August 26, 2010
Do you want to know what news sends chills
down the spines of the world’s governments? [via]Not "rogue regimes’" purported saber rattling.Not even bad economic data coming out of Wall Street.It's 2010 and having the world biggest fleet and air force is not enough to control the world.There's a softer, subtler way of doing that
~ through the Internet.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) continues to move well beyond its origins as a search engine and more and more into other uses of information. Recently the company made news in both the CRM and analytics markets.
The most interesting news was that Google and the CIA's venture capital arm are both investing in a company that monitors the Web and uses that data to try to predict the future. In other words, Google and the CIA are investing in a company that tracks Web browsing behaviour.The company is Recorded Future, a company researching a new Web-browsing analytics tool that could be used to estimate the future browsing habits of people surfing the Web"
in reality, nobody wants the United States
to control the data flow
in his or her country, plain and simple.
And those who can are trying to resist Google's dominance.
This same potential invasiveness is not only personal but also an international level and can be a potent tool when applied to more than shopping habits. Think of the implications of having such data when formulating movements or political machinations on an international scale.From Google's Search Box:
- Every keyword search you perform
- Any websites in the results you visit
- The amount of time you spend on sites before returning to Google
- Common patterns of navigation via searchFrom Google's Other Public Services:
- Locations/Directions you plot on Google Maps
- Messages you send and receive via Gmail or Talk
- Documents you create/edit on Google Docs
- Calendar information you add to Google Calendar
- Sites you subscribe to or click on at Google's Personalized HomepageFrom Google's Webmaster Tools:
- Any websites you control or have access to via Google Checkout, Google AdSense, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Google Sitemaps & Google's Embeddable Site Search
- Accounts you create or information you post to Blogger, Groups, AdSense/AdWords, PicasaFrom Google's Apps:
- Anything you do on your computer after installing Google Desktop or Web Accelerator
- Sites you visit and what you do on the web using their built-in toolbar or the auto-embedded Firefox plug-inFrom Google's Web Initiatives:
- Complete browsing habits of users connecting via free wifi in Mountain View
- Complete browsing habits of users on Google's connections in colleges, airports or cities
- Domain registration data and relationships between websites around the world
Very recently several things happened indicating that some countries have just had enough. They just do not trust America with so much vital information ~ quite rightfully so. If America has the information, chances are more than good that this material is also in Israeli hands.
Russia announced that it is working on a "national search engine" to stem Google's assault on the Russian speaking Internet. Allegedly, the government is ready to shed some $100 million to create such an engine.
It is rather curious that in Russia they do already have two very strong local rivals to Google ~ Yandex and Rambler, but clearly the Russians are alarmed at the increasing synergy between the US government and Google.Inc.
Russia ~ just like China with its Baidu search engine ~ are what could be described as information superpowers, with its own strong school of software specialists and long history rivaling the US firms.
Last year, the Turkish government launched a project that will provide email accounts for its entire population. The project goes by the name of Anaposta.The key reason why Turkey sees Anaposta as a national security project ~ all the data will be transferring through servers in Turkey, not in the US as Google's Gmail.
Many governments are unhappy about Google, Yahoo and Microsoft: those are too big to bully. It's much easier to bully local search engines and email providers: they are usually too timid to complain and they have much more too lose (that's why the fact that more and more Chinese netizens seem to be drifting towards local versions of Web2.0 services. ~ Turkey Tests New means of Internet Control
It's very hard to beat Google at search, email and a gazillion other services that they offer. The Turkish leaders seem to believe otherwise: Tayfun Acarer, chairman of Turkey's Information Technologies and Communication Board (BTK), said that Turkish engineers are working on a Turkish search engine that is to launch in 2010. They expect it to be popular not just in Turkey but elsewhere in the Muslim world ~ Acarer says he is confident that "these other countries will trust our search engine".Why would other countries want to use such an invention? Obviously, because it will have a better "editorial judgment" than Google (i.e. omit whatever leaders of the Muslim world find offensive). According to Acarer, existing search engines are "sometimes deaf to country's sensitivities". This is not the first attempt to create a search engine for Muslims ~ see coverage here.Acarer also announced another project called "the Anaposta" ~ and it sounds much more ominous than a pre-filtered search engine. "The Anaposta" would provide email accounts ~ with a quota of 10 gigabytes ~ to all of Turkey's 70 million citizens."Every child will have an e-mail address written on his/her identity card since birth", said Acarer."So, will have a mobile network that can be used thanks to id number match and foreign networks, such as Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail, will not be used anymore".This doesn't get any more disturbing than this: not only would the Turkish government completely eliminate anonymity on the Internet, they would also be able to monitor all communication flows in real time, as email services would be provided by the government or structures related to the government."All Internet communication data goes to foreign countries and then it returns. This activity has a security aspect," said Acarer. I can't be 100% certain but I think most of Turkish citizens would probably rather have their data go live somewhere on a Google server in California than to be looked at by Turkey's intelligence services ~ on a server in Istanbul. But then again I may be misjudging the mysterious Turkish soul.No matter who runs the service, the citizens of Turkey lose many essential freedoms including the right to choose.
~ the United Emirates ~
that just decided to ban the use of RIM's Blackberry.
Customers can use that information to "explore the past, present and predicted future of almost anything," according to Recorded Future's website. Visualization tools let users "quickly see temporal patterns, or link networks of related information."
COMMUNITY RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT: DARK TERRORISM RESEARCH