Google Blocking Privacy Technology

Corey Doctorow reports that Google is interfering with searches made through privacy protection proxies:
ttrentham sez, "I've been using Tor/Privoxy/Vidalia, FoxyProxy and CustomizeGoogle Firefox extensions for the past several weeks when using Google. This morning, I started getting 403 Forbidden responses from Google when I search."

These proxies are programs that help protect your privacy when using the Internet by disguising the origin of your requests. They're often used by people in oppressive regimes (like China, where Google censors its search results to appease the totalitarian government), or by people whose school, work, hotel or home networks are blocked by censorware.

They're also best practices for anyone worried about NSA wiretaps and PATRIOT ACT fishing-expedition warrants served to investigate your browsing activity.
Google claims that it only restricts proxies that have been linked to so-called "bots"--automated requests from computers that have been hijacked by spyware or computer virus applications.

Corey observes that Google has declined every proxy that he's tried so far. Maybe all the major proxies are tainted by bots, but if so, the fact remains that Google is compromising users' privacy in order to counter the bot threat.

[Boing Boing]

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