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August 10, 2006, 5:54 pm
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Google promises all searches stay private
Posted 8/9/2006 9:41 PM ET E-mail | Save | Print | Reprints &
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GOOGLE WARNS ABOUT MALICIOUS SITES
NEW YORK (AP) -- Google is issuing this warning to people who try to
click on links to sites with spyware and other malicious code: "The
site you are about to visit may harm your computer!"
Users can search again, learn more about malicious code at the site
StopBadware.org or proceed to the suspect site anyhow at their own
risk, of course.
Google said its initiative is just starting and is by no means
"To begin we'll only be identifying a small number of sites, but we'll
be expanding our coverage over time," the company said in a statement.
"Finding new and better ways to protect our users is a perpetual
project, and we'll continue to work hard in this area."
Google is one of the main sponsors of StopBadware.org, a project that
researchers from Harvard and Oxford universities are hoping to turn
into a clearinghouse for information on spyware and other malicious
So far, StopBadware has identified only one site as malicious, and
efforts to reach that site from Google worked normally Wednesday.
But Google has identified other sites as problems and is offering
warnings for those. The company said the sites have been identified
using software algorithms and verified with outside experts.
Jonathan Zittrain, a Harvard and Oxford professor involved with
StopBadware, said the project may one day release lists of suspect
sites still under investigation, but would most likely do so for
everyone and not just sponsors like Google.
By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Google CEO Eric Schmidt has a message for Google
users: Your searches are safe.
AOL has been in hot water this week for inadvertently releasing
customer searches for a research project. But Schmidt, speaking at an
industry conference here, says Googlers have nothing to worry about.
KEVIN MANEY: AOL's data sketch sometimes scary picture of personalities
"Our No. 1 priority with our users is trust," Schmidt told some 2,000
attendees at the Search Engine Strategies conference. "It won't happen.
We have systems in place that won't allow anything like that to
Safa Rashtchy, an analyst at equity firm Piper Jaffray, takes Schmidt
at his word. "Google is one of the most protective companies on the
planet," he says. "They have a culture of secrecy and would never let
anything like this happen."
This week Schmidt has been deep into what he describes as "deal mode,"
cutting landmark alliances with Viacom's MTV and News Corp.'s Fox
Interactive Group to greatly expand Google's advertising network.
"These are huge deals," Rashtchy says. "Video is moving to the Web, and
Google has figured out a way to make money from it."
Schmidt says the goal was to bring Google's red-hot advertising network
beyond text ads into video. The MTV deal lets specific website and blog
owners take clips from MTV and Nickelodeon TV shows, post them and get
a majority cut of the advertising revenue that Google will sell.
"We see this as a whole new category, an undermonetized opportunity to
reach an audience we're not reaching today," says Schmidt.
He's particularly optimistic about the growth of social networks, like
Fox's MySpace, which has come from nowhere to become the sixth
most-visited website, according to measurement firm ComScore Media
Metrix. Additionally, Internet users spend more time at MySpace than at
any other website, says ComScore.
"Social networking isn't a fad, but a real phenomenon," says Schmidt.
"It's not something that will go away."
The Google/MySpace deal, valued at $900 million, brings Google's ad
network to MySpace and other Fox properties.
Schmidt said he makes tons of searches daily on Google and uses it as a
truth squad. He told of a politician who came to visit him who said
there were more outhouses in the world than users of the TiVo digital
After the politician left, Schmidt looked it up. "We live in a world
where people make all sorts of claims, and I always wonder if they're
true," he said.
Turned out the information was old - there are more TiVo users, he
says. "Having the ability to search and get the answer is a nice way to
live your life," he says.
Posted 8/9/2006 9:41 PM ET E-mail | Save | Print |
Re: Google promises all searches stay private
Why post a warning? Why not remove malware sites from their index? How
come they are so determined to keep those crap sites? What is the benefit
1 site only? Wow, sounds like money well spend right there!
How about blocking sites that try to install all kinds of crap on your pc
without asking, without you knowing? How about blocking sites that put you
in a spin of pop-ups which are so nifty a blocker doesn't do the trick?
I'm afraid that if these site remain indexed, all of this will be a drop on
a hot plate.