Controversy underscores Google’s contempt for web freedom
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Following the revelation that Google had been tracking the surfing habits of iPhone users via a code that disables the Safari browser’s privacy settings, Microsoft has now discovered that Google is using similar methods to bypass privacy protections and spy on the browsing habits of Internet Explorer users.
“When the IE team heard that Google had bypassed user privacy settings on Safari, we asked ourselves a simple question: is Google circumventing the privacy preferences of Internet Explorer users too? We’ve discovered the answer is yes: Google is employing similar methods to get around the default privacy protections in IE and track IE users with cookies,” reports Microsoft on their IEblog.
Last week it was revealed that Google had circumvented Apple’s efforts to block third party cookies by default, allowing Google to track which ads Safari users clicked on.
The Internet giant, whose motto is “don’t be evil,” has now been caught using a similar process to disregard cookie preferences of Internet Explorer users, allowing targeted ads to be served based on browsing history.
“Google is trying to do is figure out things based on what you have looked at, figure out ways to serve you more relevant ads,” explains Henry Blodget. “Google intentionally circumvented some privacy protections that Apple put in place, now Microsoft is saying ‘hey wait a minute, they did the same thing to us.’”
While Google’s actions are not illegal, they will only serve to underscore the fact that the company has a flagrant disregard for privacy, which is no surprise given Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s creepy 2009 warning, when he stated, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
Indeed, as we have documented on numerous occasions, Google’s actions are completely consistent with the charge that the company is in cahoots with the National Security Agency, America’s foremost spying operation.
Last year the Washington Post reported that Google and the NSA had formed an “alliance…to allow the two organizations to share critical information.”
After the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a FOIA request in an attempt to glean an insight into the relationship between the two, the NSA claimed it “could neither confirm nor deny” the existence of any information about its relations with Google, because “such a response would reveal information about NSA’s functions and activities.”
Charges that Google is merely the private arm of U.S. intelligence outfits stretch back years. As we reported in late 2006, ex-CIA agent Robert David Steele claimed sources told him that CIA seed money helped get the company off the ground. Speaking to the Alex Jones Show, Steele elaborated on previous revelations by making it known that the CIA helped bankroll Google at its very inception. Steele named Google’s CIA point man as Dr. Rick Steinheiser, of the Office of Research and Development.
Google’s attitude towards privacy also came under scrutiny when it was discovered that the company was spying on WiFi network data in violation of the Federal Wiretap Act as it gathered images for its Streetview program. Google insisted that the practice was a mistake, even though information published in January 2010 revealed that the data collection program was a very deliberate effort to assemble as much information as possible about U.S. residential and business WiFi networks.