Google: The Laser That Threatened James Bond Creeps Closer to the Private Parts of the GOOG

April 23, 2020

Update: I omitted the link to the actual Googler blog post. Too excited thinking about “integrity.” My bad.

Goldfinger was an interesting film. In 1965, lasers were advanced. Some thought they were death rays. The Hollywood people, sunning around the pool with Technicolor drinks, thought the laser was the ideal way to burn James Bond’s private parts. Goldfinger was the bad actor. Now Google’s integrity weapon may be threatening Alphabet’s private parts. Odd job indeed.


The laser posed a risk to the fictional James Bond’s private parts. The Google integrity verification is a similar risk with one difference: Googlers are steering the destructive beam of actual data toward Alphabet’s secret places.

Flash forward to 2020, “Google to Require All Advertisers to Pass Identity Verification Process.” The word “all” is probably not warranted, but it sounds good. Talking heads enjoy glittering generalities and categorical affirmatives.

Nevertheless, the news story, if accurate, reveals some interesting quasi-factoids. Here’s one example:

Google began requiring political advertisers wanting to run election ads on its platform to verify their identity back in 2018. Now, that program is being extended to all advertisers, the company wrote in a blog post this morning from John Canfield, its director of product management for ads integrity.  The change will allow consumers to see who’s running an ad and which country they’re located in when they click “Why this ad?” on a placement.

Advertisers have to “prove” something other than having a mechanism to put funds into a Google advertising account. Second, Google has a job description which includes these words: “Management” and “integrity.” Plus, the information will not help Google. Nope, the winners in knowing who allegedly buys ads is “consumers.”

Google’s integrity person allegedly said:

“This change will make it easier for people to understand who the advertiser is behind the ads they see from Google and help them make more informed decisions when using our advertising Controls,” John Canfield, Google’s director of product management for ads integrity, said in the post. “It will also help support the health of the digital advertising ecosystem by detecting bad actors and limiting their attempts to misrepresent themselves.”

How does one become verified by Google’s integrity people?

Organizations are required to submit personal legal information (like a W9 or IRS document showing the organization’s name, address and employer identification number). An individual from the organization also needs to provide legal identification on the organization’s behalf. Individuals have to show government-issued photo ID like a passport or ID card. Google said it previously had collected basic information about the advertiser but didn’t require documentation to verify.

How effective are Google’s efforts to filter, screen, and verify? We know that human traffickers and others in this line of business have infiltrated videos on YouTube. We know that one can run a query for “Photoshop crakz”:


Apparently Google’s system cannot block listings for stolen commercial software. In fact, the listing for this illegal offering was updated three days ago. DarkCyber knows that some legitimate sites’ content has not been updated for longer periods of time. Notice how Google’s smart autocorrect changed “crakz” into “cracked.” Helpful smart software. Why does Google display the result? Why doesn’t Adobe email Google’s search wizards to have these links with illegal intent filtered? One reason may be that Adobe has emailed Google customer support and is, like many others with questions for the Google, waiting for a response from an informed Googler?

We know that a wide range of questionable ads appear across the Google properties. Here’s an example. Refurbished CPAP machines to provide breathing assistance are appearing as of April 23, 2020:


For a person trying to self-treat a virus problem, Google’s system provides the how-to information with helpful advertisements for CPAP breathing devices. Not one advertiser, nope. How about a dozen? Which of these advertisers offer other medical solutions? Check out some of the links, gentle reader.

And the story includes some more “all’s” to make the point that the GOOG is really trying:

All advertisers on its platforms will be required to complete the process. Advertising agencies will need to complete verification on behalf of each of their advertiser clients, a spokeswoman said. Though businesses like pharmacies already have to go through a certification process, they will still need to take the new, additional verification steps.

On the other hand, Google announced that any “business” or flea market seller can list and sell products on Google Shopping for free. You can get some of the Sillycon Valley details in “Google Will Now Let Any Business List Products on Google Shopping for Free.” The word “any” in the story is the tip off for many who want to sell certain products and services to beat a path to the Google’s online listing page.

What could possibly go wrong? Google will verify identities of “all” advertisers and simultaneously allow a “business” to list “any” product.

Historically Google has not been at the top of the Hit Parade when it comes to human-to-human services. Anyone know the story of Sergey Brin and Sumner Redstone? Anyone know why Mr. Redstone spent big money trying to sue the Google? Try to find out what happened that day when Mr. Redstone sat waiting for the top Googlers to come to a meeting in the Mountain View headquarters. It’s an interesting anecdote, and one not widely reported.

The anecdote illustrates why the human-to-human thing is not a core competency at the world’s largest online advertising search system.

Net net: The head of “integrity” will have to add staff. And like the former head of Yahoo and Facebook security, the Googler in charge of integrity will have opportunities to find the future elsewhere.

PS. Are those Dark Web sites selling stolen fullz, paper to support a false identify, and currency laundering still in business? DarkCyber believes that about 100 sites are likely to provide what’s necessary to work around Google’s “integrity” methods. But an email address from, a prepaid credit card, and some appropriated data may do the job.

Stephen E Arnold, April 23, 2020


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