Saturday, April 03, 2004

My husband wants to stop using Yahoo

"My husband wants to stop using yahoo because of this article. Would like your thoughts on the matter. "

Do You Yahoo? Al Qaeda Does -- GOPUSA


Well those towels heads use, ah, towels too and I ain't giving those up. They drive cars, use roads and have watches. The 6,000 members of the Yahoo group they mention means there's 6,000 of them with computers, using the internet, writing emails and all probably on Windows. Are we going to give up the internet, email and computers?

This is not like a boycott of the French for their antics re: the Iraq war. Boycotting Yahoo is not justified in my opinion. The article describes Yahoo as being "purveyors of terror". That's nonsense. Whoever wrote that article ought to buy a dictionary (unless terrorists use dictionaries too) and look up the word purveyor. It means a provider, supplier or procurer. Yahoo is not providing, supplying or procuring terror. And why single out Yahoo? Google, MSN, AOL and many many others have e-groups and chat areas.

While Yahoo may take some heat for this, I truly hope they stand their ground, as they have defined themselves merely as the conduit. They are NOT the messenger, they are merely the means. Before the internet, spies put coded messages in the classifieds in the newspaper. Does that mean we should have given up newspapers? Or banned newspapers? Terrorists use cell phones too.

Yahoo is no more at fault here than car makers and road builders are at fault when someone robs a bank and uses them to get away.

Yahoo is defending the right of Free speech as a God-given right, and which is especially spelled out as a guarantee in the Constitution. You can't have "some" free speech. It's all or nothing. (John McCain, are you listening?). In order to defend OUR free speech they HAVE to take an all or nothing approach. It's better for them to stay neutral and just be the vehicle.

Now if terrorists really are plotting attacks and such, then it's the government's job to "tap the lines" (and believe me they can/will and are) and listen in. But it's not Yahoo's job to watch or monitor the traffic in their thousands of groups, or emails. I'm far more disturbed at Google, announcing they were going to "monitor" all of the traffic in their new email service they're launching, with the intent of shoving ads at you that are related to your conversation (e.g., I send you an email that says 'My tummy's been hurting' and you receive an email with an ad shoved in it for Pepto Bismal). Do you want all of your email monitored? I don't. Once they start monitoring it, Pandora's Box will be opened and the next thing is the government will want them to keep tabs on email for other reasons.

BTW, using Yahoo is a pretty stupid and open (unsecure) method of transmitting information, particularly if you're planning to bomb something. I highly doubt there is a lot of serious plotting going on there. There are many more secure or hidden ways to transmit information. One would be the grandaddy newsgroup, Usenet. It predates all online chatter groups and is still out there, yet most newbie internet users have never even heard of it.

More likely nothing more than a lot of hate talk and anti-American chatter is going on in Yahoo groups. Hell, you can get that from any liberal weenie TV show or Hollywood wonk. Tune into AirAmerica and you'll get plenty of it. And tell him not to throw out his TV, VCR or radio. :-)

That's my



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