Did anyone else who participated in that have their account suspended today?
(Talking about this -- do not open link if you do not want to literally ruin your search history: ruinmysearchhistory.com)
1- The chilling effect of people being scared to click on a link that may do searches their government cares about
2- The idea that if many people used a browser add in like this, it would make surveillance of search history much more difficult
3- Google accounts getting banned
All from one silly site.
Edit: apologies, meant to reply to OP, not here. To parent, I already upvote your comment - it's pretty cool, but also scary that we now have conversations about whether we're being surveiled by our government (in the US) as a casual normality. The only difference that appears to remain is that we openly talk about our government surveiling us. I worry they'll attempt put a stop to that too eventually.
One might describe it as a social botnet: somebody convinced a bunch of people to execute some code on their computer that sent automated search queries.
"Google's Terms of Service do not allow the sending of automated queries of any sort to our system without express permission in advance from Google."
Intentionally using a tool to send automated search queries is pretty clearly prohibited.
I think anyone who wants the ability to obscure their search footprint should have it. And if you think otherwise, I'm doubly convinced it's necessary.
I showed ruinmysearchhistory.com to a Pakistani Muslim friend, not having clicked it myself, and he thought it was funny until the ISIS application parts started coming up, when he consequently freaked out, as you might imagine.
But this got me wondering -- it seems to be widely accepted that googling things like "how to make a bomb," "bomb materials," "where to buy guns," etc will get you put on a government watchlist.
It's never been clear to me whether this is superstition or if there's truth to it. Google is fully HTTPS-- how could your searches be monitored unless google was handing them over to the government?
They could be monitored if the government had surreptitiously gained access to Google servers or internal data transfers by compromising infrastructure such as Google's datacenter-to-datacenter links.
I use that example because I recall a leak (IIRC, either as part of or contemporaneous to early rounds of the Snowden leaks) that the NSA had done exactly that with unencrypted inter-data-center links of Google and other entities with multiple datacenters, and reports shortly after that that Google and several others had taken action to secure and encrypt those links afterwards.
That was the famous slide that showed where Google took off SSL with a little smiley face--which reportedly caused Google engineers to "explode with profanity."
The NSA actually did not do the actual hacking. The British GCHQ did, with technical assistance from the NSA. Thus the NSA could pretend that since the GCHQ collected all the information, it was foreign-sourced and therefore not subject to FISA court jurisdiction.
"Honey, why do searches for 'man date' and 'man find' appear in your your internet history?" - My future wife.
…still not as bad as O_CREAT though.
It's just displaying this: https://www.google.com/trends/hottrends/visualize?nrow=5&nco...
Also, even if Google is fully HTTPS, if a query returns images hosted on unsecured websites, those urls will be plainly visible and hence implicative.
Edit: The embedded thumbnails are actually encrypted as pointed by the comment below.
Do they hand it over to law enforcement/NSA/oppressive regimes? Maybe.
For Mirimir, they have no clue. Just a bunch of blind alleys.
¹ I have no reason to doubt this is true, but AFAIK the only evidence is that Google said it would be, in response to NSA/GHCQ's MUSCULAR program.
What I'm saying is, if you're not a US citizen, don't participate in those kinds of actions. The problems these campaigns highlight are real, but being foreigners, we have no legal recourses in the US in many areas, and can end up seriously fucking up our lives.
Also it'd be nice if US folks sharing those links and encouraging actions of the kind could be considerate of non-US people who don't necessarily have the leisure of getting on all kinds of list.
I still don't get why something so malicious was upvoted so much.
I'm reminded of a Usenet campaign in the mid-late 90s, adding hot terms to sigs.
But not, at least, on no-fly lists.
Look out the window. They're in the ice cream truck.
In other words, I don't think your solution is very good. It might delay things a few minutes or hours at best.
1) I would bet our web filter would be sending me some reports
Funny would be googling fetish porn, not funny would be banning you from international travel.
But it wasn't evident at all to me that it was a site that would do what it apparently did.
It seems like having a link like that on a major, moderated website like hn is a serious problem and failing.
It was not labeled "Show HN" or anything, and apparently only required opening the link (I did not open it myself).
Edit: I guess I was misinformed about this last - micaeked says that you have to click a button on the page.
Didn't IT want you to explain what happened?
I did open it in an incognito window and saw what it does. It doesn't look like a big deal. It's probably the web-era version of sticking red-alert keywords in your Usenet signatures back in the 80's and 90's.
You'd think that someone reading this topic could get that cleared up pretty quickly.
It probably I ran it without signing in Google.
Ran it, wasn't too impress with the 'choices of words' being used for the Google searches, so I stopped it.
i've been planning on switching off of google products soon, towards fastmail, but haven't gotten the right domain name yet.
I doubt my lack of a Google login and random UA spoofing does anything to help this, though.