According to self-confessed Google hater
Daniel Brandt, Google
Knows What You're Thinking. Mr Brandt, who runs Google Watch, a
web site dedicated to exposing the search engine's so-called undermining of
the web, has already voiced his opinions on the evils
of Google Page Rank. Now he turns his attentions to search terms in
the URL of search queries, specifically the GET and POST methods of collecting
engines use GET because you can bookmark the search, link the search, and pass
data inside the link. However, your search terms end up on the same line as
your IP address in standard web logs all over the world with the GET method.
This is "referrer" information, which is available to the distant
webmaster every time you click on a link from a search results page. The
webmaster knows that someone at your IP address accessed his page, and also knows
what you were thinking from your search terms".
according to Brandt, is a violation of privacy because such URL's reveal
"personally identifiable information" about the searcher. To
demonstrate, Brandt used the the standard logs of another conspiracy theory
site: CIA On Campus,
reverse-resolved the last 50 lines in the log and then compared that with the
last 50 referrers from Google searches that led to the site. The result
revealed the type of search terms used to find the site, together with
detailed referrer IP information which could be easily used to track down the
Brandt's case are search queries that provide maximum shock value such as "psychological
warfare" and "questions about CIA spying methods".
In this era of terrorist warfare, some people might argue that such search
queries deserve any U.S. agency attention they may arouse. But apparently
Brandt doesn't agree. He does admit that this phenomenon is not unique to
Google and is in fact, common on almost ALL search engines. But that doesn't
stop him from using it as part of his anti-Google propaganda.