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Googling For Proles

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Originally from Gus Van Horn,

Until Google decided to aid tyranny in China, it was my favorite company by far. Now, every technological marvel of their creation is also a potential tool for despots the world over, America included.

I wonder, for example, how the Chi-Comms might choose to employ Google's ability to track wi-fi customers?

Google aims to be able to track its users to within 100-200 feet of their location through new wireless networks in order to serve them with relevant advertising from local businesses.

...

Google says users linking up with wi-fi transmitters placed around cities can be located to within a couple of blocks. This would open up a new level of advertising opportunities for the company, allowing it to serve tightly focused ads on its web pages from small businesses in the immediate area.

That question might have answered itself already. The rulers of China, as it turns out, maintain an extensive database on a huge majority of its citizens.

China has recorded details of more than 96 percent of its population on a police database, state media reported on Friday, supplementing Internet and other state-sanctioned surveillance.

Since the 2003 launch of its "Gold Shield Program," the Public Security Bureau had collected information on about 1.25 billion of the country's 1.3 billion people.

"It has helped police uncover many criminal cases," Liu Shuo, a police official, was quoted by Xinhua news agency as telling a news conference on Thursday, adding that over 20 percent of criminal cases last year were solved with help from the database.

The database is just one way in which China keeps tabs on its citizens.

An estimated 30,000
Web police
monitor the surfing habits of China's 110 million internet users, and restrict access to Web sites and blogs posting sensitive material, including topics related to democracy or independence for Tibet and Taiwan. [link added]

Now, not only could Google conceivably help a bureaucrat over there get the goods on a political enemy, it might also help the police apprehend him!

It's bad enough that Google helps the Chi-Comms and it's worse that Google grandstands against the United States. But consider that the first story above is about wi-fi being installed in San Francisco. And consider the dangerous precedent being set by our lack of a war declaration today.

What if Hillary wins in 2008? Will Google still see America as the epitome of all evil to be opposed to the end of time? Or will Google gladly "comply with the law" as it now does in China, to allow Mizz Clinton and her minions to do whatever snooping she wants in the name of "national security"? If so, it was George Bush, a pliant Congress, and a Google indifferent to freedom that made it all possible.

Google's actions in China pertain to us. The need to maintain checks and balances, especially in a time of war is not -- or should not be -- a "partisan" issue. The freedom that made Google possible at all, and which our elected officials are sworn to protect is being put in danger by Google and by these officials. It is up to the rest of us to protect it, then.

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