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No secrets online
December 3rd, 2012
07:00 AM ET

No secrets online

By Jonathan Binder, CNN

(CNN) – Social networks like Facebook hold the personal information you share with it. But search engines like Google hold your dark secrets you may not have realized your were telling it. All of the websites, the embarrassing searchers, online purchases – Google keeps track of it. Not only is there a record of it, but the U.S. Government and law enforcement agencies have increasingly been asking for that personal data.

[1:54] "The Google Transparency Report is released every six months, and it looks like every six months the U.S. Government has requested a thousand additional pieces of user information from Google," says Heather Kelly, CNN.com Technology writer and producer.

[4:48] "You are telling someone, you’re telling a server somewhere and that server is maintained by people. And those people are employed by a company. But I think it’s treated much more like an unknowing sounding board sort of like an abyss of knowledge. It’s not. Nothing online is," says John Herman, Deputy Tech Editor for Buzzfeed.

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

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soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. saveyourfeet

    Interesting. What I care about is this: I am a type 1 diabetic. My feet were going to be amputated. until I found a simple way to stop that from happening. if you are a diabetic you need to read saveyourfeetDOTwordpressDOTcom

    December 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lance D.

    The average "Middle Class" family earns $86,000/year - where else other than Massachusetts? Just type: "MY2K" for inquiring GOP minds (wink)

    December 4, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. Lance D.

    Obambi-Poo and Boston Hot Lips really should be more careful about what they post on the internet. Federal and Commonwealth GOP going to "Surf City" - "Healthcare Industry Money" marked a wide trail between the Blue Hills and Berkshires - Romney and Ryan standing in the dark shadows - wicked knowing grins. Guess the "Bay State Middle Class" can wait for those cuts, right Poo Poo?

    December 4, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. Lance D.

    SKIP THE INTERRACIAL PORN - The GOP has better things to show you. GOP HEAT – Obama/Patrick still "TogetherPAC" – Brought to you by HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY: Top Execs of Partners Health Care, Shields Health Care, Steward Health Care and Pfiizer – Obamacare "borrowed" from the "Romney Model"? Boston Hot Lips keeping the PAC "alive and well" with some help from his healthcare friends. Why did Patrick skip the DGA "Glittering Stars" meeting? Commonwealth GOP Heat burning State Crime Lab ambitions – who ever thought scandals could rip apart prison iron? Thousands of "Oz Prison Lovers" may then flee to the "Blue Hills" – Boston Hot Lips may then drown at the Bay before 2016 – or join the "Indians" at the Tea Party (wink).

    December 4, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. albie

    Facebook is far worse – they OWN everything you post and can dictate to you how you can use it – facebook is the biggest threat to privacy and freedom that currently exists

    December 4, 2012 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. hey googoo

    So if I snoop into goo-goo's secrets and sell them to, oh say a rival, goo-goo would be cool with that, right? I mean, I'd just be providing added value information to whoever wants it, right??? Em eye missin' sumfin here googoo??

    December 3, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. i wanna raise too

    Lots of Google shills on here looking for a promotion at work.... making light of this serious issue

    December 3, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gotta be free

    Whut iz tha problem? We all need to give up some freedom so that we can stay free! Why kant yew stooped liberals understand that???? Your only az free az yer search engine...

    December 3, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr Dan

      I sure hope this was meant to be sarcastic, because if you really are trying to make a point about stupid liberals, and using words like 'iz' and 'kant', then you forfeit all rights to be taken seriously. Although, I also don't find it very difficult to believe that someone is truly this ignorant, since they are taking the Republican side of things and speaking with the typical knuckle dragging neanderthal language so prevalent among conservatives.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. golly

    So what is worse, an evil corporation that has become the worlds worst privacy-rights infringer and peeping tom or the clueless (or co-conspirator... though I doubt many of them are that smart) politicians who let goo-goo get away with it? I guess we just need to follow the money... has goo-goo made large campaign donations? Whut.... they HAVE??? Golly gee.

    December 3, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John smith

    Wow. what a surprise. The govt tracks everything we do, all the time. Not only online, but when we're walking around too:

    http://theconspiratorknoxville.blogspot.com/

    December 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. popcorn

    Stop looking at INTERRACIAL P0RN.... GET A LIFE PEOPLE!!!

    December 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lance D.

    If Obama was so concerned about the Middle Class, let him Google all the various STATE level burdens in addition to the Federal one imposed. Take New York State for example, which taxes and charges user fees for just about everything except the air we breathe. NYC residents have even GREATER additional tax burdens. Then factor in Obamacare. After subtracting the monthly expenses, how much discretionary household spending does it leave? What Americans need are GOOD PAYING jobs to increase the tax base. Some residential areas heavily surrounded by commercial enterprises (like shopping malls and restaurants) enjoy lower property taxes. Get it?

    December 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. popcorn

    WHERE MY RASPBERRY PI in NEW YORK CITY?!?!?

    December 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TomGI

    I love Google. They are so smart and kind. Their management is the best. Their employees are the hardest working and deserve our undying loyalty. I wish I had a great job at Google.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lance D.

    Bonsoir Street Smart - Get wetter out front - We both know how you like it - Oui c'est bon, il est mieux quand profondement dans vous - Spread open for the camera (wink)

    December 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Lance D.

    Just a bunch of small white g-men looking for some hot interracial porn - getting off on fantasizing about their white brides in bed with something long and strong - big and black. Come on, admit it. You never saw your hot wife hump so hard, nor heard her scream so loud for more - careful what you wish for punks (wink).

    December 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Bill

    Google is actually interested in my midget donkey porn with egg nog? Who knew?

    December 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • al

      Yes absolutely they are interested. That way they can target you with 'donkey elevator shoes" ads.

      December 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  18. josh

    why are they creepers?

    December 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  19. heloise8

    Reblogged this on The Trough.

    December 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  20. ronindavid

    I need to ditch gmail as well as yahoo email. I'm behind a VPN and have no relavent info saved for when I access services I HAVE to use like google maps.

    December 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Sharon Needles

    So the government knows that I was looking for a cream for my genital warts on my 2 inch penis that I caught from having sex with the family dog when I was drunk and watching porn? That's depressing.......

    December 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      What's REALLY depressing is now I know too.

      December 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Wright

      So Google has your information and now so do I. Let me tell you that I really don't care! As most everyone else. No big deal. I can't live without Google!

      December 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • too lazy

        yes you can live without goo-goo; there are other internet search services, but anyone who would take goo-goo's 'free search' gifts without giving a flip about the consequences once the danger is so obvious that the mainstream news starts reporting it is just too mentally lazy to look around.

        December 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  22. SmartKid2012

    @ GAW... Correct lol...I'm glad some folks can take a joke still!

    December 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  23. renaissancemon

    The only thing the demopublicans want more than to know what you're up to is for you not to know what they're up to.

    December 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  24. s

    is nobody at work today. i mean these comments are all in the middle of the day. don't people have work to do

    December 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • TD

      Really? No one works the night shift? No one works Wednesday through Sunday? We don't have unemployment that hovers around 8% (up to 20% depending on who you ask)? Hmmm.....

      December 3, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • ronindavid

        lol exactly. I work a full 40. Today and tomorrow I'm off. How dare I be at home posting!

        December 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  25. smartaz

    You mean the internet isn't private? Oh noes!

    December 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • googoo needs watching

      It's the same as someone going into your home and looking on your computer, taking the information and selling it to ANYONE willing to pay for it. What is to stop a company from collecting enough info to discern your financial, business, social security, medical history AND your 'private' interests? A company motto that says 'Do no evil'? Why don't you check into the potential harm before you swallow goo-goo's 'free gifts'?

      December 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  26. kennyzales

    I'll save them the trouble. 80% of all Internet traffic originating from the US is just me googling "Asian busty teens"

    December 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • enlightened by your wisdom

      Thanks for the search suggestion...and here I thought busty Asian was an oxymoron...

      December 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Squeaky

    So, if you don't use Google for your searches, then you don't have this problem?

    December 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      It would not matter if you try to avoid using google or not. Most companies utilize google analytics for record keeping. The web page code refers to it and you don't even know it.

      December 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Lance D.

    Bonjour Street Smart - No doubt you already knew that most married men fantasize watching their wives in bed with a "bigger and better" men right? Men without sexual imagination might spent 24/7 googling for something that works. If the government monitors this activity, then perhaps those G-people can unzip or slide up the skirt and join in the dirty fun (wink) - Au revoir, Lance

    December 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  29. phearis

    So Google has records that show everyone searches for porn? NOOOOO!!!!!!

    December 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • GAW

      They might have to hire and additional 500 people to help sort through the records.

      December 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • sixin

        ..and those would be for just mine.

        December 3, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melanie

      Oh come on. Not everyone searches for porn. There are plenty of people out there searching for pron instead.

      December 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Lance D.

    Online fantasy is better than the reality of 99.99% of American people - get naked and lay down on the bed - feel it

    December 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Ludwig

    Well, I for one would like to see all the porn searches coming from Congress!

    December 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uncle Stumpy

      You know, if you switch the order of words in your comment just a little bit, it actually becomes quite dirty.

      December 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Hugh Jass

    They can look me up on Google all day. Eat your heart out, Big Brother! Don't you wish you were me?

    December 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • phearis

      A fat virginal 50yo living in his mother's basement, eating Mac & Cheese and wearing her lingerie while you touch yourself?? Uhhhhhhh, no thanks, I'll pass on being you.

      December 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  33. mike

    Haha. Oh no! The US Government will know I buy electronics online and watch p0rn! The sky is falling the sky is falling!!!!!

    December 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  34. tragic_knowledge

    Tragic, but alot of you sheeple fail to realize "ghostery", "adblocks" and the likes have not a thing to do with what this article is about. On an even slightly technical point; 99.9999% of what "Goog" and the "Yahooligans" use is enturely IP based – so ya, when your ISP is sending you the IP for the cable/dsl/xDSL line its logged as YOU using it, it does not matter if its dynamic or static it's just one more step they have to take to find YOU. Just like a SS#, DL# or credit card number their all can be traced right back to you; YOU. Unless you have the techincal knowledge of spoofing or CORRECT proxy usage all that data is logged VIA THE IP in your www connected device. So you can use "ghostery" or whatever you like – but the packetstream (unless it's tampered with) doesn't lie!

    December 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pappie

      You're exactly right, but I don't see how Google can track my online purchases. Google can track what I search on and the company I buy from can enter my purchases into a database for marketing or whatever, but unless I use Google to search for a vendor, then click the link they provide to the site, I'm not sure how they track what I buy. What if I just type the vendor's URL directly into the address bar, bypassing Google altogether? They can't track then, can they?

      December 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Dale

    It has gotten to the point certain agencies like Google the government they know the color of your sh** before you do it.

    They secretly monitor hundreds of thousands of people here in United States there on a watch list.

    December 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      So let's get them trying to monitor a few million more each week. Run them like hamsters on a wheel.

      December 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  36. bob

    So where are safe search engines. Can one actually clean a computer?

    December 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      Some of those Google images border on the pornographic. Others are awesome, babies are SO cute (so are cats), and the houses are the ones you want to visit.

      December 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      It's not your computer, it's the Google server you connect to that has your data saved. I guess you could bomb the cloud and clean it that way.

      December 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • basketcase

      "Can one actually clean a computer?"

      That kind of depends on how clean and/or functional you want it to be afterwards. If what you're worried about it what's on one individual computer, you mostly need to worry about the hard drive(s). The most secure option (obviously) is to demolish them, but formatting them with a tool that will overwrite a number of times will do a relatively good job.
      If you want the system to remain fully intact (i.e. don't need to re-install the os) you can go with a general cleaning program. This is the most practical for a day to day application, and if you have a decent program (I use ccleaner) and set things properly it will do a somewhat decent job of keeping your computer "clean."
      I suppose the final option is to manually root out all the traces your daily activities leave behind, but that gets fairly tedious if you want to do a thorough job, and I find it's much easier to let software take care of it for you.

      December 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Don't worry

    unless you're a famous person.
    The rest of us is just a number in their record.

    December 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • tutrle

      I threw them off... I googled Justin beiber...no one likes him..ooo, maybe ill like his page...

      December 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Crow

    Ghostery blocks tracking of all market research and statistic gathering attempts unless you make an exception. AdBlock Plus blocks all ads. Both are free add-on open source programs for Mozilla Firefox. Both work. Ghostery will block Google BUT you can turn it off when not using these features UNLESS you use Google for web searching and e-mail Open source is the way to go because no one should have to spend hundreds of dollars to make something they have bought (r.g. computers) function. Install Lenox or get rid of Windows Office, IE, and Photoshop. Download Open Office, Mozilla with appropriate add-onsm Thunderbird and Gimp. Voila! More privacy and less Microsoft/Google interference.

    December 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • basketcase

      Its Linux... Lenox is a manufacturer of fine dinnerware and gifts.

      December 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  39. mhwood

    So, don't do embarassing things? If you'd be embarassed to have it known, be embarassed to do it in the first place. If you're not embarassed to do it then don't be embarassed to have it known. Don't permit a mismatch between the values you practice and the values you profess.

    December 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  40. SmartKid2012

    Stay off the net, destroy your credit cards, disconnect your cellphone and use ca$h to purchase everything.

    December 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really!?

      Says the person who used a computer to respond in a public forum ON THE INTERNET!

      December 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • GAW

      Someone dost not know the meaning of the word sarcasm.

      December 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Luddite69

      Also make sure your tin-foil hat is on nice and tight.

      December 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      Smart advice in theory, but not very realistic...at least until the Antichrist comes. I say, if the government can track us, then WE should track other people's movements as well. Big Brother is watching...unfortunately it's the government and not your best friend, your favorite celebrity, your relatives.

      December 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • GAW

      I still say Smarkid is being sarcastic. Unless I hear otherwise.

      December 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • SaveMoney

      I once googled, how to fart in a meeting and not get noticed. Hope this helps out the conversation!

      December 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Gumbercules

    So who are the G-Men we should really be afraid of here?

    December 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  42. LouAZ

    We are not forced to be free, as Sartre would so elegantly put it, but instead, we are forced to believe that we are forced to be free- and this has created many personal illusions and subsequent social problems – Lyndon Page

    December 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  43. UtahProf

    To be sure you are seeing everything without censorship, use 91.191.136.152 for your DNS server ... or at least keep it written down in case you need it. When governments censor, they use DNS to do it. This DNS is secure and outside of their reach. For an anonymous browsing package, go to http://www.tor.org – load the package and use the suggested "secure" search engines – and, use darknets when you can find them. It is time to turn out the lights and go dark, people ...

    December 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Blogs

    Almost forgot, remove hard drive from laptop and everything will be written to memory and then erased when powered off. Also use open wi-fi and DO NOT use Google.

    December 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      I suspect the same problem is with Bing (or should be). My mouth (as in "insert foot here") is a terrorist enough, thank you very much.

      December 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Will H

    We all have to realize that we, as the users, are the product, we are not customers in this case. Customers pay for a service, when have you ever paid Google to run a search? Corporations pay for your information to maximize their marketing dollars. Over 100 Billion Dollars were spent on advertising in the US last year, that # should tell you everything you need to know. You didn't actually think all the free content (Google, Facebook and all the apps within) were created out of the kindness of corporate Americas heart,, did you?

    December 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crow

      The "content" was 'free' when the internet first began. It was only much later that corporate America figured out how to take over the web. I pay for my internet connection and decidedly DO NOT pay for ads to fill the monitor. I also block ad content on my television. Companies pay for their ad space which is reflected in the cost of their product. In my 60 years I have NEVER purchased anything as the result of an ad. Less advertising, higher quality and lower prices should be the thrust of corporate America not spending billions on ads and interfering with citizen privacy.

      December 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  46. TermsOfService

    1. Buy a used laptop
    2. Make a 'live disc' (think Linux)
    3. Boot from CD
    4. Surf the web
    Bonus: There is MUCH more you can do, but if you're concerned, this is a good way to start.

    December 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • //dr Tom

      Buy a used laptop anomymously, ie.

      December 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhatsitGonnaBe

      Maybe you missed the point of the article. Once your typing leaves your computer, it is all stored on servers owned by other people (and the government.) So you can do all you want to your computer, but the information on your searches and purchases are already are stored for others to peruse.

      December 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Al

    Whenever I search or visit web sites I use my friend's computer. LOL

    December 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Leroyjackson

    Google probably thinks I am a boring horny nerd – I don't care

    December 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • hari

      you spoke my mind bro! ditto, I don't care either. they can mine all my data to their hearts content and try to sell me stuff, just, not gonna work.

      December 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maro

      Now everyone's true self is revealed.

      December 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Pete

    I don't input anything of secret in any internet browser or computer. I keep all my secrets in my noggin.

    December 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Pickle

    You are talking Google and other search engine. How about you credit card companies and bank that track all your purchases to point that they know what food you like to eat, what color you like, what car, who makes the deision in the house, how many kids you have, what show you watch, etc...

    All these data are sold to companies who wants your business...

    December 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      "Track to the point they know what food you're eating" of course they are, you are in fact swiping your card where you are eating. How else would the bank pay them back for your food?

      December 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Abe Pacana

    Yeah so you think you're free. Pfffffttttt!!!!

    December 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • jtucker4

      Watching someone and physically keeping someone from going somewhere are two different things.

      December 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Hugh Jass

    I know Google's secrets. I googled them.

    December 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melanie

      That's Funny.

      December 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  53. bricelucas

    Right, however google's reach does not end at the search engine level. It can literally track everything that you do online (within websites as well). So if you are visiting nefarious websites, without even going in through search, google will know what sites you went to, what pages you visited, how long you were there, where you were standing (GPS on smartphones) etc, etc, etc. It can also take all of that data and look for trending which could literally predict bad behavior before it occurs (think minority report, with less sci fi). As this tech develops, and thae data matures, there will be an absolute lack of transparency on a personal level. The real question is not "will this happen", it is "is this a bad thing for society"? Tough questions.

    December 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      There's already a file in Windows that tracks every website you've ever visited on that installation of Windows. Clearing your history does nothing to affect this file.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • //dr Tom

        Does in track even when private browsing is turned on? And why do I have to supply an email address to reply to you?

        December 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • basketcase

        But clearing that file does...
        And yes, dr Tom, it keeps track of things you do even when "private browsing" mode is enabled within your browser.

        December 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Barb

    If you look at the displayed ads on the pages you visit when you are on-line, you will notice they often change in direct correlation to what sites you have visited and what products you have purchased on-line. I have even noticed that the news I am being fed is often curved towards the types of news stories I have recently viewed.
    Yes, you are being tracked, and your purchasing habits and the sites visited dictate the ads you are targeted with and even the news that is posted for you once you sign in.

    December 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • A in Pa

      Yep, I noticed that creepy trend too.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • timelord7202

      If such actions are constrained to marketing purposes, then who cares... I wouldn't.

      Ironic, isn't it? :)

      December 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rich

        Would you care if the "news" were tailored to your worldview, as opposed to giving you the real skinny?

        December 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
        • Steven

          Do you think that the news gives you the real skinny now? They already cater to a particular audience. That's why most people that watch ABC or MSNBC won't watch Fox and visa versa.

          December 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Correawest

    Love this format of news...CNN & Soundcloud just make my workstation a better place to be :)

    December 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      Okay, oh mighty US Government who is tracking our websites. Everyone should visit Sir Cliff Richard's website AND EWTN at least once weekly. Also Life News, Children of God for Life, STOPP, American Life League and every other PRO-LIFE Catholic web site! God.

      December 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Oakspar77777

    Who here hasn't looked up how to make a bomb just to see how easy it is? That watch list would be millions long and include every male with internet access.

    If you ever think it will come up in court, then have your lawyer start requesting the internet history of every relevent person to the trial (the judge and jurypool for bias, the plaintiff, DA, and lawyers to look for planting, etc).

    There is also the fact that it is always heresay. They cannot prove that it was you behind the keys of that terminal. Someone else might have been at your computer, someone else might have access to your passwords and personal information, or someone else might have been using your numbers as a cover. The fact that LE and Google can get to your information is evidence that other people have access to it and can alter it at will.

    December 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • InFormed

      Pretty naive statement. In most court cases, it's rare to have a 'smoking gun' slam dunk piece of evidence. It's almost always a collection of small pieces that lead to a bigger picture of the person on trial. Finding 'bomb making' searches just puts just another nail in the defendants coffin.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      Ha, that's like saying my cat is watching that crappy show on NBC. Speaking of which, what's next...Comcast going to start tracking what channels you watch and when and report THAT to the government? Forget I said that, don't want to give them any ideas...

      December 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Google Sucks

    Just keep typing in "Google Sucks".

    December 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  58. james

    I'd still rather a huge tech corp have all my info the the US government.

    December 3, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      How do you feel about the US government demanding all your info from the huge tech company... without a search warrant? It's worth spending 5 minutes listening to the podcast.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • InFormed

      In today's world, whats the difference?

      December 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  59. elee

    Just keep typing in "Google Sucks".

    December 3, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  60. Joe

    News flash: You search for porn and when the government finds out they are going to look to you for the best sites.

    December 3, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  61. Christina

    Just type in things on Google search that you know they would find suspicious just to mess with them.

    December 3, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  62. Pete

    Casey Anthony's 80-some searches for how to make chloroform among other things. Then acquitted anyways.

    December 3, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Becca

      Well so true about all of the searches for the chloroform in Caseys computer. And she is walking free.Well not sure how free but she was free to walk and not do any jail time. This is still in so many people minds as that baby was so cute and did not deserve to die like that so young. Casey has nothing up stairs or she would not be able to live with her self if she had. I can not believe if everything was out there as they say it is that this girl had gotten away with the murder of her child. And then to blame it on her dad. OMG! I'm sorry but every time Casey comes up I just can not forget about that poor little baby. I do try to think she is in a better place now.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hugh Jass

        " this girl had gotten away with the murder of her child." Stop hounding that woman. Are you better than she is if you incite some maniac to kill her? The most likely scenario is that she dropped the kid or let it drown or some such negligent thing, then tried to cover it up. Without Nancy Grace interfering, she'd have been charged and convicted of letting her baby die, served a few years, and been out. It happens every day, and it's sad but not murder. Nancy Grace got her off by screaming "murder" so loudly the DA fell for it and charged her with something unprovable.

        December 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • cknight91

        Did you see that they found out that she also searched for "full-proof suffocation" but for some reason it wasn't submitted into evidence...don't believe me...Google it! :)

        December 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • longtooth

      The Casey Anthony case occurred in Florida. Enough said?

      December 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Beverly

    This is not news unless one has lived under a rock for the past 10 years. People who use the internet should know all this stuff by now. If you are paranoid it would behoove you to cover your tracks except unless you are very very savvy you probably can't hide completely. Let's talk personal responsibility. Google tells you pretty straight up that they harvest your information so that they can better "personalize" your internet experience – read "target market" to advertisers...tell me again why this is news???? Watch any cop show on TV and there are a lot of them – it won't be hard to find one – the first thing they want is a suspect's computer and they almost always catch the criminal with information mined from the bowels of their pc. Hell, I used to work in a computer lab at a Junior High school and you wouldn't believe what I could find out about users. Maybe we should have a discussion about government mandated medical records. This is something we have virtually NO control over. Just sayin...

    December 3, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Congrats on being knowledgeable and even tech savvy. Most people I know don't know how to read between the lines of Google's legalese in its terms. I agree with John Herman's eloquent statement "I think it’s treated much more like an unknowing sounding board sort of like an abyss of knowledge." Even the Director of the CIA didn't think about this when he chose to use Gmail to facilitate communications with his mistress. That's how he was caught, you know?

      December 3, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
      • Beverly

        I guess I am still talking about personal responsibility as in educating ones self and yes it is truly sad that EVEN the director of the CIA....I just feel like if you don't know by now you are never going to know. My rant for the day.

        December 3, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
        • timelord7202

          There's nothing wrong with personal responsibility.

          What's wrong is a system that, passively, allows people to be fleeced and ripped off, citing "personal responsibility" (or the purported lack of it) as being THE excuse. Ethics are for all or none, and anyone trying to play the "caveat emptor" routine must have some very shady associates.

          December 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      I don't see this as an issue of personal responsibility. The reason this is new to many people is because it is special knowledge that people outside the tech industry don't have. We are a society full of specialists. I didn't know the shampoo I was using could lead to dry, split ends in my hair until my stylist shared the knowledge with me. Or that the belt in my car's engine can last another 30,000 miles until my mechanic told me. Even though my car manual says it needs to be replaced now. Am I irresponsible for not knowing everything about all the products I use every day even though it is possible to find the knowledge on my own? I rely on specialists to share with me and that is why you should be sharing this article with others rather than writing them off as ignorant.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • timelord7202

      Well, some don't – and others don't care when being told.

      And the other point nobody mentions is that this should be a two-way system. To allow corporations to do whatever they want while all of us being constrained to levels of idiocy, especially when corporate backers claim "corporations are people too"... there are some lapses of logic, ethics, and civility going on.

      Still, those who decry "personal responsibility" like their role model Ayn Rand should take note that even she ditched her beliefs when they became inconvenient (if you don't like government help, then don't take it when you get ill. She partook in social security, and took it from her husband's name. Look it up, but if she didn't follow through on her beliefs, then she was wrong about them in the first place. Why should she deserve followers?)

      December 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hugh Jass

        " Look it up, but if she didn't follow through on her beliefs, then she was wrong about them in the first place. Why should she deserve followers?)" It was just a novel. People trying to base their lives n a novel should read Lord Foul's Bane or Tolkien or something intelligent.

        December 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Ian Wardell

    Delete your Google history and turn off tracking.
    https://history.google.com/history/

    December 3, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Google (and others) still track the request by your IP address. The request can still be traced back to you. Use a search engine that does not track requests, if you're concerned about your privacy.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Christina

      Deleting your Google history does not do anything. They still have your information stored.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • James

      The only Facebook (or Google) privacy policy you'll every need: "if you want something kept private, don't put it on Facebook (or Google for it either).
      Nothing new here . . .

      December 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • timelord7202

        Or the bank...

        I think the real question is, should a company be liable to the laws in the country(ies) in which it operates?

        Let's have a real discussion of ethics.

        December 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  65. r2g

    Hope they enjoyed all that adult film industry stuff that I looked up.

    December 3, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      There's a reason that stuff is so easy to access. That little bit of info could be a powerful weapon one day. There are a lot of people who WON'T run for government office because of stuff like this.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
      • lroy

        A good way to get around it is for say Wiki is log directly into the website, then search. I should Google EWTN (or any other pro-life and/or Catholic) a bajilion times a day just to tell O Mighty Obama that GOD is in charge, not him.

        December 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      By the way, just imagine guys with blue nylon jackets stenciled with yellow letters on the back, coming into your home and walking out with your computer (because they can) to investigate you as a person of interest in some sxx crime cases in your area based on your interest in explicit material. It happens everyday in America.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Bojacks

        Every day, huh? Please cite for us three cases from last week.

        December 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  66. coni

    I am outraged! where is our freedom nowadays? Governments always try to keep everything under control, it's just annoying!!!

    December 3, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • r2g

      Then don't worry about it! It's not like you're being robbed. They're just making sure you're not trying to make things go boom.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
      • Rich

        Or to gather embarrassing information if you should challenge one of them for public office, or to blackmail you if you get dirt on them. There's always that.

        December 3, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
      • Christina

        Or to make sure you don't get to be the head of the CIA if you decide to investigate something they don't want you to. They can look up your information to see if you are having an affair. Sound familiar? His name: Petraus.

        December 3, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
        • Hugh Jass

          "They can look up your information to see if you are having an affair. Sound familiar? His name: Petraus." No, the woman he was banging threatened another woman, who reported it. HER computer got Petraeus in trouble. And yeah, when it's a criminal complaint, it doesn't matter if you are the sheriff. You are not above the law.

          December 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      If you don't want people stealing your secrets from google, then I suggest not typing your secrets into google. They can't steal what you don't let them...

      December 3, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  67. Ha

    They are likely using it to watch for people foolish enough to look up how to make things go boom. And likely looking at people who are fascinated with violence. And people looking at porn. There are lot's of things that would set off a flag if they know(and they do) what to look for. The government should post a report of how many crimes have been thwarted by their prying eyes. Might just make you change your mind and actually accept the fact that you are being watched and monitored.

    December 3, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Tommy

      Are you saying looking at porn makes you a terrorist? Or even that the government believes that people that look at porn are terrorists?

      December 3, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
      • lroy

        Some people think pro-lifers are terrorists. If this is so, I am the BIGGEST terrorist in my neighborhood. I save babies.

        December 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christina

      Oh, you are so right! We should just completely give up our right to privacy just so idiots can feel all safe and secure from us evil anti-corruption truth seekers and constitution upholders.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  68. Josh

    duckduckgo.com is a decent search engine that does not track you.

    December 3, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • reality check

      Yeah, ok.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Jesus Christ Superstar

    GASP! Now the government will know that I frequently use google to look up how to spell words! Or even worse, they'll know on what days I've ordered Chinese Food! Where is my privacy?!?!?!?

    December 3, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam Tucker

      Really? This is how you feel about freedom of research, academics, the internet and defense against future government intrusion? Sad for my country...

      December 3, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Jesus Christ Superstar

        Future Government intrusion? Like they'll know when I LIKE my sisters photo of her dog on Facebook? Or the government will know that I'm looking up a Greek restaurant in my area? Or maybe they'll tell my girl friend I'm looking for a jewelry store on Google and they'll spoil her Christmas surprise.

        If you're seriously worried about "the government" knowing what you search on Google, then you really need to open your eyes and see the kind of stuff actually going on in our country that takes away our freedoms & our voice.

        December 3, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
        • Hingir

          Hey man, that jewelry store thing is true! Because they collect information, they display ads based on the searches – so when my girl friend looked at all the engagement ring ads constantly appearing, she knew and google ratted me out!
          Anyhow, if you're worried about this you can go through a proxy so they will have the info, but wont be able to track it back to you.

          December 3, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Tommy

      They also know about all those dirty pages you "accidentally" stumble upon each evening.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • timelord7202

      I had no idea Google ran our government.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      "Where is my privacy?!?!?!?" There are millions of us and only a few of them. They need a reason to notice us in the first place, and then they will spell my name wrong as always.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Chucky

    Soon, the government will make it illegal for Google to publish their transparency report. The government doesn't want you to know how it's spending your money.

    December 3, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • timelord7202

      Such as in the form of corporate welfare to Google and others? :-p

      December 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      I am a female and I can spend money better than ANY government official (trust me on this one). It's in my chromosomes and I cannot help it.

      December 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • loeroids

        oh really

        December 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |