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Journal: Google / Yahoo! / AOL / MSN search debacle

Journal by Odin_Tiger
I found this 'Patriot Search' on My thoughts on this whole ugly mess: Is this a joke or is it for real? Obviously, it's written with humor in mind, but will they honestly turn in the search terms? This simply amplifies an earlier point I had wondered about. If the government is reviewing search logs, how difficult could it be for somebody to change the focus of a botnet to spam search engines such as Yahoo! with obviously 'interesting' search queries? A simple, say, 100 - 500 word dictionary of words, grouped by category (say, 'terrorism', 'porn', 'cracking', etc.) would be randomly chosen, and then within that category, a random sampling of 1 - 4 words gets sent to the search engine. This could also be implemented with a fairly simple browser hijack or tricky link, I would think. When the gov. has to sift through millions of faked searches committed by innocent people, which they can't rule out by pattern, keyword, or IP address without also ruling out a huge portion of legit searches, perhaps they will give up? It would need to be complex at least to a degree so that each computer would only enter a search, say, every 1 - 10min. (also random), as well as other things, so that there would be minimal appearance of patterns, but it wouldn't not be extremely complex to implement. Unless this was just a one-time thing, I can't imagine how they could hope to succeed with this type of thing, when it would only take a few legitmately criminal people attempting to amp up the 'noise' in the system to let ALL the criminals flow through unnoticed. It is nothing short of depressing when not only does the American public allow itself to be needlessly spied upon, but the government does it in a flagrantly flawed manner, and yet it works.

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.