Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 1 Issue: 10

A Jihadist forum has posted a warning to its users entitled: ‘Watch out for the Google spy!’ The famous search engine, the contributor who signs himself as ‘The Lion of Proselytism’ states, “is at present engaged in archiving all organizations using it or employing it via IPs.” Spy detection programs, he warns, cannot detect the Google tool bar, and the Google company keeps a record of search indexes up to the year 2038. “I write this,” the contributor explains, “so as to warn the brothers using this site for daily searches for sites on weapons and explosives and all the jihadist and other sites which the infidel pigs classify under the rubric ‘Terrorism’. We all use the [Google] site for its clear superiority, but care must be taken. Perhaps the use of a proxy is necessary.” The contributor’s warning to his fellow Mujahideen goes back to a report in February 2003 on the acquisition by Google of Pyra Labs, the world’s most popular web-blogging tool. At the time the acquisition raised questions about the prospects of the privacy of users of the site.