Friday, February 12, 2016
David Segle of The New York Times issued a publication featuring local locksmiths out of Phoenix, Arizona and some other professionals who are aware of the locksmith scam issue going on around the country. The main focus of the article addresses the problem found in Google Maps, a lawsuit filed on a locksmith lead generation company by Charles Eastwood of Locksmith Charley, and Bryan Seely, a hacker and Cyber Security specialist who has a deep background battling Google Maps.
The article shreds light on what can be seen as nothing less than an Internet cartel with an enforcement of criminal activity stopping legitimate professional locksmith's from being found on Google services. A ring of companies that don't exist and transfer to call centers around the country and sometimes in other countries have infiltrated Google Maps most reflecting back to Israeli employers from an international job board found online in Hebrew. These listings are invalid abandoned lots, listing for different businesses such as coffee shops, and other deceitful tactics. These organizations have been successfully controlling Google's Adwords, Maps, and Local services utilizing genius Search Engine Optimization and covering themselves under the legalities of Google's Terms of Service in order to remain listed, all the while still violating several other policies.
They also speak with Dan Austin, an ex Google Mapper, which is a volunteer position within the company, who assisted in removing spam listings from the service but when he noticed that no permanent solution was being implemented he exploited the service and was relieved of his duty upon submission. Imagine fired for showing that there's a flaw within a system.
But one of the most interesting interview and most eye opening problem screaming documentations of this issue came from the discussion with Bryan Seely. Even The New York Times refused to publish the details behind what Mr. Seely did stating “In the interest of minimizing mischief, the methods Mr. Seely described will not be detailed here.” Bryan who is also the author of “Cyber Fraud: The Web of Lies,” is one of the biggest technology publishers in the country has some of the most authentic documentation on the Google Map issue as a whole and discusses in more detail in the TedX talk below: