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[liberationtech] Fwd: [greg at Ubuntu, Dash, Shuttleworth and privacy]

Micah Lee micahflee at
Mon Feb 18 17:43:38 PST 2013

You might be interested in the blog post I wrote for EFF explaining what
Dash is doing, including EFF's recommendations:

Also, on my personal blog, I wrote a post explaining why I left Ubuntu
for Debian -- this Dash stuff was one of the reasons:

The one thing that we want Canonical to do is make Dash's online search
opt-in instead of opt-out, but they're staunchly refusing.

Personally, I think that Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical believe that
this online search thing is the future of computers. You want to do
something, so you type it into your computer or your phone and it just
does it for you. Like talking to the computer on Enterprise or something :).

The way they want this to work is like this: they attempt to anonymize
your search term, and then they query lots of third party services with
it. They take all the results they get back and attempt to sort it by
relevance. So if you type "Abbey Road" into Dash, it will probably let
you buy the Beatles album, or play it from your local music collection,
or find a map for you in case you're actually looking for directions.

This grand vision is impossible without sharing your search terms, and
this is the future Ubuntu that they've invested in. Requiring users to
opt-in means that most users won't, which will pretty much kill their
grand vision.

On 02/18/2013 02:54 PM, Rich Kulawiec wrote:
> The short version is that Ubuntu is now pre-compromised.  (Or if you
> prefer Stallman's phrasing, and I agree with him, it's spyware.)
> And given the appallingly tone-deaf nature of Shuttleworth/Canonical's
> responses, I very much doubt that this will be the end of it --
> that is, I fully expect other privacy/security-adverse changes
> to be deliberately implemented in future releases/updates/patches.
> ---rsk
> ----- Forwarded message from greg pryzby <greg at> -----
>> Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2013 17:07:59 -0500
>> From: greg pryzby <greg at>
>> Subject: [Novalug] Ubuntu, Dash, Shuttleworth and privacy
>> I am posting because this popped a few times today in my feed and I thought
>> it was important enough to share. Search for details from other sites and
>> read the information from all sources you can, if you are so inclined.
>> The upshot is all keystrokes in Dash are sent to Canonical and make
>> available to partners as well as Canonical. It is on by default.
>> Here is the first article I saw today:
>> This appears to be the reference article
>> [snip] 
> ----- End forwarded message -----
> --
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Micah Lee

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