Thursday, February 11, 2010

Who Owns Me? Google does!

Google owns me, and I don't really mind. Yet. Once they fully team up with the NSA, I might have something else to say on the topic. But up against Verizon gaming me, I discovered rather lately  - as a techie it's embarrassing - that the once-free tool which Verizon had provided doesn't hold a candle to what Google allows me for free now.

OK, it's not all Google. It's Microsoft ActiveSync, but Google has opened up their email in ways that used to require an enterprise Exchange server, and it works better - much better - than Verizon imitating Blackberry. Which they now charge for??!!! It makes no sense. I save $15 bucks a month for something better that Verizon never told me about, and used to charge nothing for. Right, and I guess I should expect them to lower my rate, automatically, every time they lower it on to the general public! So what am I, you loyal customer, chopped liver??!!

And looking at my Google dashboard, I see that they store more information about me than even the credit-scoring services do. Well, not more, but it would make a scary complement to what the credit scoring services have on me. They track my youtube visits. They track whose blogs I follow. They cache my searching, but that part I'm not allowed to see, and I trust that they won't identify me with it either.

Except that they've already said that they will comply with the law if requested. Just like Verizon did when they tapped into the net on the request of the government, even though the request wasn't legal???

One has to wonder now if the law and the government are at odds again. The way they were when blacks and women coudn't vote, for instance. The way they are when corporations are declared to have the inalienable right to pursue your happiness; to drown out your voice and make your freedom of speech irrelevant.

I don't really care even if the NSA already had access to my searchings, which they probably already do even without Google's help. It's all noise, right? Until you say something edgy, which will just stick right out from the noise, and provoke someone to look a little bit more closely. And Google, happy lapdog, will just hand you right over in an instant, if the request is bona-fide and legal. Or at least if it's government sponsored.

But I am not the content of what can be known about me. And if I were a too-tightly wound nutjob ready to pop, they quite manifestly now, wouldn't know that either. Even if I were a radical Muslim high-ranking in the military. Even if I seemed nice to those around me, like that shooter recently here in Buffalo.

So, the excuse to keep our searches is just that. An excuse. We'd like to think it can and will help responsible people to know who's out to get us, but in the end it can't and won't. Unless, of course, someone goes the extra step to actually get to know someone, which can't really be done, in the end, virtually. Now can it?

And it can't be done just one on one. Someone would have to get to know your whole story, from lots of points of view, not just the on-line or phone conversation one, which will always be taken out of context. Always be dangerously unfair and untrue.

But you know if Google does succeed now with their experiment to bring ultra-high-speed Internet right into your living room, so that you can have the same telepresence "enjoyed" by corporate enterprises within their pecincts, then we might almost only exist online.

Which used to be thought a pretty terrifying prospect. Minority report. The Matrix. That Max Headroom old TV show. I could go on and on. I do go on and on, but I'll stop here today.

There is a clear trend here, and we should stop it before it's too late. The issue is word for word identical to the patenting of our genes. And just as important. If we allow ourselves to be considered identical to our "content" then we have already ceased to exist, and our suicide would indeed, just like life in Buffalo, be redundant.

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