Archive for January, 2006

You go Google!

Posted in Privacy Watch on January 21, 2006 by Blog Admin

<p>Congratulations <a href="">Google </a>CEO Eric Schmidt and tech President, Sergy Brin for <a href="">refusing to give in to Alberto Gonzalez' request for records of Internet searches conducted</a> through Google.  Unfortunately other search engines (Yahoo and MSN, for example) were not as concerned for our privacy. I have always liked that Google has a clear, publicly annunciated principle of business ethics, &quot;do no evil&quot;.  Which seems like nothing special on its surface, but Google lives up to this principle.  For example, they do not divulge private information to the Government, like what items we search for on the Internet.  Let's say you are doing a report on porn for a women's studies class. Would you want to show up on a list of potential sexual predators?  Should we have to worry about what each search might look like to someone unaware of our motivations?  How intellectually stifling!  Gee, the George W. Bush Administration and intellectual stifling, hmmmmm. </p><p>The reason given for the data request by Gonzalez is to show that Internet filters are not adequately protecting minors from porn sites.  At the same time Gonzalez claims that the data cannot be traced to individuals.  This makes no sense.  How can you use this data to show that minors are accessing porn, if specific individuals cannot be identified?  Makes me wonder what this data will really be used for!  Thanks Goolge!</p><p />

Shades of "I'm not a crook"

Posted in Media Watch on January 18, 2006 by Blog Admin

<p>So, George W. is spying on us without court oversight, and he claims that he's done nothing wrong.  And despite media criticism of his illegal activities, Bush has <a href="">no intention of ceasing these warrantless wiretaps</a>.  Historically, courts deny very few wiretaps, so what is W's excuse for by-passing the court system, whose role is simply to ensure that the executive branch does not engage in spying excesses?  Who could object to that?  No one is saying that Bush cannot root-out <a href="">Al Qaeda</a> operatives.  Just keep the courts in the loop! </p><p>In addition to the spying, Bush feels that the ban on torture introduced into the defense appropriations bill by Vietnam veteran Senator <a href="">John McCain</a> does not apply to him, despite signing the legislation.  According to the Boston Globe article from January 4, 2006, &quot;Bush issued a &quot;signing statement&quot;, declaring that he will view the interrogation limits  in the context of his broader powers to protect national security.&quot;  I shudder to think what this might mean for US citizens in the hands of hostile forces!  </p><p>It seems W. feels that he's above all laws! Is somebody feeling a little superior?</p>