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[liberationtech] DuckDuckGo and PRISM

carlo von lynX lynX at
Wed Apr 30 01:36:40 PDT 2014

On Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 04:22:04PM -0400, Nick wrote:
> Quoth carlo von lynX: 
> > At least DDG doesn't correlate search strings to Google identification cookies,
> > so that is something better than nothing, but still.. 
> I think that's actually a very significant usability improvement.  
> Sure you can tell people "don't allow cookies for google, unless you 
> use any of their services, in which case don't search when you're 
> logged in, and flush all your cookies when you log out". But telling 
> them "search with" is rather easier, and there's actually a 
> chance they'll do it.

You have to tell people that they must stop surfing the web while
they are logged into a Goggle service. In fact to get out of the
Google machinery you would have to both pick a new Tor identity AND
clean out your cookies each time you go to a different website that
has Google includes (APIs, javascripts, fonts etc). Only then you
have a chance of stopping the correlation of your surfing activity.

Or you insert a cache proxy which is configured to never ask Google
for newer versions of the stuff.. and see if the web still works.
I tried to teach privoxy to filter out all accesses to Google domains,
but failed. But actually the web browser should be able to do this,
since it's the one running the local cache. But you can bet Mozilla
will not be able to deliver any privacy improvements as long as their
offices are paid for by Google.

> You're correct that large governmental agencies can still do 
> correlation etc themselves. But I'd still prefer have as few people 
> as possible doing that, rather than volunteer such information over 

Exactly, so start spreading the data not only into different companies
but also into different continents.

> to companies as well. And it turns a "give us your account 
> information" legal query into a "let us wiretap everything through 
> you / backdoor you" legal query. Both of which seem to be A-OK at 
> the moment, but I can imagine the present regimes ruling the latter 
> illegal sometime soon.

It is already illegal in most places on the planet, you can ask any
Supreme Court that bulk surveillance is the harshest attack on democracy
ever. But it is impossible to trace, so you won't even get to those
courts as you have no evidence, just whistleblower warnings. We need to
fix the Internet.

> Ultimately, I agree with others, search is the sort of thing where a 
> P2P, or open and distributed, system is sorely needed. Another 
> reason is the control and understanding of the algorithms that tell 
> you what's relevant to you, but that's another discussion.

Start by having liberty, security and democracy.. then let convenience follow.


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