The Heritage Foundation has declared that I am a tech-elite busybody for criticizing the Google Toolbar:

This week's busybody pushback is the same sort of reaction we've seen in response to every half-innovative feature that Google's offered in recent years, from its Adwords advertising program to advertising-supported Gmail. Oddly enough, the tech elite still seem to respect the company's technological prowess and innovation. They're wary, however, that Google intends to profit from these services, no matter how much upside they offer users in the process.

... isn't it bizarre that so many paranoid souls would campaign for government restrictions on what you can do with data that's on your own computer?

I'm glad that the conservative think tank has found a privacy interest in my computer, even if it remains unable to detect one in a womb or bedroom.


It's not that we're pushing to limit what we can do with information our computer--we're pushing to limit what others can do with information on our computers.

That was a surprisingly cogent analysis by the Heritage Foundation. So what is your reply to,

"The truth is, this sort of functionality has been around for years, but only to the tech elite. For someone in the know, it’s not too hard to install a filtering proxy like Privoxy, write and debug a few regex matching rules, and modify (just on their own computers) any page on the Web in any way."

I think that argument's a little silly. Critics of the toolbar include Tim Bray, Dave Winer, and Jeffrey Zeldman. Would anyone really argue that they are opposing the software because they are against making technology available to users?

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