Google Feedfetcher/Google [Bot]

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Phoenix
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Google Feedfetcher/Google [Bot]

Post by Phoenix » 24 Jun 2013, 20:09

In the light of the disgraceful snooping scandal into online interactions revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, and the assertion, reported by The Guardian in more than one of the drip-feed reports that it seems to use to keep this kind of topic on their front page, that Google are just one of a number of key platforms used by GCHQ and America's National Security Agency to obtain information that includes the content of emails and online files, that can then be shared and used by a mind-boggling number of agencies, could Admin please explain to members exactly what registered users Google Feedfetcher, Google [Bot] and Bing [Bot] are actually doing when they are on line, because one would assume there to be some sort of risk that, in addition to their agreed function, they might be hoovering up all our posts for some other purpose. Some people might be quite comfortable knowing that this is going on, if indeed it is, but others might be very troubled, especially when reading the following comment by an anonymous intelligence source, We hack everyone, everywhere. It's what we do every day.

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vexillia
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Re: Google Feedfetcher/Google [Bot]

Post by vexillia » 24 Jun 2013, 20:32

I'm not an admin here but let me lay out a few things that may not be obvious:

[1] This forum is a public forum and is visible to all and sundry without logging in.
[2] Google, and Bing, use bots to index public sites so that they appear in their search results.
[3] This has been happening for as long as the forum has been public.
[4] This site also has a public RSS feed.
[5] Google Feedfetcher reads the feed to index it as above.
[6] It can be blocked by the admins using a robots.txt file.

Also I searched the list of registered members and as far as can see there aren't any registered members with Google or Bing in their user names. I suspect the bots are just "being polite" and showing their presence as guests. If you want to know more about bots this is a good place to start - http://bit.ly/10gBL1u

I'm sure the admins will be along shortly to add their twopenneth.
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Al
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Re: Google Feedfetcher/Google [Bot]

Post by Al » 24 Jun 2013, 21:32

Yep. Pretty much what Vexillia says. These bots are not 'registered' users. They openly crawl forums like ours by identifying themselves as Google [bot] or bing [bot] etc.

Sometimes, when we are logged on, we may see these bots in the Registered users line (example below), but you will not be able to click on them like you can with registered users.

Registered users: Al, Google [Bot], PaulTwist, bing [bot], philcom55, vexillia

There are crawlers like Google Adsense [bot] that allow website publishers of all sizes to earn money by displaying targeted Google ads on their websites. I'm pleased to say that I haven't subscribed to this feature, so you won't see any annoying ads here.

Google [bot] and bing [bot] are needed to allow web surfers to visit Comics UK, so they are most welcome.

We can only block so much, without spoiling the enjoyment of the forums. However, if anyone here feels that they've been victimised or had they Comics UK details shared without permission please let us know and we'll address it as best we can. Obviously, if GCHQ, NSA et-al want to hack our forums, I'm sure they won't find it too difficult, because it is an open portal.

Al

Phoenix
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Re: Google Feedfetcher/Google [Bot]

Post by Phoenix » 24 Jun 2013, 22:32

Thank you both.

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stevezodiac
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Re: Google Feedfetcher/Google [Bot]

Post by stevezodiac » 25 Jun 2013, 20:41

I enjoy the series Person of Interest ("You are being watched") a crime series about how the US government screens all e-mails and texts etc for threats against the state. In one episode it was suggested Face Book was created by the government in order to make it easier to find out things about people. Cobblers of course.?

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Marionette
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Re: Google Feedfetcher/Google [Bot]

Post by Marionette » 26 Jun 2013, 17:40

Nobody should be allowed access to the internet before it has been drilled into their very soul that anything they put online may and will be used against them in the future, regardless of how private they think it is.

Universities now regularly check the Facebook sites of applicants because so many people post about illegal/stupid things they have done and said in public spaces.
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colcool007
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Re: Google Feedfetcher/Google [Bot]

Post by colcool007 » 26 Jun 2013, 21:01

It is not just Universities that check. Most employers now use it as routine to sift out applicants for jobs and in some cases to see that their employees are not saying bad things about the company.
I started to say something sensible but my parents took over my brain!

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