Roderigo: Tush, never tell me! I take it much unkindly that thou, Iago, who hast my purse as if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.T he previous blogpost was mostly about hyperlinks as illocutionary acts, and the ways in which Shostakovich may have covered his tracks and obfuscated (some of) his meanings.
Iago: ’Sblood, but you'll not hear me! If ever I did dream of such a matter, abhor me!”
Shakespeare, Othello, I.1.1-5.
S everal readers emailed me to express surprise that several courts have ruled in the way that they have. The emailers were basically saying that the theory of knowing, responsible ‘linguistic agency’ under the law is, in their view, not only about the acts of speaking/writing but also about acts of listening/reading and could equally well be about the act of searching for content to hear or read.
I n other words, the audience members who are listening to a musical work, or searching for music to listen to—or the readers reading a blog, or entering search terms searching for content that they then click on and proceed to read—should bear [do bear] ethical and legal responsibility for their listening and searching and reading.
I n that connection, I observe an upsurge in attention to privacy, on the part of many users of search engines recently. I routinely monitor the traffic on this site, mostly with an eye to making the blog responsive to the issues and interests and concerns of the readers who spend time reading what I put up here.
I t was only three months ago CMT blog received its first hits that originated with Ixquick, DuckDuckGo, Scroogle, and StartPage. Today, visitors from around the world arrive at CMT about 5% of the time from searches initiated at one or another of those anonymized search-proxy sites.
I xquick is my favorite among these search engine anonymizer/search-proxy sites. It has earned the EuroPriSe "European Privacy Seal" for privacy and data-handling practices, is certified by CertifiedSecure and is registered with the Dutch Data Protection Authority.
T hese search engine anonymizers/search-proxies do not interfere with most SEO or site editorial practices that matter to me as a blog author—things that relate to the “what” of site content. The search engine anonymizers/search-proxies only obfuscate the “where” and the “who,” protecting the searchers’ privacy.
M y own use of anonymous search proxy sites arises less out of a concern for my own privacy than out of my need to monitor CMT pagerank in an objective way that is not biased/confounded by my own music-related online searching activity. If you are a professional musician or a faculty member of a conservatory, that objective-monitoring motivation may be true for you as well.
B ut if enhancing your online privacy is important to you and if you haven’t considered using an anonymous search proxy site until now, please give one or more of these sites a try. Resist being described [by the search-engine residue of your searches], like Käthe Kollwitz and her drawings and sculptures resist being described... as mere residue of so many [brush/pencil/pastel/chisel/key] strokes.
H ere are a couple of links for you who are, like the readers who sent me emails, astounded by the recent Canadian and Spanish court decisions...
- Habermann I. Staging Slander and Gender in Early Modern England. Ashgate, 2003. [illocutionary speech acts and English common law]
- Marmor A, Soames S. Philosophical Foundations of Language in the Law. Oxford Univ, 2011.
- Nissenbaum H. Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life. Stanford Law, 2009.
- Searle J, Vanderveken D. Foundations of Illocutionary Logic. Cambridge Univ, 2009.
- Solove D. Understanding Privacy. Harvard Univ, 2010.
- Vollmann W. Europe Central. Penguin, 2005.