[Air-l] Google is watching !

Jonathan Lillie jlillie at metalab.unc.edu
Thu May 20 07:00:50 PDT 2004

With regard to face-to-face conversation both the law (talking US law 
before the Patriot Act) as well as what we may call the tradition of the 
commons affording an understanding that what you say in a public place is 
subject to being overhead regardless of your intentions. This includes the 
police, although the 4th amendment has been applied to place restrictions 
once electronic devices are needed for authorities to eavesdrop. 
Furthermore, the home is place you can and should expect the most privacy 
from authorities first, and others second. My point is that there are both 
legal and traditional type understandings that help people to somewhat 
gage the actual privacy of their conversations. Non-listserv email 
currently has better boundaries...you have some sense of your level of 
privacy vis-à-vis the service provider, hackers, and the government.

Thus, perhaps we could find a way to establish some more concrete 
standards of privacy expectations and safeguards for listserv technology, 
and other ICTs facilitating group dialogue. It would be nice if one could 
join a group knowing that the archives of the discussion are a) completely 
open to the public b) some middle ground c) only available to the group. 
As far as listservs go, can AoIR restrict web access to the archives, 
which would presumably limit Google's access as well?

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