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Freedom of Speech

Announcing My New Book: Search & Destroy Why You Can't Trust Google Inc.

I've long thought there was a big untold story about Google, essentially a book all about Google, but told from a user's perspective, rather than the well-worn path of Google books told largely from Google's own paternal perspective.

 

 

 

Given that Google is the most ubiquitous, powerful and disruptive company in the world, it seemed logical to me that users, and people affected by Google, had a lot of important and fundamental questions about Google that no book had ever tried to answer in a straightforward and well-defended manner.

The Goolag Infopelago

 

Google's oft-stated goal to "change the world" and its famed mission to centralize all of the world's information to make it universally accessible, self-appoints Google to be the world's omni-information gatekeeper, distributor, librarian, publisher, editor, programmer, and broadcaster.

In building its Googleopoly, Google represented itself to everyone as unbiased and neutral in order to gain everyone's trust.

A core concern with Google's centralized information power and opaque black box system is that Google has the unaccountable power and constant opportunity to decide what information people around the world access, and also to decide what information Google does not want them to find.

Today in Politico's top story "Tech War: Google vs Microsoft" by Elizabeth Wasserman, I was quoted saying: "It's scary that the monopoly information access point of the world is going after voices of dissent."

 

  • What do I mean about going after dissenters?
    • Read Brian Deagon's Investors Business Daily 12-10 piece "When Analysts Look Over Their Shoulders," which chronicles how the Google Dissent Police bullies the press to not talk with, or quote, Google critics they don't like.

 

Google Censoring its Critics: IBD article "When Analysts Look Over Their Shoulders"

For an "unusual behind-the-scenes" look at how Google, by far the world's-leading source of information, proactively seeks to censor information critical of Google from becoming more "accessible and useful" to the world, please read this Investor's Business Daily,"Managing for Success" feature article by Brian Deagon, entitled: "When Analysts Look Over Their Shoulders."

If this is Google's "typical" treatment of its critics, what else is Google doing "behind-the-scenes" to people with information that Google disagrees with or that Google does not want to be "accessible and useful" to the world?"

Wikileaks & Responsible Open Internet Boundaries

Julian Assange's reprehensible Wikileaks data breaches of secret, private and proprietary information to the web, endangering lives, diplomacy and peace, has thrust to the forefront of public debate: what are the responsible boundaries of an "Open Internet?"

 

  • It is an especially timely debate given that the FCC is proposing an "Open Internet Order" for FCC decision on December 21st, and given that the FCC is trying to officially define what an "open Internet" is for the first time, in order to restrict what competitive broadband Internet providers can and cannot do.

 

It is instructive that the term "open Internet" is found nowhere in law.

 

Google Schmidt: "China can be best understood as a large, well-run business"

In his latest display of no-self-awareness, Google's CEO Eric Schmidt, in an interview with the Atlantic, said:

 

  • "China can be best understood as a large, well run business... and China has roughly the following objectives: It wants  to maximize its cash flow; becoming the creditor, if you will, the bank of the world. And Second it wants to maximize both its internal demand as well as export demand. And the entire country seems to be organized around that principle."

 

Is Google's CEO the only sentient being on the planet that isn't aware that China is organized around the principles of China's National Communist Party?

"If China is best understood as a large, well-run business," why does Communist China censor and imprison their Chinese "customers" if they object too much to China's products and services?

 

 

 


Google: Transparency for thee but not for me

In another Google fit of no-self-awareness, Google has launched a new web tool that they call the "transparency report" in order to promote transparency as "a deterrent to censorship," per a Google spokeswoman in the NYT's Bits Blog.

While I applaud the tool and Google's effort to promote transparency as a deterrent to censorship, the effort appears disingenuous because of Google's double standard that others must submit to transparency, but not Google.

Google's tool will have "a map that shows every time a government has asked Google to take down or hand over information, and what percentage of the time Google has complied," per the NYT's Bits Blog."

 

If transparency is good:

Skype's Net Neutrality Infidelity Scandal

Skype, one of the high priests of the net neutrality movement, that preaches for Title II monopoly regulation of all the broadband providers it already rides upon for free, has been caught in the act of being blatantly unfaithful to its widely-professed net neutrality principles, by blocking interconnectivity to Fring

  • Arstechnica and The Hill have both flagged Skype's hypocrisy and infidelity to its supposed net neutrality and openness principles in blocking mobile video calling competitor Fring from access to Skype's dominant network of a ~half-billion interconnected users.  

    Now we know that Skype's proclaimed principled stance for net neutrality and openness was really just a cynical PR and lobbying campaign of crony capitalism, and political cover for an industrial policy where the FCC picks Skype, Google Android, and Amazon Kindle as the "dumb pipe" market winners, and all broadband providers as the "dumb pipe" market losers.

    Skype's "do as I say not as I do" stance is particularly hypocritical because of Skype's dominant size relative to Fring, in that Skype has about a half billion users and is "responsible for 12% of global international calling minutes" per Skype.  

Must Read Thierer Op-ed: America's Chavez Fan Club

Anyone that cares about freedom generally, and freedom of the press in particular, must read PFF Adam Theirer's outstanding Big Government expose/op-ed putting the spotlight on neo-marxist "FreePress:" "How America's Hugo Chavez Fan Club Plans to 'Reform' the Media Marketplace."

  • Adam's analysis and case are brilliant and dead-on; FreePress has one of the most destructive public policy agendas out there, period, full stop.
  • It is frightening how much credence this Administration, FCC, FTC and Congress give to FreePress' anti-freedom-of-the-press dsytopian policy agenda.

Thanks Adam. Forewarned is forearmed.   

 

 

 

 

Google has "human raters" in its search "algorithm"

Today Google publicly admitted for the first time that its purported "neutral" and "unbiased" search algorithm is not completely-automated or computer-algorithmic like Google has long and consistently represented to the public. 

  • In a stunning first-time disclosure in a Richard Waters FT article by "the Google engineer responsible for its ranking algorithm," Mr. Amit Singhal:   
    • "Google’s Mr Singhal calls this the problem of “brand recognition”: where companies whose standing is based on their success in one area use this to “venture out into another class of information which they may not be as rich at”. Google uses human raters to assess the quality of individual sites in order to counter this effect, he adds." [Bold added for emphasis.]

Wow. After a decade of passionate public representations that Google's vaunted search algorithm is "neutral' and unbiased, we now learn it has substantial regular human intervention to discriminate what site gets what ranking, who gets found and who does not, and who wins and who loses in the business of online content.

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