I know that Google is keeping a record of your searches and returning individualized results, because my searches are different than my colleagues. And after I make my search, promotional ads that relate to that search are suddenly everywhere on my screen. It is kind of neat that they can target you that accurately– it is also worrysome.
Does privacy exist on the Internet? No– absolutely not. Does privacy exist in your home? Not if the powers that be really want to find something. Privacy is gone– but at least we can speak up about the abuses happening, right?Well,
according to Google, there has been an “alarming” number of censorship requests from the government. So, if the government doesn’t like something on the Internet– they can request to have it taken off. Hmm, what would this be convenient for? Perhaps for cover-ups, scandals, and other criticisms of government?
“In the last half of 2011, U.S. agencies asked Google to remove 6,192 individual pieces of content from its search results, blog posts, or archives of online videos, according to the report” and “a separate law enforcement group asked Google to take down 1,400 YouTube videos (Google owns YouTube) because of ‘alleged harassment.’”
So, if the government doesn’t like something– it can attempt to take it away from our inquiring minds. That is probably a really bad deal for freedom of speech. And as it stands now, there are a lot of people exercising their freedom of speech to call out the government for its abuses, scandals, and violations of its own charter document, the U.S. Constitution.
I applaud Google for bringing public attention to this, though I doubt it details the full extent of the measures taken by our government to censor and repress public criticism of its actions.