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Feeling Lucky? Illustrations by Parker Jackson.

Feeling Lucky?

Canada’s privacy laws weren’t designed for our digital age—and government agencies have been tracking our data with little oversight.

Today I searched the terms “penicillin skullduggery,” “almond loincloth,” and “cat walker”; the latter led me to a do-it-yourself guide on how to create a $20 walking aid for a cat suffering from cerebellar hypoplasia. These are not subjects that would ordinarily interest me, but were instead the results of a tool called Internet Noise, which generates random searches every five seconds using Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature. By adding false data, or noise, to your search history, the tool protests the omnipresent culture of mass electronic surveillance.

On March 28, the US Congress overturned Federal Communications Commission rules that would have blocked the right of internet service providers to track and sell your online activity to whomever they please. In response, Philadelphia-based software engineer Dan Schultz developed Internet Noise, a bare-bones web tool—a mere thirty lines of code in all. As Schultz explains, any decent ...

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