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Tech at Night: Google, MySpace, Twitter, Privacy, FCC

Tech at Night

I’ve worn myself out tonight making last minute preparations for my trip out to Austin for the RedState Gathering this weekend, so this will be brief. Additionally, Tech at Night will not appear on Friday because I will be in Austin and away from Safari, whose great RSS reader is the most important tool I use to complete my Tech at Night research.

First off, the Google backlash is well underway. The firm seems to operate under the assumption that there will be no serious objections from the technical community to whatever they do, because of that “Don’t be evil” mumbo jumbo. But when articles like this at IT World show up with no purpose but to question the attitude displayed by Google and CEO Eric Schmidt, it’s time for a new plan.

Google has no legitimate reason to be condescending anyway, not after the WiSpy Street View scandal, which has triggered criminal investigations in a number of countries. That goes double now that a much more egregious database leak has come out, in which a Google engineer was able to stalk a number of teenage boys and girls using full access to private Gtalk rosters and chat logs.

Imagine if he’d been able to jump from there into Gmail, and into Google Checkout, and into Google searches? He could have jumped from stalking possibly to blackmailing these kids. This is why we don’t build databases like these to begin with, and why I urge people to avoid Google when possible, and to create separate Google accounts for every service the rest of the time.

Of course, Twitter is also a problem when it comes to making life easier for stalkers. Just ask ICanStalkU.com.

So ultimately, it’s up to us to protect ourselves. Though of course some are still wanting The Children to be an excuse to regulate the whole Internet. Where are the parents?

Speaking of Internet regulation, a former FCC commissioner reminds us that the supposed “third way” of Net Neutrality proposed by the FCC, better known as “Deem and Pass” Title II Reclassification, is not moderate, is not a compromise, and is not narrowly tailored in its scope of powers.

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