Is Google stealing your content?

In this issue:

  • Is Google stealing your content?
  • New legislation proposes $20/tax per device for uncensored internet viewing.
  • Cybercriminals use DNS hack to takeover Brazilian bank

Is Google stealing your content?

For some time now you’ve probably noticed when you type a simplistic question into Google, like “What is the 5th planet from the sun?”, “Who was the second prime minister of Canada?” (something I was wondering earlier today) or even not so straight forward ones like “Who was the original bassist in the Beatles?”, you are likely to see at the top of the page before the actual search results a text box which just gives you the answer, sparing you the need to actually visit any of the sites search engine results if you just want a quick-and-dirty answer.

Many of these “google snippets” come from Wikipedia, but many also come from other third-party websites. I’ve been wondering for awhile how those sites feel about that. Well this week I read [this article] from the founder of celebritynetworth.com who saw his traffic drop as much as 75% as a result of this. He had built his website into a business that enabled him to quit his job and hire 12 full time people, in other words, he built a real small business around it, and he’s since had to lay off half his staff. Future uncertain.

Read: How Google Ate a Business Whole

(Oh, I forgot to mention that when Google asked for his permission to use his content in these Google snippets, he refused, but Google went ahead and did it anyway). Worth a read.

New legislation proposes $20/tax per device for uncensored internet viewing.

That’s right, lawmakers in more than a dozen state legislatures in the US are pondering a bill called “The Human Trafficking Prevention Act”. The bill would require device manufacturers to preinstall content filters to block “obscene material”, forcing consumers to pay a $20 tax per device to unlock them and have unfiltered access to the internet. 

Not being familiar with the way the law works in the US, I have to admit having a hard time grokking this. The legislation seems to be the product of “some guy” (the bill’s “homepage” http://humantraffickingpreventionact.com/  is not a government URL) who sounds slightly net.kook-ish if you ask me. But somehow this is a thing. I doubt it’ll actually go anywhere in this form, but it’s worrisome that it’s found some co-sponsors in government.

Read: 

States Introduce Dubious Anti-Pornography Legislation to Ransom the Internet

Cybercriminals use DNS hack to takeover Brazilian bank

At the Kaspersky Security Summit in St. Maarten this year, the details emerged of a sophisticated attack on a major South American bank in which the attackers successfully hacked into the bank’s DNS provider (Registro.br) and modify their DNS settings to take complete control over their traffic for a period of approximately 5 hours. During the attack they duped users into logging into fake systems they set in place. The bank is reported to have 25 Billion in assets and 5 million customers worldwide.

Moral of the story here: Turn on all of your [security settings] in your easyDNS account: Access Control Lists (ACLs), Event notifications and 2-factor authentication. 

Read: Cybercriminals Seized Control of Brazilian Bank for 5 Hours 

2 thoughts on “Is Google stealing your content?”

  1. Wendy says:

    Re: Google. Yes, I have absolutely noticed this! I consider it a serious conflict of interest. I wrote feedback to them complaining about this, which of course was ignored. I don’t even understand why they’re doing it. Are they trying to keep people on their own “page” so they’ll click on the ads?? Pretty cheesy, Google.

  2. doconnor says:

    The Human Trafficking Prevention Act sound like the equivalent of a private members bill and is unlikely to pass into law.
    Google can’t steal your content unless you give permission or it is a simple fact, like a hockey score or a celeberty net worth, which aren’t subject copyright.

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