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Mon Feb 15 14:45:59 UTC 2010

has the same strict provisions in data retention that many university
libraries have.  For example, Cornell University states that they will
delete all search records within weeks, while WorldCat does not have the
same policies (as far as I can tell).  As well, WorldCat includes all
sorts of data tracking across their pages (powered by Omniture, Inc.,
"online business optimization"), includes links to multi-national
corporations for the potential purchase of books, requires your search
to be sent in the clear across the internet, and makes it more difficult
to get to pertinent information (such as whether or not a book is
checked out, and where it is located on campus).  Since Cornell still
provides access to their "classic" catalog, I wrote a simple Firefox
extension to redirect all library searches to the classic catalog
automatically; it's called in a rather utilitarian fashion "Replace
Library Form" (see ).
 Such an extension is relatively straightforward to write for those who
have experience in writing Javascript.  If others are interested in the
possibility of writing such an extension for their own institution,
contact me off-list.


nick knouf

Andreas Schiffler wrote:
> Thanks Christian for this post.
> Interestingly enough, 5 years ago people weren't quite sure yet of 
> what's to come (see 
> Attempting to rebuild the internet, as you suggested, seems like a 
> daunting, time consuming task. While we wait, I'd like to suggest some 
> links for practical measures every Mozilla user can take immediately: 
> limit exposure one ad at a time with, then mess 
> with the search trail emanating from your IP with 
> Of course this won't really have 
> any real effect unless one stops using buzz, facebook, twitter, flickr, 
> etc. ... but it's a start. If anyone else has any suggestions - please 
> post here.
> Christian Fuchs wrote:
>> Google Buzz: Economic Surveillance – Buzz Off! The Problem of Online 
>> Surveillance and the Need for an Alternative Internet
>> ...
>> Overall, the introduction of Google Buzz shows that there is an 
>> antagonism of privacy protection and economic surveillance interests on 
>> the contemporary Internet that is dominated by commercial interests. It 
>> might be time for thinking more about strengthening alternative Internet 
>> platforms and the potentials for constructing an alternative Internet.
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