22C3 - 2.2

22nd Chaos Communication Congress
Private Investigations

Michael Christen
Frédéric Philipp Thiele
Wolfgang Sander-Beuermann
Hendrik Speck
Day 2
Room Saal 1
Start time 18:00
Duration 01:00
ID 1104
Event type Lecture
Track Society
Language English

Search Engines - Oracles of the Information Society

The Saga continues: Search Engines, Technology, Politics, Prostitution, Corruption, Privacy and Espionage.

The session will focus on the influence of search engines on individuals, societies, education and politics.

The session will focus on the influence of search engines on individuals, societies, education and politics. The exponential growth and the decentralized structure of the Internet require automated search solutions which now control our access to information and influence our view of life. With several billions indexed pages, search engines are not only the biggest storage systems worldwide, they are also used by millions of users every day. The session will analyze these developments and pay special attention to media monopolies, political implications, censorship, and privacy violations. Several recent case studies, including but not limited to the Google Book Scan program, Google WiFi, Google Earth, and the self proclaimed support of Open Office and other open software frameworks will be used to explore these monopolies and relationships.

The session will focus on the problems arising when the availability of information, knowledge, and values becomes dependent from commercial search services. Information which is not accessible through search engines appears to be even non existent for our information society. This session explains the perils of this development and shows the conflicts between commercial interests of search engines, political influence, censorship, advertising, paid rankings and the freedom of information. The presentation will also discuss the dark side of the force, including but not limited to Google bombing, link farms, guestbook/blog/wiki spam, cloaking, Pagerank prostitution, result hijacking etc.

The session will discuss the dangerous implications of search engines used to invade the privacy of individual users, focus on user tracking and profiling, and propose methods and techniques to assess and eliminate the threat. The session will further underline the privacy risks and violations caused by search engines, focusing on the digital breadcrumbs, traces, and cookies left by individual users using internet based search/or related services. The session will include entertaining elements and present basic and advanced search methods of Google Hacking and demonstrate how search engines can be misused to identify insecure server and shopping systems, infiltrate networked appliances including webcams and printers, and collect commercial and private information including passwords, credit card data, user account and other personal information.

The session will shed some light on upcoming search engine algorithms, technologies, and implications. Search engine technology is still in its infant stages, many resources are still devoted to the analysis, detection and elimination of search engine marketing, webspam, affiliate or duplicate content. There are new and interesting algorithms, technologies, and proposals, as discussed in a recent patent of Google Inc, used in the Open Source search engine Nutch, or proposed by the peer-to-peer search engine Yacy (A search engine Made in Germany), which provide some insight into the future of search engine technology and knowledge management.