There is an application of Einstein’s theory of relativity that says it is virtually impossible to fall into a black hole. Sure, you can get caught in the gravity distortion, and never be able to escape, but as you get closer to the event horizon time slows down. The closer you get the slower time moves. Theoretically, you never actually reach the event horizon; even though to the outside world it sure looks like you were sucked in.
I think the same thing happens with a person’s, or company’s, perception of their own ranking of evil. With each step towards being evil the self evaluation of ‘Am I Evil?’ continues to be ‘no’. For their point of view there is still an infinite amount of distance between themselves and Evil. To the outside world, though, they’ve gone to the Dark Side.
I don’t know that Google has given up their “Don’t be evil” mentality; but from my perspective it looks like they are getting close.
A few weeks back I wrote about the dangers of Google’s new ‘Free DNS Resolution Service‘. Just to re-cap, so you don’t have to read the original post, if you use Google’s free DNS service then Google will be able to track everything you do on-line. Not just your searches, or the web sites you view, but right down to the 300+ computers your computer connected to while downloading the latest episode of “24”. I think that is bad, but if people want to opt into that kind of tracking then I say it is their choice. Giving people a choice is not evil.
Taking away that choice is evil. Taking away that choice is exactly what Google is trying to do by pushing for an ‘extension‘ to DNS so that your computer’s IP address is forwarded along with your DNS request. If Google’s proposed extension is adopted, when your computer requests DNS resolution from your ISP’s DNS servers, you ISP will include your information in the DNS request that it makes on your behalf. This is an unprecedented level of tracking. It scares the crap out of me, and I don’t even have to worry about it because I run my own DNS servers and I’ll never run a version of BIND that won’t let me disable this extension.
Just getting this extension adopted will not directly give Google the ability to track your DNS queries without your consent. There is another piece of the puzzle that is still missing. So, here is my prediction: Google is going to roll out a free DNS hosting service. They’ll tout it as free, fast, and unlimited. They’ll try to get you to move your DNS from UltraDNS, GoDaddy, Network Solutions, etc to their servers. Once they are the authoritative DNS servers for millions of domains, and this extension has been adopted, they won’t need to get you to use their DNS Resolution Service to be able to track your every lookup. They’ll have you by the server instead of the nodes.
That will be downright evil.