By Terry Vanderheyden
MOUNTAIN VIEW, California, January 30, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Some commentators are describing Google, the world’s most used internet search engine, as “scary,” after learning that the internet giant stores web search history and e-mails.
The UK’s Times on Line reported that Google keeps an “extraordinary amount” of user information. Google logs searches on its search engine, storing the information “indefinitely.”“Because every computer has a unique IP (internet protocol) address, every visit to every website can be traced back to the computer making it – a fact which is well known in geek circles but remarkably under-publicised outside them,” the Times article explained.
Google’s alternative to hotmail, their new free e-mail service, Gmail, stores all e-mails indefinitely on their server. The company already admits to scanning e-mails in order to send targeted advertising.
The privacy statement adds that, “When you use Google services, our servers automatically record information that your browser sends whenever you visit a website. These server logs may include information such as your web request, Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser.”
The dangers inherent in granting governments any authority to monitor and censor the internet for a very real good, could at the same time lend government authority to exclude legitimate material expressing valid viewpoints from the public square. As Canada and other countries pass so-called hate-crimes legislation making it illegal to, for example, condemn homosexual activity as evil, these measures could lead to censorship or worse.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Bill Would Permit Canadian Government to Monitor Emails, Chat and Cell Phones
Privacy In Peril In Canada