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Google Desktop Beta v. 3 searches across computers

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February 10, 2006 7:15:29 PM

One of Google Desktop's more intriguing new features, unveiled in this week's release of Beta 3, is its ability for its local indexes to search across computers. But it's the idea that an index on one computer can be accessed through another, via the Web, that has the Electronic Frontier Foundation blowing the whistle. Here's our story on TG Daily.

Now, here's what I'm interested in: The EFF is treating this program as a danger to your work environment - a possible back door for government surveilance. Do you believe that Google would sincerely make such a vehicle for government intrusion feasible, even if unintentionally? We'd like to hear your views.

Special Agent Scott Fulton
February 10, 2006 8:10:10 PM

frankly, I dont use google desktop at home. I never install files in default locations and keep my system well organized. I know where things are, and have never needed to search for anything. (I also dont use outlook either, what a bloated app) gmail already searches itself rather well, so I have no need for it.

At work however it is another story, and searching is very useful there. I have it installed but do not use the sidebar as it is too much of a system hog. (my workstation is an older p4 1.8...) My superiors approve of google desktop for office use so the privacy issue is not in question. (yet)

Frankly, google has proven to be a stand-up company. I would be afraid if it was yahoo or microsoft, but not google. (again, yet...) I abhor infringment on privacy, but until there is a proven misuse of google's promis that they do not abuse it I say it is ok.
February 10, 2006 8:17:50 PM

Probably, as you know each company has its own strategy on how to earn money.
February 11, 2006 3:24:49 AM

I have nothing to hide and its a great program... though it is kinda flunky with starcraft.
February 11, 2006 5:26:22 AM

Yahoo and Microsoft are the ones that quickly fold and give "Big Brother" everything it wants. Google has already told the government to "go to hell".

In Google I Trust.
February 11, 2006 6:19:44 AM

Google's "sincerity" would not be my chief concern.
That the program could create a backdoor, is far more troubling.
I do feel that the present administration is willing to compromise the rights and freedoms of individuals. They like to wrap it in the cloak of keeping the country safe from terrorists. That in itself is a form of terrorism.
That is also not my primary concern. Can you imagine the impact of a denial of service attack, if it were set up through such a back door?
On top of that, you have the impact of spyware that is designed to access the desktop.
Oh well, time to go phishing.
February 12, 2006 1:50:05 AM

8) That anyone other than you accesses informatin on your computer is wrong. It is clear that it should not be legal. It is not legal to come into a person's home without just cause to look at a person's possession's, therefore it should not be legal to look at a person's intellectual property in the home computer without a person being made aware of what the probable cause is and making a person aware of their rights via a Miranda-like disclosure.
February 12, 2006 1:56:15 AM

Google should be punished or disallowed from designing such software.
It should be illegal for any private concern to make it possible to access personal information on a person's home computer by way of internet connection.
Legislation could be passed that would allow for anonymous search for information that could have some connection to crime on public networks, then advise the persons that are then suspected, of their rights and then look for the information for further evidence of wrong doing.
February 12, 2006 8:06:45 AM

People need to either stop being so paranoid or stop doing illegal things with their computers. I'm more worried about google using my bandwidth then being able to view my software.
February 12, 2006 11:35:51 AM

I don't like the idea of anybody else but me having access to my computer, especialy from the internet. I don't consider myself paranoid but I consider the following type of information PERSONAL: email, password list , browser history, business information, banking information and on and on. If there is any back door openned on a PC, somebody will figure out how to use it.
Whoever is developing this indexing software is not thinking in term of privacy. No thanks.
February 12, 2006 1:11:09 PM

Beyond backdoors and accessing information on a person's computer is the fact that Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and no doubt a lot of other companies store information about your search's what appears to be indefinitely. I think I read somewhere that Google will save all or some of your searches and results up to 30 days with this software. It may be neccessary to save internet searches for a couple of days, certainly not indefinitely, but it should never be neccessary for Google or anyone else to save seaches and results on your machine. In addition, to believe there is no identifying information associated with the information they collect and save is at best naive. As for the idea that if you're not doing anything wrong, you shouldn't care about this stuff is rediculous. I may not be doing anything wrong in my house, does that mean I shouldn't care if someone is looking in my windows?
February 12, 2006 3:50:26 PM

I was actually talking to a guy today who was telling me that google is working in colaberation with the chinese gvt to secretly moniter their citizon's. Scary stuff.......
February 12, 2006 6:44:14 PM

Quote:
Yahoo and Microsoft are the ones that quickly fold and give "Big Brother" everything it wants. Google has already told the government to "go to hell".

In Google I Trust.


Is that why they gave into the Chinese Government's demands to do business there?

I really can't wait though for the government to start mointoring my search histories, e-mails, chat, these messages, ect. to pursue making me safer. Yay.
February 13, 2006 1:31:00 AM

Quote:
Beyond backdoors and accessing information on a person's computer is the fact that Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and no doubt a lot of other companies store information about your search's what appears to be indefinitely. I think I read somewhere that Google will save all or some of your searches and results up to 30 days with this software. It may be neccessary to save internet searches for a couple of days, certainly not indefinitely, but it should never be neccessary for Google or anyone else to save seaches and results on your machine. In addition, to believe there is no identifying information associated with the information they collect and save is at best naive. As for the idea that if you're not doing anything wrong, you shouldn't care about this stuff is rediculous. I may not be doing anything wrong in my house, does that mean I shouldn't care if someone is looking in my windows?


Too right. I have nothing illegal on my PC but that doesn't mean I want to have others to have access to it. The other issue that was touched on in the article is that the government doesn't need a search warrant to access information on Google's servers.... unlike your PC at home where they DO need a search warrant. Imagine if the Police just came into your house for fun and started rifling through your draws and cupboards without a search warrant.... you wouldn't be happy. Don't allow Google to give the police the power to do that with your PC.

Some people seem to think that Google is some king of saviour and that they have the users best interests at heart. WRONG. Google is a company and they want to make money. I use Google Earth and that's about it.
February 13, 2006 1:19:22 PM

OK, I agree that no-one should be able to monitor what you are doing... and I do not have google desktop on my system. In fact, when I install winamp or any other program I do not allow it to track statistics. I further ensure my security by actually KNOWING what is running on my system. Anything that is not authorized by me is killed. If you think google is bad, dont install their stuff.

I actually think the desktop app is a well made program, for the use it is intended. I just don't need it.

Saying all that, I am not naive enough to think that someone, somewhere is not monitoring something that I am doing. It is the very nature of the internet. Your ISP is probably looking at surfing habits and other "habits" that you have on the internet. To think that the www is totally anonymous is ridiculous.

Just make sure your internal system is secure, that no-one can get in to stuff actually ON your system. Dont keep important stuff on your web-based email, "they" certainly have access to that if "they" want. beyond that, whatever else you do is wide open man. Deal with it.
February 15, 2006 12:48:47 AM

Quote:
People need to either stop being so paranoid or stop doing illegal things with their computers. I'm more worried about google using my bandwidth then being able to view my software.


Wait till the Government, in the future, make something illigal, that you are doing right now, there is no more liberties being given to people(exept in Canada where gays could marry soon or never) and only laws are being created ristricting and tightning, tightning and ristricting
call me paranoid... !!!Whata!!! Someone is knocking on the door, its The Government and their leader Sith Lord Jesus They have come to get me.....
February 15, 2006 12:56:09 PM

In my peronal opinion Google is making a mistake with this move. All it is going to take is a couple of resourceful 18 year old punks to hack this information that they are "Collecting" to generate some world-wide level bad press for the company. :roll: :roll:

Google is big enough already. I love Google. I will not however install, download, or condone use of a tool that will send search information from my machine (or the machines on my organizations network, which I manage).

This is just too great a security risk to the people that want to use Google. It's worse than KaZaa or Napster in my opinion.
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