, not many people will cooperate and try to install their own i2p nodes. The result: A VERY VERY slow anonymized network.

Oh sorry... (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 6 years ago | (#25002917)

I simply searched for I2p on Google to get the homepage and it gave me the IP link... But the IP link seems to be out of date so thank you for the correction.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

DiLLeMaN (324946) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999841)

If more people set relays, no.

In other words, at this moment it is unbearably slow.
Some people do not live in some nebulous future where privacy is king, everything is free, and farts smell like roses. Some of us have to live in the now.

But don't let that keep you from using Tor.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999897)

Well, I've tried downloading I2P several times already in the past n months and I always encounter the same roadblock - the download link for the I2P installation from dev.i2p.net always takes too long to respond. Has anybody got around this?

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

Pathwalker (103) | more than 6 years ago | (#25002349)

I've only played with i2p a bit, but I know you shouldn't try to download from dev.i2p.net.

I think the box crashed locking everyone out, and no one knows who has access to it.

Look at http://www.i2p2.de/download.html [i2p2.de]

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

centuren (106470) | more than 6 years ago | (#25001781)

Tor get a vote of confidence as it's endorsed by the EFF, which has an established reputation for privacy.

I don't know anything about I2P. If it's a better-than-Tor network, I hope they have the good sense to get trusted organizations on board.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

Pathwalker (103) | more than 6 years ago | (#25002339)

I've played with i2p a bit; the focus is different than that of TOR.

Whereas TOR aims at anonymity in accessing the internet at large, i2p aims at a double blind internal network. You and a site can communicate, but neither of you knows the identity of the other; you only know each other's public keys.

There are a few gateways between i2p and the internet (in both directions), but that doesn't appear to be the intended focus.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

Colz Grigor (126123) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000343)

I noticed that, too. Maybe we could convince Google to create a TOR service?

Just kidding.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

centuren (106470) | more than 6 years ago | (#25001873)

I laughed (and then cried a little). Not really, but I do find it ironic that the only successful mainstream XMPP instant messenger client is done by Google.

I was quite excited when it came out. Google was smaller than today, but still a big force, and I thought it might be a step towards not having to beg people to use Jabber so I wouldn't have an empty contact list.

Now I have a few contacts that use Google Talk, primarily due to their Gmail integration and it's easy way around corporate firewalls, and for each new one I have to wait until their online, open up Gmail, open a conversation, and take that user off the record.

Until realizing this, of course, all the chats were logged and saved. There is the option to delete, but that goes back to the core issue of knowing the specific details: how is my information deleted? Are backup archives kept?

Tor is not a solution either (5, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999493)

except, of course, that with Tor, the egress routers can (and probably do) look at your unencrypted communications, which often can be traced back to you, too.

If you want reasonable anonymity, you need to buy VPN access from a source using a non-traceable payment method. And, of course, they can still correlate your online activity on various sites. A single unencrypted Yahoo Mail or GMail session will unlock your entire usage history.

Re:Tor is not a solution either (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999535)

This is only true if you give personnal information out which is rarely the case. Also, Tor scrambles the relays each 10 minutes.

Anyway, for managing your funds I wouldn't recommend Tor. Just directly go to the website.

Re:Tor is not a solution either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24999815)

If you give personal information out... Yes, like a browser cookie... ;) So not exactly rare.

Anyone running a tor exit node can, if they like, hijack your session cookies and impersonate you on any unencrypted site you visit..

Re:Tor is not a solution either (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999911)

Soooo... a) don't visit sites with accounts you care about (may break the account) and b) particularly not with accounts tied to your real identity (breaks anonymity, which is the point of tor).

Not every cookie can be considered personal information. I may leak a Google cookie during a Tor session, but since it's a "temporary" one which is generated for this one session and deleted at its end, I couldn't care less.

Re:Tor is not a solution either (1)

tirnacopu (732831) | more than 6 years ago | (#25001193)

A nod to the parent poster. In any financial transaction, made with your own money, you do NOT want to be anonymous. If you are in a hotel in Las Vegas, or in a coffee shop in Amsterdam, that's OK. The company handling your purchase must have enough measures to monitor and repair eventual damages, and whether they do or not - when the police comes asking why you just bought a brand new limousine you would be off the hook simply by showing them a plane ticket and saying "hey, I was in Vegas, Mercedes - that's a car from France, right?"

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (3, Insightful)

Apoorv Khatreja (1263418) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999495)

If only we had more relays in the Tor network than the leeches. That's why Tor is really really slow these days. We need a restructure or major change in protocol for Tor to survive. A lot of people seem to be hopping onto the network these days, with companies becoming increasingly nosy.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999579)

What about a ratio system like they use on private torrent websites? One could have a ratio of upload and download and if you don't give back to the community, your IP is temporarily banned from using the network. That wouldn't pose a problem since knowing that IP adress is wants to use the network doesn't mean they know where it is going when it connects. You are still anonymous.

No. Its evil. (1)

Apoorv Khatreja (1263418) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999641)

That is a harsh and forced way to get things done. A better way would be to ask for donations, and then buying dedicated (or non dedicated) machines in different parts of the world, using connections from different ISPs (therefore different IPs) and then using these machines solely towards serving as Tor relays.

Re:No. Its evil. (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999745)

Yes but will the leechers really give money? They are leechers you know...

Also, I kind of understand most of them. I would have no problem with setting a relay for the Tor network if I used it but owning a relay that is also an exit point to the Internet would be a problem.

I wouldn't want to be responsible for everything my own IP would do on the net...

Re:No. Its evil. (1)

Apoorv Khatreja (1263418) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999881)

Just like public trackers on BitTorrent, Tor is surviving on the good will of a few people who will fight for anonymity on the internet. Its just that it needs a little advertising, so that the load from the few relays can be distributed and make the Tor network faster. Doing what you said would make Tor fall.

Re:No. Its evil. (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999965)

Seems like a bad idea to have a single organisation providing a significant number of servers. Although placing them in several countries reduces the risk of bad guys (the gubment) to get hold of all of them.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

centuren (106470) | more than 6 years ago | (#25001885)

What about a ratio system like they use on private torrent websites? One could have a ratio of upload and download and if you don't give back to the community, your IP is temporarily banned from using the network. That wouldn't pose a problem since knowing that IP adress is wants to use the network doesn't mean they know where it is going when it connects. You are still anonymous.

Tor is for everyone to use, even those that don't meet Tor's bandwidth standards for a relay.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

aristofanes (413195) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999523)

How does Chrome compare in this regard to "ask.com" "AskEraser"?

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999623)

"Dont trust anybody what they say about your "privacy".

Install Firefox 3, AdBlock+, noscript, and torbutton.

You want complete anonymity, click torbutton (you have to set up tor). You're now damned hidden. No cookie leaks and stuff;.
"

I do not trust you. So I will not do this :)

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999663)

Whatever floats your boat.

That's why the source is open. Make your own decision.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999851)

"Make your own decision."

Shit! Now I can't make a decision! Damn you untrustworthy person!

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

robthebob (742982) | more than 6 years ago | (#25001061)

Get a new sig.

Re:Uh huh, yeah, whatever. (1)

msormune (808119) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000075)

You would get better anonymity if you wrote your own browser.

Why does Google risk customer relations? (4, Insightful)

wandm (969392) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999427)

I don't get it. I'm sure I'm not the only one looking for a good Google substitute, and the number of skeptics will just grow, unless Google gets it privacy protection act together. It's just a matter of time that another AOL-type leak happens.

In the internet age, companies' luck can change quite quickly. Please Google, just get rid of those logs quickly and completely..

Re:Why does Google risk customer relations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24999471)

money?

Re:Why does Google risk customer relations? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24999823)

See that is what geeks and nerds aren't able to understand. The 90's are gone. This is the digital age. Internet life is not restricted to the same pathetic mom's basement dwellers. Nowadays, it is much more important to the Big Corps to learn what the bully that used to beat your nerd arse at school wants, than what you want. The bully got 1000 expensive devices connected to the Internet and doesn't care about this privacy BS, he just wants access to Facebook and MySpace to call his million hoes to drop by his flat for some cuddling and party.
So, privacy is a concern for you and your 3 nerd long life friends, and Google really doesn't care about your pathetic WoW virtual life or your Sarah Palin porn...

Re:Why does Google risk customer relations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25000731)

+1 HarshReality, anyone?

Re:Why does Google risk customer relations? (3, Informative)

tylerni7 (944579) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000123)

Well first, while I'm sure you aren't the only person looking for a Google substitute, that doesn't mean a significant amount of users are. With the percent of the market that Google already has, a few people going somewhere else won't even make a dent.
That said, at least they are working on the issues rather than just ignoring them completely, as most companies do.

And second, that AOL leak wasn't really a leak. Instead they purposefully released the data for research purposes, thinking that a random, unique ID number for each user would be enough to keep them anonymous. According to this article (well the summary), even if they released search data (which they aren't stupid enough to do) instead of a unique ID number it would be something like 64 or 128 people under one ID number, which makes it impossible to see who searched for what, even if you know what IP block someone has.

I'm appalled that anyone expects privacy at all (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999513)

Sure-- it's a great thing. But Google and Yahoo and myriads of other online sites live and die for your IP address, so that they may serve you better-- after running you through great behemoths of analyticals. Anonymizing after such a time serves no one's real privacy interest. Anonymizers have the ability to help you peruse privately, but even those are becoming easier to predict-- making anonymizing increasingly difficult. It's best to start your own botnet if you really want to be anonymous these days and this is just what a few good anonymizers do. Face it folks, Google's not trying at all and is financially compelled not to do so.

Re:I'm appalled that anyone expects privacy at all (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999609)

"Anonymizing after such a time serves no one's real privacy interest."

Do we really want Google to become a one-stop shop for all of law-enforcement's "what did this person search for this year" needs?

Re:I'm appalled that anyone expects privacy at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24999635)

Then perhaps criminals should use other search engines? Perhaps that's the way Microsoft can advertise their Live Search? "Now with increased privacy for your criminal needs!"

Nah, people will probably still use Google.

Re:I'm appalled that anyone expects privacy at all (0, Troll)

Teun (17872) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000175)

Yep, innocent perpetrators shouldn't use Google...

As they say: "Do no evil".

What have you done with Slashdot? (1, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999553)

OK, I thought it was strange that there was an "Apple is Evil" story about sneakers earlier today. But now there's a "Google may be evil" story! What's next? A story about how "SCO was right about Linux all along"?

Re:What have you done with Slashdot? (2, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999583)

Shhhh! don't make them hunt the 256 of you down!

Re:What have you done with Slashdot? (2, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999621)

Shhhh! don't make them hunt the 256 of you down!

Oh crap! I'm screwed then because I own my entire Class-C netblock! Stupid sexy last octet....

Re:What have you done with Slashdot? (2, Informative)

Arimus (198136) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000417)

Err???

255.255.255.0 doesn't give 256 host addresses ;)

One for broadcast, one for network so 254 is the number you looking for...

Re:What have you done with Slashdot? (1)

centuren (106470) | more than 6 years ago | (#25001911)

"Successful tech-company is evil" is always headlining on slashdot. What's strange about that?

Minor correction (1, Informative)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999669)

A class C subnet is 253 addresses, not 254. Zero and 255 are, last time I checked, reserved.

Re:Minor correction (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24999699)

Fail.

Re:Minor correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24999713)

And 256 - 2 was 254 unless arithmetic's changed recently :)

Re:Minor correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24999783)

2^8 - 2 = 254

Re:Minor correction (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999831)

If you include zero, you're going 256 minus two, that's 254 usable, everyone says 253 usable because everyone's used to having the default gateway being "at the providers" and therefore unusable. But if you're delegating a /24 to internal use, you'll have 254 usable ips, counting the router you're using for that subnet.

Re:Minor correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24999905)

our website histing provider gave our site an IP ending in .255
I can confirm that that doesn't work well.

Re:Minor correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24999921)

Wrong:

class C subnet is /24 -- leaving 8 bits for the host.

8 bits = 2^^8 = 256

there are 256 addresses available -- minus "0 and 255" leaves 254 addresses.

Another way of putting it:

0-255 = 256 values. Take 2 away:

1-254 = 254 values.

Re:Minor correction (2, Informative)

Lennie (16154) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000081)

And if it's part of a bigger block the 0 and 255 are possible usable, depending on where in the large block they are.

Do no evil, unless you can fool the public? (1, Insightful)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999701)

Do no evil, unless you can fool the public?

Google has been getting away with identity murder for years and years. For anyone that finds this whole thing 'new' or 'odd' needs to slap themselves and research the marketing company that is Google.

They don't provide services or features, they sell identity information and ads.

The services and online features are just the bait in the trap.

"Google, making Microsoft look non-Evil for years."

Re:Do no evil, unless you can fool the public? (1)

Cyrcyr (1070070) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000423)

I fail to see how this relates to being "evil". And how this is "insightful" is truly beyond me. Google uses logs to predict how their users want data presented. Please tell me how this is different from any serious online-based business in the world. It's like a dunkin donuts keeping tabs on which donuts are more popular in what state, and make sure their services meet that demand.

Re:Do no evil, unless you can fool the public? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25000855)

Spout more googlehater nonsense please.

Link to some credible reference that Google sells identity information to anyone, ever? According to them/their privacy agreement/news sources, they use it for their own research, and naturally must give it up to the government when they are subpoenaed.

Google sells advertising services, and if you think that is "Evil" you need to reevaluate your system of morals/ethics.

Re:Do no evil, unless you can fool the public? (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000889)

What? Reference for when they have sold identity information please.

And if you think being an ad provider makes them Evil you need to take a serious look at your system of ethics.

Why do they keep them at all? (1)

Sark666 (756464) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999755)

These issues concern me, but I admit I do not know much about this. How about I do a search and you keep nothing? Does any search engine provide that?

Re:Why do they keep them at all? (1)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999991)

Ask.com has AskEraser. Here's the description. [ask.com]

Re:Why do they keep them at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25000063)

Supposedly www.scroogle.com proxies queries to google without any of the original client side cookies/IP info being sent.

Cuil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25000111)

But their search sucks... :/

Re:Why do they keep them at all? (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000615)

These issues concern me, but I admit I do not know much about this. How about I do a search and you keep nothing? Does any search engine provide that?

Basically you're asking does any search engine spend millions of pounds and not expect to extract any financial worth our of its relationship with you ...

Maybe in Soviet Russia?

Re:Why do they keep them at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25002499)

ixquick [ixquick.com]

Anonymizing IP info properly. (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999809)

I have something that actually does anonymize IP data. I need a roughly unique identifier for web sites for load balancing and queuing purposes, but don't need to identify the remote site. So I run the IP address through MD5, the cryptographic hash, then take the absolute value, then reduce mod 1,000,000. So the world of IP addresses is mapped into 0..999999. About 4000 IP addresses map to each number, but they're spread pseudorandomly across IP space.

So there's no real problem doing this if you just need enough info to make your server farm run smoothly. Of course, Google wants more.

Re:Anonymizing IP info properly. (1)

supersat (639745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999997)

How many of those 4000 IP addresses are valid and allocated?

Re:Anonymizing IP info properly. (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000683)

Of course, Google wants more.

What you mean of course is that Google's customers want more, they're serving the market. That's big business but it's also everyone else that uses Googles Analytics or PPC or AdWords programs.

I'm director of a small business - we use Google Analytics/Webmaster Tools to help track SEO efforts and to establish good site stats. It's valuable to me to see things like (approx, guesstimated) geographic location of users and the like.

Privacy reform??? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999857)

HAHAHA... That's-a-funny...

Maybe, possibly you might get some privacy if you can randomly change your public IP address a few thousand times a second in some "spread spectrum" type fashion. But for now, real privacy on the net is but a pipe dream.

It only gets worse (1, Interesting)

PingXao (153057) | more than 6 years ago | (#24999889)

It only gets worse if you believed it was "good" in the first place. These revelations don't make it worse for me since I don't believe they're committed to my privacy at all. Never have been, never will be. Sheesh, I swear some of you people will believe anything! The "do no evil" myth has been one of the most pervasive and unfounded ones of the last decade. Watch what they do, not what they say.

Re:It only gets worse (3, Funny)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 6 years ago | (#25000921)

How are these "revelations"? A massive web-app provider HAS LOGS? No way! They might even do analysis of them for RESEARCH PURPOSES? How dare they! And if they are legally required to disclose them, THEY DO? The evil of it!

like when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25001363)

I created a new email account (I have my own domain) and signed up for another gmail account. Soon afterward, to an email address I had never, ever used... I got spam! That's when I realized Google wasn't as non-evil as they claim to be.

Here's how I would do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#25000301)

I would just delete all of the IP addresses. That would be a better example of anonymity.

Re:Here's how I would do it (0)

cleatsupkeep (1132585) | more than 6 years ago | (#25001271)

I would just delete all of the IP addresses. That would be a better example of anonymity.

And that's why Google is Google and you are sitting in your mother's basement posting to Slashdot.

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