Google Gets Subpoenaed by Uncle Sam, While Amazon Heads To Hollywood
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"Feds after Google data."
You can read the entire story here. The net of it was this: The Bush administration has asked a U.S. federal judge to order Google to turn over a "broad range of material" from its extensive records as part of an effort to review an Internet child protection law struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court two years ago. Thus far, Google has declined to adhere to the request.
It would be inappropriate for me to speak here as to my personal opinion on the subject of a Big Brother government using the advances of the Internet and information technology to use that information to intrude upon the private lives of individuals under the guise of protecting them from themselves.
So let me just say this: Go Google.
This move should serve as a reminder as to the power and reach of the Internet, both online and off. Your private information is increasingly no longer private. Empower yourself with tools and technologies that limit the collection of these personal digital footprints off of your hard drive. Even if in this instance the government is not specifically requesting information that might tie you back to your individual searches on Google, it's a fast and slippery slope.
Your information belongs to you, and no one should use or abuse it without your express consent.
Amazon's New Deal: "Retailtainment" Starring Bill Maher
Meanwhile, back at the virtual movie studio, and in a strange twist of art imitation life imitating art, Internet broadcaster Yahoo! ran an AP story announcing that Amazon is going to be running Web entertainment at a virtual mall near you soon.
Amazon apparently intends to broadcast or, as the case may be, "Webcast" -- a new series starring comedian Bill Maher entitled the "Amazon Fisbowl With Bill Maher." It is intended to blend the excitement of entertainment with the adrenalin rush of visiting your virtual mall.
And most intriguing, because Bill Maher is the host, the U.S. federal government can be expected to watch the new Yahoo series -- and all its viewers -- very, very closely.
Let's just hope they don't use our credit card numbers to purchase the DVD edition. ; )