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Hiding From Google

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the cake-and-eat-it dept.

Google 228

penguinrecorder writes "Google offers Web users a simple trade-off: Let the search giant track a substantial portion of your comings and goings around the Web, and it will offer you a free, superior online experience. Now independent security researcher Moxie Marlinspike is making Web users a counter-offer: take Google's giveaways and keep your privacy too. On Tuesday, Marlinspike launched a service he calls GoogleSharing, a plug-in for Firefox designed to give users access to Google's online offerings while cloaking their identity from the company's data collection tools. By hosting a proxy server with a collection of Google 'identities,' the privacy software will allow users temporarily to route their traffic through another computer that masks their identity by mixing their online actions with those of other users. The system is totally transparent, with no special 'alternative' websites to visit. Your normal work flow should be exactly the same." GoogleSharing only works for those services not requiring a Google login; for the latter, no proxying is done.

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Obligatory Onion (4, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826730)

They've had an opt out option for a long time [theonion.com] .

Re:Obligatory Onion (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826760)

it's all a MS thing. You don't hear this level of frezy about bing or yahoo, do ya? You don't even have an opt out from bing, as far as I can see.

And we're trusting you because.... (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826732)

In Google we trust. In Moxie Marlinspike who wants to be in a position to collect all our Google non-logged-in content... nope.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (3, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826764)

My thoughts exactly. It's free, so he's gotta be paying for it somehow, right? Or is he a known philanthropist who has a long track record of protecting privacy? Nope, didn't think so.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826852)

Yep... when Steve Gibson says "I'm going to port scan you... if your alarms go off that means they're working!" he also says "Would you like to buy a copy of SpinRite?"

"No visible means of support" is a reason to keep an investigation going. Nobody can fund something without a source of income from somewhere.... so what is this guy selling?

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (2, Insightful)

WiseWeasel (92224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827186)

There's always the chance that this service doesn't take any significant centralized resources to keep running, as in the users are made to contribute the bandwidth and CPU resources needed to keep it running.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827248)

It's not a peer to peer service. How is this "contributing" supposed to work?

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (1)

WiseWeasel (92224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827690)

This is all just wild speculation, as I haven't used the software personally, but the P2P software could be built into the FireFox add-on. There are Bittorrent FF Add-ons; I can't see why a P2P implementation of this service would be impossible.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (2, Informative)

klingens (147173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827340)

A distributed service like has existed for years now, so there's not really a need for a replacement. It's called http://tor.eff.org/ [eff.org]

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (1)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827554)

It's called http://tor.eff.org/ [eff.org]

Talk about an unwieldy name

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (1)

psithurism (1642461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827856)

Actually there is a need for a replacement, tor can take 10 seconds to run a Google search. I have not touched tor in forever, but I remember some setup was involved to get it going and I don't want to be flipping it on and off while I go to trusted vs trusted web sights to defeat the slowdown.

This guy's thing just installs a plugin and invisibly, Google doesn't see your IP address anymore.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827992)

Google doesn't see your IP address anymore.

The problem is it does. It's just that your IP address is claiming responsibility for someone else's clandestine actions.

Try Scroogle.org. (2, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827586)

There is another web site providing the same service, the badly named: Scroogle [scroogle.org] .

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30826880)

He certainly has a long track record of working on community-based projects and publishing software for free.

The system is designed so that other networks of people can run their own proxies, though. Maybe the EFF will run one? Maybe your local hackerspace will? Maybe the Tor people will?

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827228)

Maybe Microsoft will.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (3, Interesting)

cstec (521534) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826844)

If you trust Google, great, but don't say "we". Google's changed - a lot. Given the breaches, and their relentless march of ever more invasive monitoring on every device and platform they can get their fingers into, I trust this random stranger more than Google. Google is a proven risk, this guy's just a potential one.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (2, Insightful)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826922)

How is Google invasive? Does it make the keyboard grow a hand and grab your balls until you set up your homepage on google.com? You trust more a random stranger that a big corp that can get some sever financial risk for messing with your privacy? Did you receive candy from strangers when you were kid? I keep hearing about the privacy issues and all the crap, but AFAIK, I haven't seen the first blog post (the most paranoid source of information) about anything close to privacy invasion.

If you don't want to get your porn usage pattern sent to your boss then use Yahoo or Bing.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827450)

It's invasive when changes my repositories when I install Chrome and doesn't prompt for permission, for example.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (1)

psithurism (1642461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827776)

It's invasive when changes my repositories when I install Chrome and doesn't prompt for permission, for example.

No problem! With Google-sharing it will change someones repositories, maybe yours, maybe some guy in another country's! Chrome probably won't work, but at least that invasive google code you installed won't mess with your privacy.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (2, Interesting)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827972)

Google desktop search indexes your documents in order to provide a quick search service. There's no way users can be sure the indices aren't shared with Google, despite no technical need to do so in order to provide that desktop user with a quick search of their own data. If Google gets any sensitive data, who's to know how many people get a copy of that data from Google? I imagine this is why institutions with sensitive data tell their workers they are not allowed to install Google Desktop, despite any convenience it may bring. Like any other proprietary program, Google applications are largely uninspectable in any common way, even for programmers skilled in reading program source code. If someone found a security problem in a Google program and patched it the license forbids them from legally distributing their improved version of the program. So we really don't know for sure everything Google apps do when they run and we have no way to help others through distributing improved versions of Google programs.

There is talk of educational institutions outsourcing email (and possibly calendaring) to places like Google and Microsoft as default policy—by default, students get Google/Microsoft accounts instead of accounts hosted by the school. There are also reasonable concerns about what to do with sensitive email/calendaring data not hosted locally. It's not easy to contract around these problems. Institutions can't rely on local law to help (most educational institutions are not in California or Washington). Some educational institutions can't reveal the existence of students at their school (in the US there is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act [wikipedia.org] which protects student privacy including divulging whether the person is a student at a particular school). Making it default policy to route student email/calendars through Google's servers risks inadvertent exposure of private student data and places the educational institution in a position where it would be hard for them to do anything to prevent that leak from happening again.

Google isn't unique in what I just wrote. Any organization faces the same challenge: convince the user that their data is safest with the organization. But you asked about Google. As for trusting this (ostensibly) anonymizing service as a front-end to Google's services: I merely find it interesting that people would be willing to try this with so little information about who runs it and what structural forces may result in them divulging your data to anyone but you.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (2, Insightful)

Girtych (1345935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827076)

I'd trust a proven risk far more than an unknown risk. At least with the former, we know its limits.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827906)

Actually, a big problem is that we *dont* know it's limits. We don't know what they're doing, and they won't tell us. Repeated requests for information about whether they're even running automated "lawful" intercept systems have been denied, and they won't provide statistics on how many subpoenas they respond to per day. We don't know how many times they've been hacked before, or how much data was lost in this last hack. There's a lot we don't know.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (5, Informative)

a1terego (912274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827130)

Google is a proven risk, this guy's just a potential one.

This is misleading statement. Simple risk analysis: Google is a KNOWN risk with very substantial assets to lose if they screw up. This guy is an UNKNOWN risk with (presumably) a lot less to lose.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30826954)

I, um, trust neither... is that an option?

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827202)

Bing it's your option FTW!

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (2, Funny)

neokushan (932374) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827358)

No. And you've been warned about that kind of thinking. It's off to the Chemical sheds for you!

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827576)

Why not just get the Ghostery extension for Firefox. It blocks all the things like google analytics, doubleclick, etc.

I also use TrackMeNot - another free firefox extension, it sends a number of queries to Google every minute to skew their data collection on your IP. The queries are seeded from RSS feeds selected by the user and so are basically random each time. I just use a load of tech feeds, food blogs and that kind of thing. Not sure how much it'll actually do, but it's transparent so i'm not fussed.

Both are free, as i said, and neither need send any data to anyone off your machine. I really recommend Ghostery though, http://www.ghostery.com/, it's seamless and is such a useful tool. You can set it to auto-block everything which is what I do. It doesn't block ads or anything like that (i still use Adblock+), but it will help protect your privacy.

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827652)

If only the blind could see. Fanatics, extremists, and zealots, you are all deaf and dumb to reality. Google? Please, spare me, you are too much. You trusting fools, you will live and learn. Stop living in Oceania. You are all sheep. "Nineteen Eighty-Four," Orwell, read it if you _are_ able to read. LOL. Too funny, way too funny!! A bunch of living-at-home, guest-house weenies. Try a life away from your sweaty, stained sheets...

P.S. I would create an account, but really, why bother?

Re:And we're trusting you because.... (1)

psithurism (1642461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827702)

No, you won't create an account because the last one you did got modded down hard. Now you want your posts to at least start from zero.

I Call Trojan (2, Insightful)

oztiks (921504) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827842)

So I'm supposed to install this Proxy add on, then put my google account details, that has my google docs and google checkout account?

Ummm .... no

"Don't trust Google, trust me!" (3, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826736)

"Instead of sending your private information to Google directly, use my awesome proxy server to send your private information to Google anonymously. I promise I will not snoop any more than Google does!"

Re:"Don't trust Google, trust me!" (2, Interesting)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826786)

While you can use the server he provides, you can download the proxy software and run it on a machine you control. Of course, this really reduces the pool of identities you will be mixed with -- to 1 unless you organize some other folks to use your proxy as well.

Re:"Don't trust Google, trust me!" (5, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826792)

1. Setup proxy for paranoids
2. Data mine the search habits of paranoids
3. ????
4. Profit!

Re:"Don't trust Google, trust me!" (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826868)

Alex Jones makes a great living off the paranoid.

Re:"Don't trust Google, trust me!" (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827908)

What a coincidence, so does your favorite republican candidate and fox news! remember, TERRORISM! now bend over and let them fuck you in the ass for all your money because you're afraid of TERRORISM, oops -- i said it again!

Re:"Don't trust Google, trust me!" (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30826916)

Data mine the search habits of paranoids

(1) "tin foil"
(2) "michelle obama monkey"
(2) "2d amendment"
(3) "storm front"
(2) "zog mashine"
(4) "chick blowing a mule"
(6) "hot for cousin"
(7) goto 1

Re:"Don't trust Google, trust me!" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827100)

This is a good point- posting anonymously because I work in the media research industry... When I go to trade shows, I have guys coming up to me trying to sell me panelist data like it's drugs... I'm serious. It is people like this guy that are just trying to collect a buttload of data and then try and find someone to buy it. You have your big players like comScore and Nielsen that rely primarily on their large panels for data, and then you have smaller players like compete or alexa that need as much data as possible. They buy it from guys like this in order to gain greater depth of knowledge.

Remember- a lot of websites (including /.) rely on getting bigger pageview and unique visitor counts. There is a big, shady underbelly of people that can get you an increase in traffic size through the right means. This might be one of the guys that is trying to do that, or maybe he is a good semaritan.

As for Google- they know a hell of a lot and will continue to learn more about us. The larger issue now is passing legislation that keeps our private data private.

Re:"Don't trust Google, trust me!" (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828066)

Wow, that's the first time I've seen that used where ???? has about eighty possible inputs, all of which make sense.

Proxy is overkill (4, Informative)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826752)

www.optimizegoogle.com Tick most stuff, especially remove click tracking.

There, now Google knows what I search for, but never which link I clicked.

Re:Proxy is overkill (2, Informative)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827290)

Thanks for that. I'd been using CustomizeGoogle since forever, and had missed the fact that it had been superceded by a newer extension (one that actually works). I have now updated.

On another note, I tried clicking on TFA (yes, I know) and got an interesting response that I hadn't seen before:

Page unavailable
Access Denied
Your request was denied because of its content categorization: "Proxy Avoidance"

Well, it's my workplace's internet connection, so I guess they can do what they like. No indication of which service they're using to identify "evil" sites like this, though.

Re:Proxy is overkill (1)

Draykwing (900431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827444)

IIRC, that message is from Websense.

Who has to use Google? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826758)

Nearly every Google product competes with at least two other brands for the same thing. If you don't like Google, you can use something else.

Re:Who has to use Google? (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826864)

Even so, what Google (usually) offers is a superior experience, and that experience comes at a cost. And by maintaining your privacy, you are indirectly limiting your own experience in the process. The more people try to influence Google, the less effective it would be.

Re:Who has to use Google? (3, Informative)

b4k3d b34nz (900066) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827000)

Not really...Google just offers you a unified experience. Bing has better Travel and Maps search. Yahoo has a generally better mail UI/client, as well as a huge database of Q&A. Ask has better contextual search and a butler. 30 Boxes is a better calendar Flickr is far better than Picasa, and has a better community Zimbra is just plain better than pretty much anything that Google Docs has to offer (which isn't much) Wordpress is more advanced, feature-rich, and easier to use than Blogger Netvibes is a lot less buggy than Google Reader, and provides a better interface (Please note, these are the general consumer products. Many of the business services and tools are far better than the competition) But, most people are lazy and would rather just go to google.com.

Now HE can track you on his proxy (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826854)

Nice tradeoff. Now HE can track you on his proxy. He can sell the information too (in aggregated form if he's scrupulous).

Re:Now HE can track you on his proxy (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826966)

The information might be more valuable, on a per-amount-of-data basis. The data will have a greater bias towards those who think they have something worth hiding. Then again, any sensible person (or proper tinfoil-hat wearing freak) who thinks they have something worth hiding won't be knowingly using a proxy run by anyone else, so maybe the bias won't be that strong.

Re:Now HE can track you on his proxy (1)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826972)

But thats better because Google is teh evilz!!!l1i

Every time you search with Bing, Bill Gates rescue a kitten from the hands of Google kitten-furnace-powered-datacenterz!

Plzzzz Bingme! that way you're more cool than windows7 lol //

I agree with you, Astroturfers used to be creative, good old 2004s

Why (5, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826896)

Is it me, or has Google started to slide in the media towards away from its 'Don't Be Evil' policy? Personally, I think they operate well within moral bounds, but to a lot of major networks, blogs, and news aggregates, the opposite seems to be opines.

In principle, most want their usage statistics retained for a short-while, if at all. Most prefer their statistics only confided with first channel of contact as well. Are people considering that these mass usage statistics may comprise some of the magic that makes their platform so successful and useful? Continual refinement due to constant sources of usage information, IMO, seems to be working great for them. The naysayers neigh, but until I see a genuine effort by other companies to be as philanthropic, open-source friendly, charitable, and hospitable, I will shelve my skepticism and contempt for their nosiness in hopes of a continually great service.

How much would people complain if search became a pay-per-search model? If all those in favor of eliminating usage-statistics completely had their way, Ad-Words and dynamic advertising content would be out, and these search giants would be looking for another form of revenue. Something to think about...

Re:Why (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826908)

*opined*. I am sure there is more, but Grammar Nazis be damned.

Re:Why (3, Interesting)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827048)

I'm not a big Google-privacy-paranoia guy, but my faith in them had been on the decline, and their recent China thing has definitely bought them some credibility in my eyes. It's easy to have a knee-jerk cynical reaction to it, but it may well show that they really are still putting principles before profits, and that their "Don't Be Evil" motto is more than a quirky relic of their early days.

Re:Why (2, Insightful)

lidocaineus (661282) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827058)

You're deluding yourself if you think "Don't Be Evil" is more than just a throwaway phrase. While it can be argued that Google started out altruistic, it's a corporation, and by nature all corporations are there for one thing - to make money. Don't Be Evil is just some vague guide they put out there that basically means "we'll try to not do things that would piss off the consumer but it's in no way a priority."

That said, I use google all the time. I just understand how much to trust them (read: not very much). It's ridiculous how many people fawn over Google as if they're holier than thou because of one phrase, but hey, it's working. If they were serious, they'd put together a Bill of Rights and stick hardcore to it - THEN I'd be willing to see them in a (slightly) different light.

Re:Why (1, Interesting)

yacoob (69558) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827448)

It's a corporation. Corporation's goal is to make money. You'd be fool to think otherwise, because that what companies do. Is that evil? No.
Evil would be abusing law or users' trust for their own good. This particular corporation earns money, in an unusual way, while providing some unique services. Is that bad? I don't think so.

I'm having really good time, reading "Google should do X, Y, Z!" being pushed by people who clearly think that they should just receive all of the possible services for free. It's a simple deal, vote with your le^Wtraffic.

Re:Why (1)

lidocaineus (661282) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828050)

Yeah, nice job moderating me as 'flamebait' for distrusting a corporation.

That's proof right there that google has somehow gotten people to follow it with some kind of reverent attitude.

Re:Why (1)

ugen (93902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827372)

Ad-words have nothing to do with data retention. They show you ads based on the current keywords you enter. While there is some targeting, Adwords and similar services would work just fine without it.
So there is no need to keep any information about anyone's online habits, searches etc. in order to present relevant ads and make money. This is purely a strawman argument.

Re:Why (1)

psithurism (1642461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827590)

If no one clicks their adwords adds, has to go 20 pages deep into search results to find a page they like, or have difficulty with a search, google would like to know, so they track what you click on and whether you return disappointed from your clicks, to better serve you.

What is it we think they are doing with this data? Being evil? I understand its hard to ask for exactly how people feel their privacy is violated but I'm not feeling it from Google just because they know what I do on their servers.

Would you pay for Google ad-free? (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826898)

Google runs an ad network because it makes money. They still honor their "Don't be evil" promises, but they've got to do some user tracking because that makes ads more valuable. If you took advertising away from Google... how would they make money? Would anybody pay Google to not show ads to them?

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30826932)

I would pay for a Google subscription service with no ads and no user activity tracking.

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (3, Insightful)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827108)

I would pay for a Google subscription service with no ads and no user activity tracking.

How would they know it was you they would not show ads to unless they tracked you?

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (1)

psithurism (1642461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827624)

I would pay for a Google subscription service with no ads and no user activity tracking.

A service that is nice to begin with but then later sucks miserably, because without feedback from users search results, Google's old algorithms are happy, but now they no longer know what users are searching for or what pages they follow after a search to make corrections in their algorithms.

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827002)

I would actually, especially considering how little they must make per person via ads it surely wouldn't cost much

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827066)

Reading your post again I can see that it was a rhetorical question, and I agree that in general people won't pay for Google services (just that I would like the option to), so yes I agree with your point.

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827050)

Would anybody pay Google to not show ads to them?

Perhaps, yes. I would, though I don't know if the amount I'd be wiling to pay woudl be enough to make it worth anyones while running such a scheme - Google's ads are not at all irritating compared to other options so I really don't mind them enough to be bothered enough to pay more than, say, a few per year. Some might pay for "not being tracked", but that isn't going to work because if you are not tracked how will they track whether or not they should track you...

Even if there are a minority wiling to pay, and that minority would total enough income to make implementing such a system worth while, Google probably wouldn't want to go for it as they would be diluting their product which would not look good when competing with providers with undiluted product. Repeat after me: you are not Google's customer, you are Google's product which they sell to their customers. Google's customers are the advertisers.

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827102)

> ...you are Google's product which they sell to their customers.

And said customers are getting swindled when they buy me.

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827052)

I dunno. How many people would pay Slashdot to not show ads to them?

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (3, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827078)

And you wonder what the asterisk in my header line means?

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (4, Informative)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827330)

You dont have to pay, just have good enough Karma =)

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (1)

ShiftyOne (1594705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827156)

The only problem with is the privacy part. Its like having someone look over you're shoulder at everything you do. Does anyone actually look at the ads? As long as its not the ads that pop out and cover half the screen when you accidentally hover over them or the ads that pop out when you hover over some text then its not really a problem.

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (1)

psithurism (1642461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827656)

The only problem with is the privacy part. Its like having someone look over you're shoulder at everything you do.

Its like having someone, who doesn't really know and your never going to talk to, look over your shoulder, while not actually knowing exactly who you are, only when you are on Google sights.

Who cares if some random guy at google knows that some other random guy located somewhere around my zip code is searching for hot goat sex videos. I don't. I actually have a girlfriend who demands to watch over my shoulder when I browse the net, and I feel the difference between her and some Google employee is huge.

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827386)

They lost their "Don't be evil" cherry when the Miserable Failure [submitexpress.com] bomb was cleared up within days of Obama taking office, after being there for four years while Bush was in office.

Re:Would you pay for Google ad-free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827460)

$5 per month for full Google access, ad-free with strong privacy? Very tempting.

ITYM "Inferior Services" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30826914)

Is Google hiding this "superior online experience"? All I've seen is a lot of vastly inferior web crap, like Gmail.

Tor. (1)

PhearoX (1187921) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826996)

That is all.

Re:Tor. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827548)

I disagree. There is plenty more to say about Tor.

Tor is an onion router service. Your connections, to Google or anyone else, are all anonymized. It can be used with any TCP based service (except SMTP, which has been port-banned. Nothing else is fully banned).

It works by relaying the connection through three nodes. The first two nodes don't know what content is in the TCP stream. Only the third node (the "exit node") is able to decrypt the data. None of the nodes know who anyone else is in your route, except for the two adjacent nodes. There are enough volunteers running Tor that it would be very difficult to compromise a user's anonymity. Even if two nodes in the route are owned by an evil person, trying to find out who you are, you're still safe.

From the article:

Marlinspike, a hacker who has identified weaknesses in the widely used SSL protocol, readily concedes that anonymizers such as Tor are more appropriate for people who want to conceal their online activities from a wide variety of actors. But those services can often be extremely slow. For those concerned only about Google, GoogleSharing makes more sense.

He's right that Tor is slow. On Tor, it takes me between 0.3 and 10 seconds to load Google's home page. But, it's much safer than using a single proxy. Even if Marlinspike's proxy is completely safe, its ISP can easily perform timing attacks.

Re:Tor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827594)

So you'd get, what, five search requests done a day?

Re:Tor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827940)

I think you're doing it wrong... ESPN.com, one of the most media-intensive front pages on the intarwebs, loads in less than 8 seconds on Tor. Google.com loads in less than 3.

Yes, significantly slower than bare web browsing, but as we all know, security isn't free (as in beer).

not exactly the same (1)

memnock (466995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827022)

since it just does searches, but what about scroogle [scroogle.org] ?

Woody Woodpecker says, Use Tor + SSL! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827060)

Download, install, properly configure Tor:
https://www.torproject.org/ [torproject.org]

Certainly you should choose an open source and free operating system to
increase your security/privacy: http://www.distrowatch.com/ [distrowatch.com]

Use one of the many tools available to build your own Linux liveCD/DVD/USB
with Tor installed/configured and yank out all of your HDDs or unplug them
while using Tor via Linux liveCD/DVD/USB, then while running Tor:

Scroogle SSL:
https://ssl.scroogle.org/ [scroogle.org]

and for mail:

Safe-Mail:
No cookies, no script, no java, no flash required!
https://www.safe-mail.net/ [safe-mail.net]

In the words of Woody Woodpecker:
Hah ha ha HAH ha, Hah ha ha HAH ha, HAHAHAHHAHAHHAAH!

Fuck you corporations, fuck you snoopers, I do it MY WAY.

Re:Woody Woodpecker says, Use Tor + SSL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827874)

Excellent post! You can take it one step further by becoming a volunteer for TOR network and routing other people's traffic. This may boost your anonymity credentials because there is going to be no way to figure out what traffic is yours and what stuff comes from other people.

What does this do that... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827088)

...not having a Google account, disabling scripts, and blocking all Google cookies including Analytics doesn't do except give Mr. Moxie a chance to track me? Why should I trust him more than Google? I know what Google is after. What does he want?

Re:What does this do that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827708)

They can (and do) track you by IP address and User-Agent.

Firefox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827134)

I wonder why he doesn't make an extension for Google Chrome. Oh wait...

Thulsa Doom speaks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827182)

"My child, you have come to me my son. For who now is your father if it is not me? I am the well spring, from which you flow. When I am gone, you will have never been. What would your world be, without me? My son." -Thulsa Doom

Get down on your god damn knees and pray for the sweet salvation of Thulsa Doom you fucking slug! Who else could bring you to your full potential but Thulsa Doom? Who else could show you your place in the cosmos? You owe Thulsa Doom your eternal devotion!

Thulsa Doom!

now how do you hide from the hiding tool? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827260)

So yo dont trust Google, the company just told China where it gets off. Then you will trust this unknown anonymizer plug in. Great, would you like to help me cash the 9 million dollars I have stolen from the Nigerian Oil Company?

Re:now how do you hide from the hiding tool? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827510)

"The company just told China where it gets off." Wow, you really bought that PR campaign whole hog. It doesn't seem a little strange to you that they announce their China office has been totally compromised and that they'll no longer be censoring their search results in China at the same time? Now... what would their motivations for that be?

A joke, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827380)

This is some kind of Google joke, right? Like, "Ha ha, silly paranoids. We set up a proxy so you could circumvent us but really it's us too and no we even know who the paranoids are that we've already been watching for nearly a decade. Oh and you're probably a terrorist too so we've already alerted the authorities."

Ok ok, so it's for reals. But am I really going to trust this guy [wordpress.com] more than I trust Google?

take Google's giveaways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827430)

and sacrifice your privacy to Moxie Marlinspike.

His motto is, "Don't get caught being evil."

Stealing by any other name still stinks as much (1, Informative)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827480)

Google offers you a choice. If one doesn't want to participate then fine, don't use Google. If one uses Google and expects them to keep their part of the bargain then they should hold up their end. Anything less is like saying: I like the yummy goodness of candy bars, but I don't like paying for them, but I am clever so I use stealth to eat them without paying for them. That "clever stealth" is, by any other name, still stealing.

Re:Stealing by any other name still stinks as much (0)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827682)

> If one uses Google and expects them to keep their part of the bargain then
> they should hold up their end.

I have no contract with Google (and I doubt that you do either). Consequently I require nothing of them and they have no right to require anything of me (nor do they).

> That "clever stealth" is, by any other name, still stealing.

Bullshit. If Google doesn't want me to block their cookies they can make their search engine not work without them. If they don't want me to block JavaScript they can require it (as some of their competitors do). If they want to require me to open an account they can. They know how the Web works. They know that Web pages are public by default and they know how to restrict access. They do not do so.

Re:Stealing by any other name still stinks as much (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827714)

So in other words you have no idea what this discussion is about, how Google works, or what the word contract means. I think I'll pass on trying to have an intelligent discussion with you.

Re:Stealing by any other name still stinks as much (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828034)

> So in other words you have no idea what this discussion is about, how Google
> works, or what the word contract means.

Yes, I do. Unlike you.

Re:Stealing by any other name still stinks as much (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827830)

That "clever stealth" is, by any other name, still stealing.

Why does this sound awfully close to the RIAA motto of "downloading movies is stealing"? I agree with you on the "if you don't like it, don't use it" line, but you're blowing it a tad out of proportion.

Re:Stealing by any other name still stinks as much (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827900)

I hate to be the one to break it to you but downloading is stealing. If you sneak in to a Movie theatre, that is stealing even though they still have the movie. In these cases what you have stolen is the access. Most people understand what I just said, but consider it an act of civil disobedience Henry David Thoreou style. I'm OK with you stealing from tyrants, just don't steal from the decent folk.

Re:Stealing by any other name still stinks as much (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828014)

> I hate to be the one to break it to you but downloading is stealing.

I will assume that by "downloading" you mean "downloading unauthorized copies".
The US Federal courts do not agree with you. Making unauthorized copies of works protected by copyright is (usually) copyright infringement and illegal but it is not theft.

Re:Stealing by any other name still stinks as much (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828052)

"The US Federal courts do not agree with you."

I'm talking about morals, which has absolutely nothing to do with the law. (you'll note that I didn't say: OMFPonies! Don't get caught!)

Re:Stealing by any other name still stinks as much (1)

FlyMysticalDJ (1660959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827996)

No, it's more like saying "I like the yummy goodness of candy bars, but I don't like getting fat, but I am clever so I use stealth to eat them without getting fat." That clever stealth is, by any other name, bulimia.

Re:Stealing by any other name still stinks as much (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828074)

"That clever stealth is, by any other name, bulimia."

As long as we can agree that it is some kind of disorder, and something is wrong with you if you do it ;-)

We already have a solution for that: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827676)

Hey Google! Try to find out who I am, NOW! ;)

What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827712)

This people are using a lot of different web services but they are afraid only of this one. I can't get it.

knowing is helping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828020)

one of the things that helps make google great is the fact that it collects data about users. is uses the data obtained through users to make it more accurate for you and everyone else.

if you dont like it, just use bing because we know they dont tamper with the results. ;)

but seriously, who cares if google knows i search for sweet sweet animated donkey porn during the day and midget porn at night?

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