Resisting Google

Friday, July 11, 2008


What happens when a single company becomes the gateway to the Internet? Critics are raising concerns about Google, where over 60 percent of all internet searches in the U.S. originate. Boston Globe reporter Drake Bennett investigated the Google juggernaut.

Comments [6]

Max from New York

This is a great program, but on these google sections you hit a very complicated issue, and I wish you spent more time on them and reached a conclusion, or brought on guests that had strong opinions about google, because the topic is very broad and fuzzy and hard to come to any conclusions on.

Jul. 27 2008 03:22 PM
Jason 'Great White' (Shark: Animal Rights Person)


Thank you.

This countries media is so BLANKED-UP (religious shows and discussions paid through tax money, conservative slanted broadcasts and etc) now that even supposed public media has funding coming from commericals, large private donations (from the donation funds set-up by super wealthy citizens), less funding from tax payers' funds and every little funding from non-rich citizens.

Join me tell every politican, you can, that you demand them to threaten (and follow through) to take away all tax money from all public media if religious shows and discussions paid through tax money, conservative slanted broadcasts and etc continues. Join me tell every politican, you can, that you demand them to restructure The FCC top position/top person in command to be held by one-representative from each party and each representative having equal decision making ability. Forcing two or more of The FCC bosses to work together.

Jul. 15 2008 11:27 AM
David from Rhode Island

Bob Garfield - In your interview, you said (slightly paraphrased) "... especially in the post 9-11 era, the government has a frightening history of subpoenaing entire haystacks (of personal on-line usage history data)..." Ignoring the argumentative opinion that not discovering and stopping another 9-11 would be what is frightening, couldn't you have left out that loaded adjective? Don't you think you think you influence the answer of the interviewee when you set up the question that way? Isn't that one of the things you have often criticized conservative interviewers for doing? I would think it is a basic tenet of journalism to not bias the question so blatantly.

Jul. 15 2008 07:08 AM
Ted Han from Columbus, Ohio

Missing from this piece is an extremely important technical discussion. As a citizen, I fully understand and respect the vital importance of individual and user privacy. As a web developer, and computational linguist, i also understand the fundamental and irresolvable difficulties upon which search engines are built.

Search engines are statistical devices. They group, filter and judge content based on data collected over time. These judgements are made based on human usage and inferred meaning of pieces of content. And without this data, search engines can not function. There are no workarounds to this fact. The importance and meaning of content can only be determined by how humans collectively relate and interact with it. Dumping user query logs, would in essence be asking search engines to perform their job without any of the information that actually allows them to make judgements.

I think it's desperately important that the people who receive and use our data are trustworthy. But as pointed out in the piece, it may not be the search engines but the government that may end up using one's data in unintended ways. This isn't a problem that can be solved at the search engine level, any further than ensuring a very clear understanding of what will be done with one's private information. This is something that needs to be fixed with government and -its- respect for our privacy rights. Which, in the past 7 years, seem to have vanished all together.

Jul. 14 2008 11:13 PM
Raph At Moxzi from W of Philly

ha ha. Just listened to the show myself, and came to alert others of the same "SCROOGLE" finding, as the transcript isn't up yet, and the referenced article doesn't specify the .ORG necessity.

Since that's already been covered, I offer the links to the TRACKMENOT add-on:
or the creators' site:

Jul. 13 2008 04:50 PM
Diane Schenker from NYC

This whole show is great. Re this segment, users should be forewarned that if you go to you'll get what you'd expect from PORN. To mask yourself from Google, you must go to scroogle.ORG.

Another alternative that preserves your anonymity is

Jul. 12 2008 08:46 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.