[ubuntu-studio-devel] OT: Default search engine

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Sun Sep 15 10:56:31 UTC 2013

On Sun, 2013-09-15 at 01:23 +0100, lukefromdc at hushmail.com wrote:
> Google's logging of IP addresses gives them a searchable list of all searches from
> anyone using a static IP address, or a string of IP addresses forwarded by law
> enforcement. The static IP info can be sold to marketers, dynamic IP info will be
> available anytime an ISP cooperates or law enforcement gets a warrant (etc).
> When someone uses Startpage with HTTPS, Google has the search string but not the
> IP addresses. The user's ISP and anyone watching them get the IP address but not the
> search string. Even if the NSA has a backdoor into the SSL varient used, to get a warrant
> and use the search strings in court would require the NSA to show up in court and expose
> the back door.
> Therefore, when using Startpage, Google has only the strings, anyone else only the IP 
> addresses, meaning NOBODY has the ability to search search strings by IP address and
> then sell it to a marketer or talk about it in court

Start Page wouldn't protect you against somebody, the NSA or anybody
else, to get your searches directly from your computer. Somebody at
least could be aware, that you use Start Page, even if that somebody
wouldn't be able to hack the protocol, at least the NSA get this
information from the nodes in Germany.

Do you know, if Start Page hasn't got a backdoor for somebody? We have
to trust Start Page. It's likely that Start Page doesn't forward data
usable for marketing, but nobody should consider the Internet, IOW any
computer that is connected to the Internet as something that is secure.

Mr. Schneier does use a computer, that never was connected to the
Internet to encrypt data he want's to send. He does use an USB stick to
get the encrypted data for the computer connected to the Internet.

However, the NSA is collecting all the data just in case, they don't
take care of the content of data from averaged people. What they do, as
all intelligence services already did before there was the Internet, is
industrial espionage and other kind of spying that doesn't effect
averaged people. Averaged people or likely become a target for the NSA
ad other intelligence services, when they use TOR, encrypted emailing

No doubt about it, if this "just in case" collecting is ok or not is a
political/ethical discussion, at least misuse is possible.

Search engines and social networks collect _and misuse_ data of the
users for marketing, that is an evil that directly does effect all of
us. It's likely that using Google via Start Page does protect against
this, anything else is illusory.

If the NSA is an issue for you, turn of your mobile and disconnect your
computer from the Internet. Don't leave your fingerprint on a beer glass
in public, don use a bank card etc., if you should be a target of any
intelligence service Start Page won't give you protection.

I've got reservations against Google, but unfortunately it's the best
search engine. Those reservations have nothing to do with the NSA, while
I don't like the NSA, but what they're doing isn't just black and white
and it isn't something new.


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