Sunday, June 01, 2008

Google and Scroogle

Matt Cutts, a software engineer at Google since January 2000, used to work for the National Security Agency.

Keyhole, the satellite imaging company that Google acquired in October 2004, was funded by the CIA.

"We are moving to a Google that knows more about you." — Google CEO Eric Schmidt, February 9, 2005.

Since 2000, Google has recorded your search terms, the date-time of each search, the globally-unique ID in your cookie (it expires in 2038), and your IP address.

Scroogle scraper

Scroogle is a web service that disguises the Internet address of users who want to run Google searches anonymously.[1] The source code was released into the public domain on January 2005 by Public Information Research, Inc.,[2] a nonprofit corporation that also operates Google Watch.

The tool was created by Google critic, activist Daniel Brandt,[3] who was concerned about Google collecting information on users, and set up Scroogle to filter searches through his servers before going to Google.

"I don't save the search terms and I delete all my logs every week. So even if the F.B.I. come around and ask me questions I don't know the answer because I don't have the logs any more," he said "I don't associate the search terms with the user's address at all, so I can't even match those up."[4]

Traffic has doubled every year and as of December 2007, Scroogle had passed 100,000 visitors a day.[5]

Besides anonymous searches, the tool allows users to perform Google searches without receiving Google advertisements. There is support for 28 languages, and the tool is available as a browser plug-in. A secure connection to the Scroogle website is also possible.


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