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What Google Knows About You and Its Relationship with the Government
By: Ivan Strouchliak
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    2008-11-12

    Table of Contents:
  • What Google Knows About You and Its Relationship with the Government
  • Google Desktop
  • For How Long does Google Keep Data About You?
  • Google's Privacy Policy and What Government Can Access

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    What Google Knows About You and Its Relationship with the Government - Google's Privacy Policy and What Government Can Access


    (Page 4 of 4 )

    Google's privacy policy:

    Privacy Policyapplies to all of the products, services and websites offered by Google Inc. or its subsidiaries or affiliated companies except DoubleClick (DoubleClick Privacy Policy) and Postini (Postini Privacy Policy); collectively, Google's "services."

    Information we collect and how we use it (from the company's privacy policypage, but shortened). 


    • Information you provide: Name, email, phone. "We may combine the information you submit under your account with information from other Google services or third parties in order to provide you with a better experience and to improve the quality of our services."

    • Cookies to uniquely identify you.

    • Log information - When you access Google services, our servers automatically record information that your browser sends whenever you visit a website. (this include keywords).

    • Links - basically the sites you visited with Google services.

    We have a good faith belief that access, use, preservation or disclosure of such information is reasonably necessary to (a) satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request, (b) enforce applicable Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations thereof, (c) detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues, or (d) protect against imminent harm to the rights, property or safety of Google, its users or the public as required or permitted by law.

    All that is required for the government to access Google's data are the right laws and papers, which are already in place. Those laws are:

    Patriot Act

    Domestic Security Enhancement Actwith the following provisions:

    • Broad new authority to compel information from ISPs, friends, relatives, businesses and others, all without informing you.

    • Immunity for businesses that voluntarily turn over your information to law enforcement.

    • Extra punishment for the use of cryptography-- no connection to terrorism needed.

    • Instant police access to credit reports upon certification that they are sought "in connection with their duties" -- again, with no connection to terrorism needed.

    • Relaxed requirement of specificity for warrants for multi-use devices like PDAs and computers with telephonic capabilities.

    • DNA collected from all terrorism suspects/DNA database information open to all law enforcement.

    • Less judicial oversight of surveillance.

    NOTE: Under the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the State alone decides who to proclaim a terrorist, without the need for evidence.

    Military Commissions Actof 2006

    How do we know tech giants aren't sharing information about you with the government?

    ....Under new "anti-terror" laws they are bound to...

    Several times, Yahoo has given out the identities of bloggers who were critical of the Chinese dictatorship. What happened to them? Prison, torture, death...? Yahoo is bound to do so under the laws in China; what about Google, Microsoft and Yahoo in the US? With new "anti-terror" laws in the US, which effectively burned half of the US constitution, are tech companies, telecoms and cable companies sharing data about us with Big Brother?

    I leave judgment to you, but judge based on facts, not popular opinion and FOX News.


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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