Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 12:27 PM

Google refuses to join the government’s "Thinkpol" (spying) force…

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

On Friday, Google won commendations from technology professionals and end users for refusing the Bush Administration’s demand for information about the online search queries and activities of its customers. Unfortunately, AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft cooperated with similar demands; just as they did last summer when the communist government of China deputized them to spy on the Internet surfing habits of unsuspecting Chinese citizens.

(In fact, Yahoo has already proved itself a committed “bellyfeel Thinkpol” by helping Chinese authorities entrap a journalist who dared to use his computer to write a story about the massacre at Tiananmen Square.)

Hooray for Google! Shame on AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft…

Note: “Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile!” Although I’m sympathetic to the need for government agencies – like the NSA – to eavesdrop on calls between suspected terrorists, I think it goes too far for the government to enlist private companies to provide information about the online interests (thoughts) of ordinary citizens.

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  1. Tim January 22, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    Great article. I really like your skilful use of allusions to “1984”. The distinctions you draw are very important. Shame of AOL and others is right!

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