Scroogled by Cory Doctorow

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"Scroogled" is a 2007 speculative fiction short story by Cory Doctorow. It is about a former employee who discovers that Google is tracking a dangerous amount of his personal information.

Is This Fiction… Or Fact?

I’m not really a “conspiracy theory” kind of guy, but reading this story sure made me wonder (yet again) how much of my personal information is being tracked online – and how it could potentially be used against me. I don’t know, I kind of consider all my “paranoia pondering” to be the sign of a good story, one which made me really think about the message it was trying to convey, especially given that it was written several years ago!

Non-Spoiler Summary

google_logo by keso, CC 2.0 License

Greg has just returned from a months-long vacation to Mexico, and there have been some changes to the USA’s immigration process while he’s been gone. While going through customs he learns that Google has partnered with the US Government to provide information about people entering the country. He gets asked some pretty invasive questions before finally being let in. But that is only the start of his problems – it is when he gets in touch with a former co-worker that he realizes how bad things have gotten. But if the spooks really are watching him will he be able to do anything with that knowledge? Hmm… that’s a good question.

Some Interesting Tidbits

  • Word count: 4,485 (12 pages)
  • Did you know that Cory Doctorow was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University? Yep. Check out the news flash here.

Where To Find Scroogled

  • This short story was first published in 2007 on the web site for Radar magazine.
  • You can read "Scroogled" online for free at Cory Doctorow’s web site.
  • It is also included in Doctorow’s short story collection With a Little Help.

Craving More SF Stories Like This One?

If you liked "Scroogled" then you might enjoy “Printcrime,” also by Cory Doctorow, about man who goes to prison for illegal printing.

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