EdTechSR Ep 195 – Search History Overreach

Welcome to episode 195 (“Search History Overreach'”) of the EdTech Situation Room from October 21, 2020, where technology news meets educational analysis. This week Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wesley Fryer (@wfryer) discussed privacy-violating subpoenas Google is now complying with, which provide identifying information about ALL people in a certain context who are searching for particular terms online. Historically, accessing knowledge (like checking out or reading particular library books) has not been something to which law enforcement officials in the United States have NOT had ready access. Our conversations touched on privacy issues involving VPNs, the TOR browser, how TCP/IP header packets include identifying MAC address information for the device(s) people use to access the Internet, and more. Additional topics discussed included surveillance capitalism, revelations that antivirus company AVAST secretly sold user data, Cory Doctorow’s decision to write less dystopian SciFi, and a new competitor to Zoom in the academic videoconferencing market: Engageli. On the Google / ChromeOS front, Google’s decision to extend the supported life of ChromeOS on many Chromebooks (to 9-10 years), Acer’s forthcoming Chromebook with Snapdragon chips, and the overall arc of computer processors to use smartphone chips were discussed. The U.S. Department of Justice’s newly announced anti-trust case against Google for alleged monopolistic behavior in maintaining its global dominance in Internet search, as well as an outstanding Renee DiResta (@noupside) article in the Atlantic about the rise and continued influence of QAnon and conspiracy groups to push conspiracy theories into mainstream media was also highlighted. Geeks of the Week included a YouTube Creators’ tutorial about editing videos in the YouTube Studio interface, an outstanding Sway podcast interview with Elon Musk, and the cellular alternative provider, Visible. Our show was live streamed and archived simultaneously on YouTube Live as well as our Facebook Live page via StreamYard.com, and compressed to a smaller video version (about 100MB) on AmazonS3 using Handbrake software. Please follow us on Twitter @edtechSR for updates, and join us LIVE on Wednesday nights (normally) if you can at 10 pm Eastern / 9 pm Central / 8 pm Mountain / 7 pm Pacific or 3 am UTC. All shownotes are available on http://edtechSR.com/links.


  1. EdTech Situation Room Listener Survey: wfryer.me/edtechsr
  2. Follow @edtechSR on Twitter!
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  5. Check out our video podcast feed and subscribe to our YouTube Channel (episodes also in this YouTube playlist)
  6. Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) – blog: blog.ncce.org
  7. Wes Fryer (@wfryer) – blog: speedofcreativity.orgShared Media Literacy Lessons & Curriculum
  8. Google is giving data to police based on search keywords, court docs show (cNet; 8 October 2020)
  9. Homegrown Hate: The War Among Us (ABC News Documentary, 6 Oct 2020)
  10. PODCAST “In Machines We Trust” by @StrongReporter of @techreview
  11. Clearview AI (English WikiPedia)
  12. Security Now Podcast (on TwIT)
  13. Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data (Vice; 27 January 2020)
  14. The police want your phone data. Here’s what they can get — and what they can’t. (Recode; 21 October 2020)
  15. Surveillance Capitalism (English WikiPedia)
  16. Mote: Voice Commenting in Google Docs
  17. Engageli (videoconferencing startup)
  18. The Dangers of Cynical Sci-Fi Disaster Stories (Slate, 13 Oct 2020)
  19. Coursera’s co-founder thinks Zoom doesn’t work for learning. So she built an alternative (Protocol, 14 Oct 2020)
  20. Google is extending the lifetime of supported Chromebooks to nearly a decade (Android Central; 14 October 2020)
  21. Acer’s Chromebook Spin 513 is the first Chromebook with Snapdragon chips (The Verge; 21 October 2020)
  22. Why Arm Processors Are So Important To The Future Of Chromebooks (Chrome Unboxed; 16 October 2020)
  23. What we know about the DOJ’s antitrust case against Google so far (ArsTechnica, 20 Oct 2020)
  24. Google lays out defense against ‘deeply flawed’ DOJ antitrust suit, argues that users choose Search (9 to 5 Google; 20 October 2020)
  25. The Right’s Disinformation Machine Is Getting Ready for Trump to Lose (The Atlantic, 20 Oct 2020)
  26. Wes’ Geeks of the Week: How to Trim Your Videos with the Video Editor in YouTube Studio (2 min) – Sway Podcast: Elon Musk: ‘A.I. Doesn’t Need to Hate Us to Destroy Us’ (29 Sep 2020)
  27. Jason’s Geek of the Week: Visible

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