H2 2013 Quick Links, Part 2 (Privacy, Search Engines)

Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock

Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock


WaPo: The NSA seems to really enjoy exploiting high profile tech companies.

The Guardian: the Snowden incident portends the death of the Internet.

The Switch: Yes, there actually is a huge difference between government and corporate surveillance.

American Panopticon: How a Small Town Foreshadowed the Surveillance State


* Long NY Times Magazine article on the 2012 Obama campaign’s TV ad buying strategy, with plenty of potential privacy concerns.

Gaos v. Google settles for $8.5M. Settlement agmt & more for In re Google Referrer Header Privacy Litigation. Prior blog post.

San Francisco Chronicle: Ad groups prepare for “cookieless” future, develop opt-out tool for alternative ways of tracking users. Related: Google and Microsoft are developing proprietary cookie alternatives. WSJ on the cookie dying.

* I don’t understand Europe’s anxiety over a “Right to Forget.” Compare: “The Court accepts that it is not the role of judicial authorities to engage in rewriting history by ordering the removal from the public domain of all traces of publications which have in the past been found, by final judicial decisions, to amount to unjustified attacks on individual reputations.”

* Farhad Manjoo, Do We Want an Erasable Internet

Every time I see Snapchat described as “ephemeral” or “erasable,” I want to scream ANALOG HOLE! And then I want to scream FALSE ADVERTISING! But Snapchat, and services like Nextdoor, do show us that Internet users want a range of publication options, from broadly public to mostly private.

NY Times: U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement. 

Search Engines

* Google blocking Grooveshark from instant search. My hypothesis why.

* Even without any legal changes, Google and Mastercard are working on voluntary fixes for the mugshot website racket. GigaOm’s concerns about Google’s practices.  More here.

AP: German news sites opt for Google exposure for now

Fortune: “People looking for pirated content don’t often use search engines to find it”

* Google’s search “policies”

* Google is trying to jigger its algorithms so that it surfaces more trustworthy content for high-value decisions people might be making, such as medical or legal information or pages that collect sensitive financial information.

* Danny Sullivan calls out Google for its broken promises.

* Google and Bing are blocking search results for child sex abuse-related terms. Expect the inevitable rejoinder that they should be doing the same for copyright owners.

* Google’s settlement with the state AGS in the Safari cookies case.

NY Times: Google Penalizes Rap Genius for Gaming Search Rank