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My Op-ed for The Hill: Courts Not FTC Should Decide on Google's Practices

Please don't miss my new Op-ed for The Hill here, entitled "Courts, Not FTC, Should Decide On Google Practices."

Simply, why shouldn't a court of law, based on the law, due process and the facts be the entity to ultimately decide if Google is guilty or innocent of deceptive search bias, not the FTC?


 

Oversight Questions for FTC's Handling of Google Antitrust Probe -- Part 12 Google Unaccountability Series

The number and seriousness of irregularities, deficiencies, and unanswered questions in the FTC's antitrust investigation of Google's alleged search bias warrant oversight by the Senate and House Antitrust Subcommittees and investigative reporting by the media.

FTC-Google Antitrust: The Obvious Case for Consumer Harm -- Part 10 Google Unaccountability Series

Despite reports questioning the evidence of consumer harm in the FTC antitrust investigation of Google, it's obviously there if the FTC chooses to charge Google under its Section 5 authority which prohibits "unfair or deceptive acts or practices." The legal threshold for proving consumer harm under Section 5 versus the Sherman Act is dramatically easier for the FTC prosecution to meet. Thus press reports about Google consumer harm are implicitly more about the furious debate over which law(s) to use than it is about the provability of consumer harm.

A main argument the FTC made to win the turf battle over which antitrust agency would lead the Google antitrust investigation, the DOJ or FTC, was that the FTC had Section 5 authority, in addition to the Sherman Act anti-monopolization authority that the DOJ and FTC both share. Unlike antitrust precedent from the Sherman Act, which guides that consumer harm should outweigh any offsetting innovation or consumer benefits, Congress in Section 5 declared deceiving consumers is illegal harm of consumers.

The Unique Google Privacy Problem -- My Presentation to Korean Privacy Council in Seoul

Please see my new powerpoint presentation here: "The Unique Google Privacy Problem; Why Google's Forced-Integrated Privacy Policy is So Problematic," which I presented to the Korea Council on the Protection of Personal Information in Seoul Korea this week.

Please don't miss slide 4: "Google's Monopoly Power = Unique Global Privacy Problem: Unfathomable Scale, Scope and Centralization of Private Info." It provides the latest eye-popping stats on Google's rapidly spreading dominance into video, mobile and social.

Also important not to miss are slides 9-10, which present my new conclusions about what Google's forced-integration of its privacy policy means for sovereign nations and the world at large, given the EU/CNIL's strong challenge last week to Google's privacy policy changes without user permission or opt-out option.

This analysis should be of great interest to the ~35 privacy authorities around the world which currently oppose Google's forced-integrated privacy policy (and other nations and privacy professionals as well), because it provides strong evidence, supporting rationale and conclusions to help nations address the #1 global privacy problem.

 

"Pro-trust" EU Competition Remedies for Google's Antitrust Violations

Google remains its own worst enemy in trying to resolve EU antitrust charges.

In early 2012, when Google was trying to convince EU antitrust authorities that enforcement action against Google's search practices -- preferring its own content in search ranking over competitors -- would only harm consumers and was unnecessary because competition was but "a click away" for consumers, Google announced it would consolidate 60 privacy policies without user permission or user choice to opt-out, and then did it a month later, over the EU's strong objections.

This was a flagrant strategic mistake because: first the EU prides itself for strong consumer privacy laws and privacy protections; second the EU fully-understands that consumers' privacy is the de facto currency that Google uses to propel its monopoly; and third Google's primary antitrust defense is that they are the ones that are best looking out for consumers interests and that consumers have plenty of choice.

Spotlighting Google's Politicization of the Law Enforcement Process -- My Politico Letter to Editor

Politico published my 500-word rebuttal of Tom Lenard's op-ed "FTC should drop case against Google," as a Letter to the Editor, which you can see here, and also as an online op-ed called: Opinion: Google's political play.

In it, I succinctly expose how "Google often plays politics to evade law enforcement culpability."

Google offers to label Google search results to settle antitrust suit -- Don't miss the satirical version

FT just reported that Google has moved to settle antitrust charges with the EU "by offering to label information from its in-house services that are included in its search results pages..."

I am republishing below a satirical June 26th PrecursorBlog post which anticipated this exact offer of a Google labeling antirust remedy to settle antitrust charges.

  • The satirical recommendation memo from Google's lawyers to Google's CEO puts Google's munificent "labeling" offer of cooperation in perspective.

 

Google's Labeling Antitrust Remedy: "One Trick Away" -- A Satire

What made Apple's Steve Jobs so Angry with Google-Android? -- Part 12 of Google's Disrespect for Property Series

What made Apple's Steve Jobs so Angry with Google-Android? The simple answer is Google's leadership profoundly betrayed the longtime personal trust and friendship of Apple's leadership in stealing what Steve Jobs believed were Apple's most prized possessions. The fuller answer is below, in a telling timeline of the once exceptionally-close Apple-Google relationship.

This discussion is timely given Google's current PR effort to convince the public/media that Google and Apple are likely to negotiate a patent "truce" and make Google's Android's patent liabilities go away. Thus it makes sense to drill down to learn more about the real likelihood of Apple being party to any patent-litigation "truce" or grand Apple-Android patent-licensing settlement.

The Deceptive Politics of Piracy

In writing "Internet Pirates Will Always Win," Nick Bilton, The New York Times's technology columnist whom I read and respect, has unwisely adopted the political logic and public narrative of the piracy lobby that "information wants to be free." Unfortunately, I don't think Mr. Bilton has fully thought through the serious negative implications of his flawed logic and misplaced political support.

Mr. Bilton is not the first, and won't be the last, columnist to buy into the piracy lobby's deceptive political narrative that fighting piracy is akin to a futile game of Whac-a-mole, so content creators should just unilaterally surrender the concept of market pricing of their content going forward and offer it free to the public on the Internet or at a minimal price that Internet pirates judge is "fair." Mr. Bilton concluded: "Sooner or later, the people who still believe they can hit the moles with their slow mallets might realize that their time would be better spent playing an entirely different game."

The unspoken "different game" here is that the Internet should be more of a public information commons where everything is free of cost to access, and no permission or contract is required to do most anything on the Internet, in stark contrast to being more of an Internet marketplace where property owners of all kinds can charge for and contractually control the use of their property and individuals can assert control over how their private information is used.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths