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Googlonymous not so Anonymous

I was pointed yesterday to a new site (registered July 15, 2007) I’d not seen before named Googlonymous. There are three items on the main page – a search box, a paragraph of foreboding text, and an embedded flash video.

I’ve included a screen shot and the text below.


When you make a search on Google, your ip address, the time, and what you searched for is stored in their database forever and this information can be used in a court of law against you. Google will willingly allow authorities to consult their database, they already did as you can see in the video below. When you search on Google through Googlonymous, it is Googlonymous that goes on Google and does the search for you, the only ip address that Google will see, is the ip address of the server of Googlonymous. Googlonymous does not keep any record who searched for what. So this way, it is completely impossible to retrieve your identity. You can search for whatever you want without a care in the world, 100% anonymously.
Click play on the video below to see a fascninating documentary showing the dangers of searching on Google.

The idea behind the site is apparently to inform the public about how our surveillance culture is quickly outstripping our awareness and then to empower them to not be tracked by one of our most favorite technologies today, Google’s Search.

However, ironically, the very embedded video on that site – a copy of CNBC’s report entitled “Big Brother, Big Business” is itself streamed from the very company that the site is trying to help us circumvent.

The video is (currently) hosted at Google Video.

Enterprising engineers at Google could probably very easily, if they wanted, cross-reference your access of Googlonymous and Google Video from the same IP at the same time. It seems the motivation of not streaming the video themselves, the owners of Googlonymous have fallen victim to the lure of convenience and price that is mentioned in the CNBC report they’re publicizing.

When the price is right, we give up some of our privacy and therefore a bit of our liberty. This is not really news – the only reason it’s notable today is the irony.

“Search Google anonymously” and at the same time “stream video from Google”.

Not so anonymous.

The tools of the information age are shiny and neat – but they come with a price for all their magic.

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