Dr. Evil’s even more evil twin, Dr. Google (source)
Google eavesdropping tool installed on computers without permission
I was always puzzled by they way Google became so dominant in the internet search market, OK Google would return a million results on your search and nerdy types are always impressed by big numbers but really, nerds aside, who would consider ‘most linked’, ‘most viewed’, ‘most recent’ and likely to earn most advertizing revenue as the best criteria foe grading the quality of content?
When however I learned beyond reasonable doubt last year that Google is really a subsidiary of the United States Department Of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) things made sense. Almost anything can be made to happen if you have unlimited money to throw at making it happen.
It also explains why Google (corporate motto – Don’t be evil) are the most evil corporate business on the planet (well, apart from Monsanto maybe, but they are the only serious contenders.
So how evil are Google? Have a read at this from The Guardian:
Privacy campaigners and open source developers are up in arms over the secret installing of Google software which is capable of listening in on conversations held in front of a computer.
First spotted by open source developers, the Chromium browser the open source basis for Google’s Chrome began remotely installing audio-snooping code that was capable of listening to users.
It was designed to support Chrome’s new “OK, Google hotword detection which makes the computer respond when you talk to it but was installed, and, some users have claimed, it is activated on computers without their permission.
“Without consent, Google’s code had downloaded a black box of code that according to itself had turned on the microphone and was actively listening to your room, said Rick Falkvinge, the Pirate party founder, in a blog post. “Which means that your computer had been stealth configured to send what was being said in your room to somebody else, to a private company in another country, without your consent or knowledge, an audio transmission triggered by
an unknown and unverifiable set of conditions.
Google to exclude ‘revenge porn’ from internet searches
The spyware feature is installed by default as part of Google’s Chrome browser. But open source advocates are up in arms about it also being installed with the open source variant Chromium, because the listening code is considered to be “black box, not part of the open source audit process.
“We don’t know and can’t know what this black box does, said Falkvinge.