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Open Letter to EC Commissioners to Reject Google Settlement

Dear European Commission Official,

The sovereign problems with the proposed Google-EC settlement are that it:

  • Does nothing to address how Google unlawfully gained, and continues to unlawfully extend, its EU online dominance; and
  • Allows Google to evade accountability to EU rule of law.

Simply it represents an unwarranted special EC pardon for Google’s illegal 90% search/search advertising dominance and its many illegal abuses of dominance.

Moreover, it is not in the EC’s interests to prematurely shut down the Google search investigation for the convenience of just one EC Directorate’s artificial timetable, when that would undermine the ongoing investigation of additional allegations of Google abuses of its search dominance, like Google search-Android tying, and when it would undermine the good efforts of other EC Directorates trying to get Google to be accountable to EU data protection, tax, copyright, patent, and other laws.

Making matters worse, the proposed settlement would have no deterrent capability to prevent more Google abuses of its dominance in the future. That’s because allowing Google to publicly claim it has done nothing wrong, when it has per the draft Statement of Objections, shields Google from the only thing Google cares about – potential harm to Google’s brand reputation with its users.

DeepMind “Google Ethics Board” is an Oxymoron, and a Warning – Part 11 Google Unethics Series

The new term “Google Ethics Board” is an oxymoron, given Google’s unethics record. It is also a warning not to be ignored.

There’s a deep need for true ethics at Google now that Google has acquired DeepMind and its broadly-applicable, ethics-pushing, deep-learning technology. That DeepMind pushed for an ethics board, should trigger alarm bells. Pay attention. If past is prologue; Google will end up badly abusing this very powerful technology.

 

I.   Important Perspective

Google CEO Larry Page’s acquisitive growth strategy has a central theme of automating much of the economy: self-driving cars, home automation, energy monitoring, health care, online surveillance, military contracting, travel, shopping, payments, mobile, TV, etc.

Exposing Netflix’ Extraordinary Net Neutrality Arbitrage

Netflix’ defensive reaction to the Appeals Court Verizon v. FCC decision in its recent shareholder letter speaks volumes about Netflix’s unique and extraordinary net neutrality regulatory arbitrage. It also begs much more scrutiny.

This analysis exposes: how deceptive Netflix has been to its investors about its regulatory risk; how critical Netflix’ misrepresentation of net neutrality to investors has been to its entire economic model; and how relatively wasteful and irresponsible Netflix is in its utilization of the Internet’s bandwidth.

Are Google Glass’ Recordings Illegal Wiretapping Too? -- Part 19 Google Spying Series

Google Glass’ easy eavesdropping on people may be illegal wiretapping.

Two courts already have ruled in different class actions that Google can be sued for illegal wiretapping for “interceptions” of personal information without meaningful consent -- in circumstances analogous to how Google Glass operates.

First, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that wiretap law prohibits the type of transmission “interception” that Google StreetView cars’ did in secretly collecting personal information from unencrypted home WiFi networks.

Google-YouAd is a Deceptive and Unfair Business Practice – Part 29 Google Unaccountability Series

Google represents its new default policy -- taking a user’s name and picture and putting it in their ads without permission or compensation -- as “Shared Endorsements.”  This deceptive and unfair business practice is more aptly named Google-YouAd, “Pirated Endorsements,” or “Swindled Endorsements,” because they are taken deceptively without permission or compensation.

To Google, people apparently are just another form of digital content that should be open and free to exploit without asking the owner for permission and without any expectation of payment from Google for the value that Google generates from the taken content.

We should not be surprised. Google is treating their users, not as humans with privacy and ownership rights, but as inanimate products, content, and “targets” of their advertising model. Notice that they are treating people’s unique identities just like they treat others valuable content that is trademarked, copyrighted, patented, private, confidential or secret. Simply they take it without permission or compensation until an authority that they fear compels them to cease and desist.

Bitcoin's Quixotic Search for Legality -- My Daily Caller Op-ed -- Part 10 Algorithmic Markets Series

If you are interested in understanding serious emerging problems with algorithmic markets, please don’t miss my Daily Caller op-ed “Bitcoin’s Quixotic Search for Legality” – here.

  • It is Part 10 of my Algorithmic Markets research series.

Algorithmic Markets Research Series

Part 1: Who's Looking Out for Investors? [6-14-01]

Special Report: Google on Piracy: Not Telling the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth – Part 16 Google’s Disrespect for Property Series

Google’s recent “Report: How Google Fights Piracy,” begs cross-examination, for the same reason courts and Congress employ the tool of cross examination and the process of adversarial hearings to get to the real truth. 

We all are familiar with the legal oath: “Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?”

The Evidence Google Violated DOJ's Criminal Non-Prosecution Agreement -- Part 27 Google Unaccountability series

Please click -- here for the powerpoint presentation: "The public evidence Google violated the DOJ-Google criminal non-prosecution agreement."

Summary

In August of 2011, Google admitted criminal liability for knowingly advertising for rogue pharmacies dispensing drugs without a prescription for seven years despite repeated Government warnings to stop doing so.

To settle this criminal matter in advance of a Grand Jury proceeding, Google agreed in the DOJ-Google Criminal Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA ) to disgorge $500m in ill-gotten revenues and to obey a two-year remediation requirement designed to deter more Google criminal activity. 

Is this the record of a trustworthy company? Check Out Google’s Consolidated Rap Sheet

Google Inc. has a rap sheet longer than any Googler’s arm. See it hereIt shows:

  • 142 incidents in 13 countries and the EU, involving 6 continents;
  • 34 official actions against Google: 1 criminal, 7 fraud, 4 theft, 11 antitrust, and 11 privacy;
  • 6 near-record fines in 3 countries;
  • 11 nations and the EU have Google under antitrust investigation;
  • 11 official privacy sanctions in multiple countries;
  • 12 different industries have sued Google for theft; and
  • 20+ cyber-security lapses have surfaced in the last 2 years.

This evidence shows Google to be the worst corporate scofflaw in modern American history.

It is timely and relevant given that America’s Attorneys General are meeting in Boston June 18th to discuss Google’s alleged aiding and abetting of criminal activity broadly. Google CEO Larry Page and General Counsel Kent Walker have been invited to the closed meeting to discuss the matter.

The Bitcoin/Virtual Currency Bubble – Beware of the Alchemy of “Abundance Economics” – Part 2 The Code War Series

Bubbles happen because people ignore economics and assume away reality in their excitement over a new idea. “Virtual currencies” could be the latest tech “economics of abundance” bubble in the making. Fans of abundance economics imagine that the free and open Internet’s near zero marginal cost of borderless transactions will ultimately slay traditional economics of scarcity.

Cyber-utopians imagine that currency, or money, is a simple function, like any other product or service that they have made openly available to everyone in the world at virtually no cost on the Internet. They imagine the only thing that matters with the business of money is how money is transmitted.

They assume creating money is just a coding and crowd-sourcing task. How hard could that be? What possibly could go wrong? It’s only money.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths