Opinions on internet privacy sought

14 06 2011

I deliberately don’t read about breach of privacy on the internet as I have a particular dislike of the idea of being watched or followed by anyone. Not that I do anything of interest to anyone but I do value my right to privacy and have had it breached on more than one occasion by creepy stalker types. I hate the defence, if you have nothing to hide why should you object… in my case it’s because I don’t agree with the whole Big Brother is watching scenario. You don’t need to be guilty of misbehaviour or crime to feel that way and I know I’m not the only one who does.

That said, I get really disturbed by sick search terms that appear on my stats as Google sends visitors to my site. I’ve moaned quite a few times about it recently.

I wont list them here as I don’t want to draw more of the wrong attention to my site.

Needless to say, these visitors are usually looking for images of child abuse. They can’t be very bright if they insist on using Google and while I’ve read flamewars on Slashdot etc about how true abusers would never use such easy to trace search engines, the results on my site suggest otherwise.

The search terms are pretty specific about what they want to find and there is no doubting these “visitors” motives either. These are clearly not curious teens wanting to know they’re physically normal and judging by the poor spelling and explicit graphic nature, they’re not likely to be academic researchers either.

anyhoo, my point of asking was to find out the opinions of others on this issue:

Should there be stricter checks on certain keyword combinations by the likes of Google or does this impinge on basic privacy rights?

Should there ever be a point where a users right to privacy is over-ruled by the likes of Google, with the backing of the relevant legislative bodies, when considering particularly explicit and abusive search terms?

Would you extend this “Big Brother” behaviour to other offensive searches or just those seeking graphic info on abusing youngsters?

I’m quite torn on this. I can see why allowing policing of such search terms could be beneficial in the fight against child abuse but I also can see how it could go so dreadfully wrong or be surreptitiously extended to other arenas to suit political or religious agendas.

I don’t want to have to, and refuse to, censor the Grumpyhatlady & Chums content but I also don’t want to have to read such graphic and disturbing search terms on a daily basis either. Thankfully people arriving with offensive search terms never stay on the site.




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