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Chrome EULA Reserves the Right To Filter Your Web

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the here's-some-birdseed-for-you dept.

Google 171

An anonymous reader writes "Recently, I decided to try out Google Chrome. With my usual mistrust of Google, I decided to carefully read the EULA before installing the software. I paused when I stumbled upon this section: '7.3 Google reserves the right (but shall have no obligation) to pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove any or all Content from any Service. For some of the Services, Google may provide tools to filter out explicit sexual content. These tools include the SafeSearch preference settings (see google.com/help/customize.html#safe). In addition, there are commercially available services and software to limit access to material that you may find objectionable.' Does this mean that Google reserves the right to filter my web browsing experience in Chrome (without my consent to boot)? Is this a carry-over from the EULAs of Google's other services (gmail, blogger etc), or is this something more significant? One would think that after the previous EULA affair with Chrome, Google would try to sound a little less draconian." Update: 04/05 21:14 GMT by T : Google's Gabriel Stricker alerted me to an informative followup: "We saw your Slashdot post and published the following clarification on the Google Chrome blog."

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171 comments

Maybe just legalese? (4, Informative)

mariushm (1022195) | about 5 years ago | (#27461209)

It's probably just a safety measure for their anti-phishing features which block pages but it's a weird formulation anyway

Re:Maybe just legalese? (4, Insightful)

Korin43 (881732) | about 5 years ago | (#27461729)

Exactly, they're probably just covering their ass for things like safe-search, phishing filter, and other options like blocking non-secure items on a secure webpage.

Re:Maybe just legalese? (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 5 years ago | (#27461849)

Most likely. I'm pretty sure that their legal department took a look at that particular feature, and decided they were going to write a document that will make it impossible for anybody to sue Google over that feature.

This is pretty much standard legalese. Not that it makes it good or anything, but I would expect nothing less from a document drafted by an eager lawyer.

Re:Maybe just legalese? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461891)

You are probably correct.

However let me tell you a story. One of my neighbor.

He bought a nice 2 story house on about 1/4 acre of land. Behind it was a nice small forest. Probably 200-300 small trees. Very nice and green and scenic.

Then one day buldozers show up knocking over all of the trees. Clearing the land for another neighborhood.

At this point my neighbor freeks out. He had paid EXTRA for a forest to be behind his house. I ask him what did his contract state? Indeed there was a line that there would be trees behind his house. I then asked does he own that land? He does not.

The moral? Even though the agreement stated there would be trees on the land (there is a small row now) it did not say what would happen to the land he does not own. It couldnt the developer did not own it. So beware of people selling you things even though you are getting something nice out of it.

Me I laughed at him for paying extra for something he can not control. The moral here?

Re:Maybe just legalese? (3, Funny)

oh_bugger (906574) | about 5 years ago | (#27462047)

Don't be your neighbour and come to you with distressing problems because you'll just laugh at me?

Re:Maybe just legalese? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461901)

Exactly. It's comparable to Apple's ability to deactivate any iPhone application by sending a "kill signal"..... used as a safety measure to block an application/site that's determined to be a threat.

Re:Maybe just legalese? (1)

Smauler (915644) | about 5 years ago | (#27462281)

It doesn't look like an anti-phishing measure to me. It's a clause so they don't get sued when someone uses their internet browser for something illegal.

In addition, there are commercially available services and software to limit access to material that you may find objectionable.

Well thanks to Google et al we now know that we don't have to look at shit we don't want to, apparentely. Thank the Lord for multinational corporations telling us what to do.

Re:Maybe just legalese? (2, Insightful)

hclewk (1248568) | about 5 years ago | (#27462409)

If:

a) Chrome was the only browser available
-or-
b) Chrome was actually blocking content

I would agree with you. It would be a big deal. However, no one is forcing you to do jack shit. If you are really that scared of the Chrome EULA, don't use Chrome.

Re:Maybe just legalese? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462309)

Either way, it's just a EULA. You can't do anything in a EULA that is unconstitutional, it doesn't hold up in court to say "Oh, but we have this clause in the EULA that gets rid of right X, which they signed."

Google may be evil, but I don't think this is a huge issue.

Re:Maybe just legalese? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462327)

OK.. so how much did they pay you?

No, you paranoid git (2, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#27461219)

Google is saying that they may provide you with filtering services which may affect other users on your system.

It's not about filtering your child and horse porn, pervert.

Re:No, you paranoid git (3, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#27461937)

It's not about filtering your child and horse porn, pervert.

So now someone's a pervert for wanting to get rid of the possibility of censorship at least at browser level? Thinkofthechildren at its finest.

Re:No, you paranoid git (2, Interesting)

TiberSeptm (889423) | about 5 years ago | (#27462157)

Yes, humorless reactionaries are the cause of much grief. They and people who react poorly to humor. BadAnalogyGuy's got it right though. It's that and to cover their features that, for your own security, may filter what you see. Anti-phishing and anti-scamming tools do effectively limit and/or alter what you might normally see on the web. They're just trying to protect themselves from buffoonery. The intent is even clearer when you see how they lead into the possibility of third party software doing the same or more.

Re:No, you paranoid git (1)

Smauler (915644) | about 5 years ago | (#27462373)

No, Google is providing a browser which 99% of the population just click yes to if they have downloaded it, which reserves the right to restrict access to certain websites by default. It is corporate censorship.

I personally just want a fucking browser, and that is it. Filtering is added _after_ the browser.

!ahugedeal (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461223)

They have a cover-all EULA so they can implement features without fear of legal repercusion. If they don't offer a method to cut out the filtering, then just write a patch on the source.

This looks like FUD to me.

Re:!ahugedeal (1)

ameyer17 (935373) | about 5 years ago | (#27461689)

But is the source code Google releases actually the source code from which Google builds Chrome?
I'm not sure where, but I got the impression that there's some proprietary closed-source code involved in actual Chrome builds.

Re:!ahugedeal (1)

ameyer17 (935373) | about 5 years ago | (#27461705)

And I don't mean trademarks/artwork like in firefox/seamonkey/thunderbird.

Artwork and trademarks are trivial to replace.

Re:!ahugedeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461987)

Chromium is the open-source project behind Chrome.
Chromium is basically a few parts of the engine, the vast majority of Chrome is proprietary Google code, which is why it's a worthless piece of sh
which is why there's no Linux or Mac versions yet.

Re:!ahugedeal (0, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#27462187)

Then don't install binaries on your system! I could have not a single piece of non-self-compiled software on my system, if it weren't for those nVidia drivers (the only way to get recent 3D effects on Linux).

Oh, and you all are idiots if you think, Google "puts it in the license, just to be sure". I don't know who said it, but whenever someone tells you something like this, they are going to use it as early as often as they can. Google is an exception for not already doing it. But the time will come. And I dare everyone to lay down $100 in gold*, and say it won't happen ever!
Just wait until they notice a profit to be made.

(*Because the paper money equivalent will be worthless by then, even if it is in 5 years.)

Re:!ahugedeal (1)

Zapotek (1032314) | about 5 years ago | (#27461693)

Why is this FUD? The guy just asked a question...
The title may be misleading but the gist is this:

Does this mean that Google reserves the right to filter my web browsing experience in Chrome (without my consent to boot)?

Take off you thin foil hat (4, Interesting)

JamesP (688957) | about 5 years ago | (#27461229)

This is refering to SafeSearch and Orkut and whatever,

Probably carryon from other licenses, you see. Too bad the layers are not called on it.

Re:Take off you thin foil hat (5, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | about 5 years ago | (#27461349)

It's undoubtedly a measure for filtering overtly malicious content. While this is something to watch carefully, I don't see people doing a whole lot of complaining over Google filtering search results and routinely removing sites from their index.

Re:Take off you thin foil hat (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 years ago | (#27461979)

Google does not remove sites from their index, they just flag them not to show up. Google searches everything, they just hide the results with a "robots" like note.
To google that not skip, just not to display the results.
I would expect them to sell a 'map' of the real internet to interested parties.

Re:Take off you thin foil hat (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | about 5 years ago | (#27461999)

In any event, the end result is the same to visitors who conduct searches on Google. I've also seen no indication that they sell any of their privately held Internet databases. Do you have any supporting evidence?

Re:Take off you thin foil hat (4, Funny)

Miseph (979059) | about 5 years ago | (#27462069)

He has paranoid conspiracy theories... who needs evidence?

Re:Take off you thin foil hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462139)

It's not paranoid to know that PageRank was designed under an NSA grant. It's part of the public record.

Re:Take off you thin foil hat (2, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | about 5 years ago | (#27462247)

Ummm... that's not really saying a whole lot. Various TLAs are extensively involved in a heck of a lot of computer science research, for obvious reasons. You're right that it's common knowledge, but what's that supposed to prove?

The NSA must be using the ever-changing dynamics of PageRank behind the scenes to brute force crack all my encrypted emails...

Google would never... (4, Funny)

jonaskoelker (922170) | about 5 years ago | (#27461231)

I for one welcome our new robot overlGoogle doesn't filter the Internet.

Re:Google would never... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462143)

Funnily enough, when I first viewed this story it was on the main page. When I came back (both times using Chrome, I should mention), the story was no longer on the front page.

Needless to say, I think that Google is up to somethiGoogle doesn't filter the Internet.

Re:Google would never... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 5 years ago | (#27462611)

Well, it it completely unsubstatiated FUD propagated by an ANONYMOUS READER(!?) and misrepresented by an idiotic title. Maybe the silent majority of /. users - who I assume are WAY smarter than the vocal minority (doh - is that me?) who actually post, let alone the actual /. editors who decide it's post-worthy - voted the story down with the new feature on the alternative front page. Or is that too much to expect?

Google Services? (1, Interesting)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | about 5 years ago | (#27461233)

It seems to me this is meant to cover only the use of Google's own services.

I Don't know why they'd include this in their browser's EULA, however.

probably just on by default (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about 5 years ago | (#27461305)

This is probably for some future feature or premium service that is on by default, just like safesearch. Or it could be some malware protection mechanism in which users are not allowed to go to suspected malware sites without warning that cannot be turned off. Or it could be a suggested site feature where chrome lists places one might want to go based on a vendor paid model.

In any case, I am as suspicious of google as anyone, but this seems like just normal CYA. As long as the filtering can be turned off, there is no issue. It is certainly not like when Google says the own the copyright to anything you create and put on their servers. That feature, while necessary to protect themselves for free service, cannot be turned off.

Usual Mistrust? (3, Insightful)

lymond01 (314120) | about 5 years ago | (#27461329)

With my usual mistrust of Google...

The potential for evil in the Google has only been questioned for a year or so, far too soon for you to utilize the term "usual" which assumes a long-term pattern.

One might say, "With my growing mistrust of Google..." Yes. That would be fine. Carry on.

Re:Usual Mistrust? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461587)

I agree.

That phrase makes it sound like the OP is just trying to be hip by jumping on the Google-hate/Do Evil/etc. bandwagon that's become so big recently.

Total overreactive non-story.
(with a sensationalist headline to boot!)

Mistrust of Google (5, Funny)

Rix (54095) | about 5 years ago | (#27461899)

Usually just translates as "I'm an asshole spammer-SEO upset that my shenanigans get nixed".

Re:Usual Mistrust? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462125)

The potential for evil in the Google has only been questioned for a year or so...

Maybe by you. Some of us like to make it a habit to think ahead a little.

Re:Usual Mistrust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462395)

Where the fuck have you been? "Only been questioned for a year or so?"

Jackass. Go back under your rock.

Re:Usual Mistrust? (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 5 years ago | (#27462417)

The potential for evil in the Google has only been questioned for a year or so

Maybe by you. Feel free to look at my comment history, some of us have been doing it for years. I've even mentioned in some of my earlier posts that Microsoft used to be beloved by geeks before it was recognized by evil, and how avant garde I was being in establishing my hate for (or probably more accurately fear of) Google early on.

Re:Usual Mistrust? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462453)

The potential for evil in the Google has only been questioned for a year or so

Incorrect. Many of us turned mistrustful of Google in 2005, when they launched google.cn. And the EFF has been saying for years [eff.org] that Google ought to purge its users' search requests after a reasonable period (say, six months): they don't trust Google to keep it forever safely.

Re:Usual Mistrust? (1)

syousef (465911) | about 5 years ago | (#27462651)

The potential for evil in the Google has only been questioned for a year or so, far too soon for you to utilize the term "usual" which assumes a long-term pattern.

Hey the mistrust may be new to some, but for those of us who view claims about a commercial company being founded on lofty principles like "do no evil" while it's founders get ridiculously rich with healthy scepticism, this is nothing new at all.

Relax! It's just google's standard boilerplate... (5, Informative)

maxfresh (1435479) | about 5 years ago | (#27461337)

It is obvious from section 1 of the same TOS that this is google's standard boilerplate TOS, or as they call it, their "Universal Terms" that covers all of their services, including search, mail, adsense, adwords, blogger, etc... In addition, each product may also have separate, more specific terms that always supersede the universal terms. I quote:

1. Your relationship with Google
1.1 Your use of Google's products, software, services and web sites (referred to collectively as the "Services" in this document and excluding any services provided to you by Google under a separate written agreement) is subject to the terms of a legal agreement between you and Google. "Google" means Google Inc., whose principal place of business is at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States. This document explains how the agreement is made up, and sets out some of the terms of that agreement.

1.2 Unless otherwise agreed in writing with Google, your agreement with Google will always include, at a minimum, the terms and conditions set out in this document. These are referred to below as the "Universal Terms". Open source software licenses for Google Chrome source code constitute separate written agreements. To the limited extent that the open source software licenses expressly supersede these Universal Terms, the open source licenses govern your agreement with Google for the use of Google Chrome or specific included components of Google Chrome.

1.3 Your agreement with Google will also include the terms of any Legal Notices applicable to the Services, in addition to the Universal Terms. All of these are referred to below as the "Additional Terms". Where Additional Terms apply to a Service, these will be accessible for you to read either within, or through your use of, that Service.

1.4 The Universal Terms, together with the Additional Terms, form a legally binding agreement between you and Google in relation to your use of the Services. It is important that you take the time to read them carefully. Collectively, this legal agreement is referred to below as the "Terms".

1.5 If there is any contradiction between what the Additional Terms say and what the Universal Terms say, then the Additional Terms shall take precedence in relation to that Service.

I don't see anything hidden, or nefarious, or even anything very difficult to understand. It's simply that they use these TOS as their baseline agreement, and modify it as necessary to suit the specifics of the particular service offered. I really don't think it's anything to get excited about.

Re:Relax! It's just google's standard boilerplate. (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 5 years ago | (#27461559)

And now to replace the word "Service"

7.3 Google reserves the right (but shall have no obligation) to pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove any or all Content from any of Google's products, software, services and web sites. For some of Google's products, software, services and web sites, Google may provide tools to filter out explicit sexual content. These tools include the SafeSearch preference settings (see google.com/help/customize.html#safe). In addition, there are commercially available services and software to limit access to material that you may find objectionable.

If that doesn't make it clear that Google only plans to filter Google services, I don't know what will.

Re:Relax! It's just google's standard boilerplate. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 5 years ago | (#27461709)

If that doesn't make it clear that Google only plans to filter Google services, I don't know what will.

So, you're saying that Google Chrome is a Google Service, and as a Google Service, it may be filtered. Thanks. You've cleared up a great mystery.

Re:Relax! It's just google's standard boilerplate. (1)

TiberSeptm (889423) | about 5 years ago | (#27462211)

You've missed the point. They are only saying they will filter content from their services and products. While chrome itself is a google product/service, the content it displays is not necessarily "from any of Google's products, services or websites." That is to say- simply displaying the content does not make it theirs and therefore they are not claiming the right to filter it automatically.

While it may seem like arguing semantics, that's what discussing contract law boils down to. If they were to have said "any or all content through" or "any or all content delivered through" their products and services then you would have reason to complain. There is a huge difference between content from a source and content served through a source. It's the difference between ownership and distribution.

Re:Relax! It's just google's standard boilerplate. (4, Informative)

caitsith01 (606117) | about 5 years ago | (#27462525)

And now to replace the word "Service"

7.3 Google reserves the right (but shall have no obligation) to pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove any or all Content from any of Google's products, software, services and web sites. For some of Google's products, software, services and web sites, Google may provide tools to filter out explicit sexual content. These tools include the SafeSearch preference settings (see google.com/help/customize.html#safe). In addition, there are commercially available services and software to limit access to material that you may find objectionable.

If that doesn't make it clear that Google only plans to filter Google services, I don't know what will.

Except that you're totally incorrect. Let's now replace the word Content (and replace "Services" again in that definition):

7.3 Google reserves the right ... to pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove any or all information (such as data files, written text, computer software, music, audio files or other sounds, photographs, videos or other images) which you may have access to as part of, or through your use of any of Google's products, software, services and web sites from any of Google's products, software, services and web sites.

The part in italics is critical. They are explicitly saying that it is not limited to Google's own content - it is anything you access using Google's "Services" which may be filtered. So long as you use Chrome to access it, they have the full range of rights they list (pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse, remove).

Chrome is a 'product' and 'software', and therefore a 'Service'. The whole of the WWW is something you 'have access to as part of, or through your use of' Chrome. Google reserves the right to filter, monitor etc etc your use OF THE WWW WHEN YOU USE CHROME.

I have tried to set this out in more detail here [intelligentdesign.com.au].

Why, oh why, are people so hell bent on trusting massive corporations to just "do the right thing" and have their customers' best interests at heart when the evidence to the contrary is put in front of their faces over and over and over again?

Re:Relax! It's just google's standard boilerplate. (2, Informative)

caitsith01 (606117) | about 5 years ago | (#27461657)

Just because it's boilerplate doesn't mean it's ineffective.

Googleâ(TM)s products, software, services and web sites (referred to collectively as the âoeServicesâ

So "Services" includes Chrome itself (software/products) not just Google search etc. "Content" is:

information (such as data files, written text, computer software, music, audio files or other sounds, photographs, videos or other images) which you may have access to as part of, or through your use of, the Services

Therefore, anything you access through Chrome is "Content".

So, by clause 7.3, you actually do agree that Google may, in its discretion,

pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove

anything that you access through Chrome. Nothing in 7.3 is limited to safesearch or other optional filtering services - the clause would be entirely compatible with Google silently monitoring and filtering what you can and cannot see on-line using Chrome on an entirely arbitrary basis.

I agree with the article. This is a clause which should raise a red flag. By using Chrome, you are agreeing to Google having the right to filter or modify the content you are accessing. "Flag" would tend to suggest they have the right to record the content you are accessing and report it to others.

I'm not saying they are doing these things now, but why would you agree to them ever having these rights?

Re:Relax! It's just google's standard boilerplate. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461819)

I agree with the article. This is a clause which should raise a red flag. By using Chrome, you are agreeing to Google having the right to filter or modify the content you are accessing. "Flag" would tend to suggest they have the right to record the content you are accessing and report it to others.

I'm not saying they are doing these things now, but why would you agree to them ever having these rights?

They are doing it now, and it is a useful service. Apple recently started using Google's malware filtering system in Safari. Google is merely accurately describing how the service functions. Google scans content it deems "suspicious", flags it if it contains malware, warns other users.

Re:Relax! It's just google's standard boilerplate. (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | about 5 years ago | (#27462037)

I agree with the article. This is a clause which should raise a red flag. By using Chrome, you are agreeing to Google having the right to filter or modify the content you are accessing. "Flag" would tend to suggest they have the right to record the content you are accessing and report it to others.

I'm not saying they are doing these things now, but why would you agree to them ever having these rights?

They are doing it now, and it is a useful service. Apple recently started using Google's malware filtering system in Safari. Google is merely accurately describing how the service functions. Google scans content it deems "suspicious", flags it if it contains malware, warns other users.

If that's what they are doing, there is absolutely no reason why the EULA cannot be more specific and limit it to that.

At the moment they have unrestricted rights to filter and "flag" anything they want.

Re:Relax! It's just google's standard boilerplate. (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#27461939)

Some people seem happy to have their browser flag attack and phishing sites. The essence of that action is filtering.

Re:Relax! It's just google's standard boilerplate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462251)

I'm using Chrome. Why is it that every single comment here is praising Google --#$* because Google is God. Oh, it makes perfect sense now. (not written by Cadie)

Re:Relax! It's just google's standard boilerplate. (2, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | about 5 years ago | (#27461953)

I agree that it is just standard boilerplate but it's still inappropriate. Considering what Google must have spent writing Chrome it's hard to see why they wouldn't spend just a bit more to have an appropriate EULA written.

Not a bad thing maybe (4, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | about 5 years ago | (#27461389)

I suggest that the google programmers bring up a small dialogue when they filter which may help;

We here at google have decided to filter some images that you were about to view. We do this in recognition that some things cannot be "unseen". This is one of those times. This is not about hot porn which does not usually sting the brain with lasting effect. These images will gross you out so bad that no amount of unicorns dancing under rainbows will help. Trust us. Sending these images along will violate our mission statement of not doing evil. Regards, google.

Re:Not a bad thing maybe (3, Interesting)

belmolis (702863) | about 5 years ago | (#27461447)

You know, Firefox could really use a goatse filter.

Re:Not a bad thing maybe (4, Funny)

Bill Currie (487) | about 5 years ago | (#27461575)

Yes. I remember when it first started here. I learned very fast to watch the url in the status bar (then somebody did a mouseover attack, but /. quickly learned to filter that out). 11 years and it still gives me the creeps.

Re:Not a bad thing maybe (1)

syousef (465911) | about 5 years ago | (#27462677)

We here at google have decided to filter some images that you were about to view. We do this in recognition that some things cannot be "unseen". This is one of those times. This is not about hot porn which does not usually sting the brain with lasting effect. These images will gross you out so bad that no amount of unicorns dancing under rainbows will help. Trust us. Sending these images along will violate our mission statement of not doing evil. Regards, google.

I've seen this exact popup! I didn't believe it, and decided to use firefox to download the images anyway. It was a picture of a certain well known Google exec dressed as the devil having sex with Russian hookers with the caption "Haha you fell for my 'No no evil' routine. Now take it bitches!!!". I should have listened. Now I'm blind and am typing this in Braille. If only I had listened.

Tinfoil Hat Purchasing Advice (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461409)

I am in the market for a Tin Foil Hat but so far have been unsuccessful in purchasing a really good one.

I did some research on where to buy the best models and took the bus to the store to buy. The salesman was very helpful and I was starting to feel good that all that research had paid off and I would soon be safe.

But then it hit me. The salesman was being TOO HELPFUL! I immediately saw right through the deception. He was one of THEM!

I immediately ran from the store doing my best to cover my face with a series of dive rolls towards the door and managed to make it out of the store safely. But I was now in clear sight of THEM with no where to hide.

After desperately running down the street I managed to find refuge in a woman's bathroom for a few moments before the screams of female THEMs alerted the THEM enforcers with blue uniforms and gold badges. They dragged me away to a nearby THEM detention center with others. Not a single other detainee was wearing a Tin Foil Hat - the poor sods.

I vowed to never let this happen again. I am glad people like timothy are out there look out for us and protecting us from THEM.

Thank you timothy!

PS. I am writing this post out with my own feces. So please excuse the penmanship.

Re:Tinfoil Hat Purchasing Advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461669)

How do we know if timothy can really be trusted?

I'm very confused...

Couple Points (2, Informative)

Lanir (97918) | about 5 years ago | (#27461421)

It sounds like they could filter it if they wanted to. There are a couple key points to consider here. I don't know how important any of them are from a legal point of view but I can see how they would apply.

1. They're not responsible if things look different in Chrome than they do in other browsers. Whatever causes it, you agree not to have a cow. (think acid3 test, etc)
2. If you're using their software to do google searches then it's ok if you get a safe search and not an unfiltered one (although you should be able to change this, it's just a cookie based setting).
3. It seems to cover them having parental controls in the browser. People can turn such things on by accident and not know how to disable them (or legally try to claim that the method for disabling them is deliberately obfuscated).

Realistically I doubt they'd do anything stupid like active network filtering. That just isn't what people expect out of their browsers.

Services (5, Insightful)

Alsee (515537) | about 5 years ago | (#27461441)

My first impression is that this article may be an over reaction. The quoted terms are abut "services", and I don't think they really involve the browser itself. For example it mentions Google Search and the Safe Search option. I'm a bit disappointed that Safe Search defaults to max filtering mode, but it is very easy to turn it completely off. So far it seems that Google has been doing a pretty good job of things.

If/when Google pulls any nasty stunt I will be in the front lines bitching at them, be thus far I think the article might be an over sensitive reading.

-

Re:Services (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | about 5 years ago | (#27461795)

I'm a bit disappointed that Safe Search defaults to max filtering mode, but it is very easy to turn it completely off.

Maybe it's different in your country/state/web browser/whatever, but officially [google.com] Google defaults to "Moderate", which is in between "No filtering" and "Strict" filtering.

Re:Services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462423)

Altavista has Google beat in the pr0n world anyway

Do they have different regional versions? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461459)

This sounds like something that would be necessary distribute a program in china or australia...

Chrome is its own competition (2, Insightful)

acb (2797) | about 5 years ago | (#27461493)

In any case, it's open source (under the name Chromium [google.com]), so if you don't like Google's EULA, or any other part of their plans for Chrome, you will be able to download and run one of the third-party, de-Googlised builds of Chromium, or even build your own. It seems unlikely that Google would impose particularly unpalatable terms on Chrome, given that it comes with its own competition built in.

Compile it your self (4, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 5 years ago | (#27461495)

I mean if you don't like the chrome EULA or the firefox EULA, take the code compile it yourself and STFU.

It was a question Fluffy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462013)

If you dont agree with the topic of a post, move on to the next one and STFU yourself.

This was a legit question on a topic (EULA) that was already abused before and where discussions like these forced changes.

Of course a pinhead like you cant just STFU.
Like a 2 year old, you have to have your say too, no matter if it brings nothing to the table.

What kind of incontinent baboons modded this trite as insightful?

Re:Compile it your self (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462159)

EULAs typically contain two types of statements:
1) You can't use the program to do X.
2) The program can do Y.

Compiling the code yourself will bypass (1), but it won't change (2).

Summaries are filtered and modified. (4, Informative)

hhr (909621) | about 5 years ago | (#27461501)

The capital 'S' in Service means they are using their definition and not the dictionary.

At the beginning of the EULA you see that Service menas "Google's products, software, services and web sites"

So basically they are telling you that the data you get directly from Google may not be the raw unfiltered reality. And that makes sense. Google for anything if you want to see a filtered and modified view, although in this case it's a summary.

This sounds more like up front honesty than evil.

Re:Summaries are filtered and modified. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461531)

The capital 'S' in Service means they are using their definition and not the dictionary.

Exactly.

It appears that the capital 'S' can also mean 'Sensationalism' in the case of this non-story.

sheesh...

I haven't read the EULAs of other browsers, (3, Insightful)

hypoxide (993092) | about 5 years ago | (#27461513)

but I feel pretty confident Microsoft Internet Explorer's is worse. I recall reading the EULAs of Windows Media Player 10 and 11 were particularly harrowing experiences.

In any case, if you are concerned about your privacy or don't like advertisements, install privoxy [privoxy.org].

Otherwise, enjoy your Chrome experience! It is significantly [davidnaylor.org] and quantifiably [pcmag.com] better than the competition.

Re:I haven't read the EULAs of other browsers, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461829)

Speaking of which, it's amazing how you cocksuckers trip all over yourselves to assume the worst about a big evil corporation when its name begins with 'M', and then go through hilarious contortions desperately trying to think only the best about a big evil corporation when its name begins with 'G'. Hello, Google's trying to corner the Web [they're market] just like MS tries to corner the desktop market. It's what any corporation tries to do. The average Slashdotter is either dumb as fuck or completely full of shit. I bet it's mainly the second one.

Re:I haven't read the EULAs of other browsers, (3, Informative)

cong06 (1000177) | about 5 years ago | (#27462077)

Well, it's quite a bit easier to back google then microsoft when google's software:
  • is reasonably priced
  • is clean
  • is easy to use
  • has a good interface
  • is fast
  • doesn't crash constantly

And this is amplified by Google's stance on Open Source (in comparison to Microsoft), which as you can imagine is a reasonably persuasive stance in this crowd.

The only good argument I've heard against google is people being worried about all their data being off site: ie, it's available to someone else, and possibly unavailable to you.

In summary: Have you even used Google Chrome? It's amazing!

Without your consent? (0, Troll)

jlarocco (851450) | about 5 years ago | (#27461533)

If you're reading the EULA, seeing that google may filter pages you view, and then using Chrome anyway then that means you're consenting. Or you're just incredibly fucking dumb.

If you don't like it, use something else. There's not exactly a shortage of web browsers...

Give it up (0, Flamebait)

yoyhed (651244) | about 5 years ago | (#27461557)

If you don't like an obscure part of the EULA of a free and optional piece of software, use one of the many alternatives (Firefox, Opera, Safari) - although I'm sure there's something for you to bitch about in their agreements as well (or let me guess, Opera and Safari aren't free-as-in-speech so they're out of the picture?)

Take off the damn tinfoil hat and stop cluttering the Slashdot index with this bullshit.

I use Firefox, but if I preferred Chrome, I wouldn't worry that it was automagically filtering content to be pro-Google or something.

Re:Give it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461659)

Exactly. I just love the bullshit headline too.

Jump to conclusions much?

Did you pay for it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461699)

No.

It's free. If you want something that you have complete control over, do it yourself.

While I may not agree with this type of agreement I do understand I am not obligated to use it, nor do I.

Until someone puts a gun to my head and demands I surf with Chrome, I'm ok with using FF.

no story here. trying to seed google FUD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461733)

Microsoft troll. Go away.

You don't *have* to use it. (1)

neiltrodden (981196) | about 5 years ago | (#27461747)

"Does this mean that Google reserves the right to filter my web browsing experience in Chrome (without my consent to boot)?"

No, they'll only do it with your consent. The 'consent' being given when you agree to the EULA upon installing the binary build they give you. Of course, you can just disagree and not accept it.

Re:You don't *have* to use it. (2, Interesting)

carlzum (832868) | about 5 years ago | (#27461833)

Sounds like they're saying your SafeSearch preferences may be used to filter content from the browser at some point. I wouldn't mind that at all, if I'm at work and click a link that redirects me to a porn site, I'd like my browser to block it.

The language in the EULA is pretty wide-open, so I'm trusting that Google will use this feature for my benefit and allow me to change my preferences. If they don't, I'll stick with Firefox. That's the beauty of competition in the marketplace.

Chrome, Schrome (0, Offtopic)

maz2331 (1104901) | about 5 years ago | (#27461827)

I tried it out, found the interface hideously dumbed-down, and reverted back to IE and FF. I still think it's a solution in search of a problem.

and with that they mean. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461853)

the Google search engine.

you basically agree to the chrome license and the google service license.

This seems like clear FUD to me. (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | about 5 years ago | (#27461957)

Does this mean that Google reserves the right to filter my web browsing experience in Chrome (without my consent to boot)?

(Emphasis added)

IANAL. Does anyone remember if clicking "I Agree" actually constitutes a legally enforceable contract? I think I saw a /. story one day where it was something like where the EULA appeared or something that determined legal enforceability. Like, if it's after you pay for the product and you have to unseal it to read the Agreement (so the product can't be returned), then it can't be enforced or something.... Man, I wish I wasn't too lazy to look this one up....

Anyway, I'm pretty sure you have the opportunity to freely read and freely agree to Chrome's EULA before you do anything with Google (other than visit their domain in your web browser of choice). Seems like this would not be, by any means, filtering without the user's consent.

P.S.: Story is tagged "troll". I just wrote all this out. I hate how easily trolled I am.... >_

P.P.S.: Anyone else here think that Steve Ballmer (or anyone else with good reason to hate Google/Chrome) might be the "anonymous reader" who submits crap like this? Wouldn't surprise me.

Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27461963)

Put away the tin foil hats.

Does this imply... (1)

pongo000 (97357) | about 5 years ago | (#27462019)

...that Google is somehow proxying web content that's being acceessed by Chrome? Wow. Despite the Google fanboys' usual admonition to STFU if you don't like the terms, this should be an enormous red flag for anyone contemplating the use of Chrome.

Its Within Reason (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462073)

It's within reason for google to filter certain aspects of the web; its dangerous to give them blanket-permission to do so, though. Their EULA should be more explicit, a la:

"7.3 Google reserves the right (but shall have no obligation) to pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove any or all Content* from any Service**. For some of the Services, Google may provide tools to filter out explicit sexual content

* content: Google reserves the right to pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove content that is:
1. illegal (nuclear secrets, etc)
2. depraved (violent pornography, etc)
3. dangerous (originates from a known malware address, etc)

** service: service owned by google: specifically,
1. Google Search
2. Google Browser
3. Google Mail
4. Google Office"

And incidently, inevitably the most dangerous part of an EULA (as anyone who buys a cellphone or internet plan can relate) is the clause "[company x] reserves the right to change this agreement at any time and for any reason, without notifying [you], and without [your] knowledge or consent."
    That clause right there basically says "Once you agree to this, it becomes meaningless, because we can make it say anything we want it to, and you can't stop us."

Anonymous Reader indeed? (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | about 5 years ago | (#27462083)

Does the anonymous reader work for AT&T, Microsoft or any other of the companies currently trying to run a smear campaign against Google?

China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27462167)

This sounds to me more like it's about protecting Google's special relationship with the censorious China market.

More like cover for their known-malware-site stuff (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 5 years ago | (#27462335)

Sounds more like coverage for things like their SafeSearch feature (defaults on, you can turn it off easily), or their blocking of direct links to known malware sites (if you click on a link in their search results that'd take you to a site known to serve up malware, you'll go instead to a warning screen from which you can continue on to the actual site if you choose, or abort if you don't want to take the risk).

here we go again (again) (2, Informative)

Eil (82413) | about 5 years ago | (#27462425)

Does this mean that Google reserves the right to filter my web browsing experience in Chrome (without my consent to boot)?

Possibly.

Is this a carry-over from the EULAs of Google's other services (gmail, blogger etc),

Yes.

or is this something more significant?

Not likely, but I guess you never know. Don't forget that they can change the terms of the agreement whenever they like, without your prior approval or consent.

One would think that after the previous EULA affair with Chrome, Google would try to sound a little less draconian."

All disclaimers, license agreements, and contracts sound draconian. They're written in legalese to be clear, precise, serious, and intimidating. They're designed to give the authoring party as much power as possible while limiting their liability to nothing.

The solution, however, is pretty simple: If you have any doubts at all about the terms of an agreement, don't agree to it. Or ask Google the change it. Submitting a Slashdot article about it is just a lot of pointless whining.

Malware. (1)

drolli (522659) | about 5 years ago | (#27462523)

the background most likely is that in the moment when they do an malware classification of a webpage by their own sevices, which chrome takes as active in the default setting (or hardwired), then they are doing exactly that: blocking services. Still some idiots would complain that they could not watch website xyz (porn, key generators). Imagine people suing google for missing the 10Mio$ business opportunity somebody offered them.
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