Big Brother Inc. -- My Huffington Post Op-ed on Google & Privacy

My new Huffington Post op-ed: Big Brother Inc., tells the story of how Google has become a more intrusive and effective "Big Brother" than even George Orwell imagined in "Nineteen Eighty-Four."

  • My Huff Post Tech post on the world's #1 blog shows how Google's 24-7-365 omni-tracking enables Google to know what you want, think, believe, say, read, write, watch, and intend to do.

Google's serial disrespect of privacy is a central theme of my new book: "Search & Destroy Why You Can't Trust Google Inc."

FCC's In Search of Relevance in 706 Report

The FCC's latest arbitrary and capricious torturing of the facts, law, and common sense, in its most recent 706 report, makes it obvious that the FCC is "in search of relevance" and highly insecure about its authority and role in the broadband competition era.

 

  • Apparently, the FCC now sees competition-driven consumer benefits as a threat to the FCC's relevance, role and authority.
    • If the bipartisan policy/law of promoting competition succeeds, then the FCC by definition has less and less to do.
  • It is becoming increasingly apparent that many at the FCC don't want competition policy to succeed, because they vainly believe that the FCC can, and should, mandate social outcomes "better" than market forces and consumer choice can produce via competition.

Thus the pro-regulation forces at the FCC are increasingly and proactively seeking to discredit competition policy wherever possible by ignoring and torturing any facts, evidence, logic and common sense that do not forward their government-centric-view that "expert" FCC regulators invariably know best.

Consider the common thread between:

Why DOJ's Pending Criminal Case Against Google is Very Serious

The widely reported DOJ criminal investigation into Google for promoting illegal pharmacy sales may be Google's most serious clash with Federal law enforcement to date; (even compared to Google's many previous run-ins with law enforcement chronicled in my recent Forbes op-ed.)

Why is this case is so serious?

First, this is a bonafide criminal probe involving Google promoting illegal drug sales, which could have put hundreds of thousands of U.S. consumers at serious risk of injury or death from counterfeit, harmful, or inappropriate-use drugs.

 

  • This case involves more than fraudulent business behavior, it appears to involve criminal disregard for the health and safety of consumers for monetary gain.

 

Second, if reports are correct that this case also involved an official Google business decision in 2004 that Google, unlike other online advertisers, would continue to promote Canadian pharmacies that they and others knew sold drugs illegally to U.S. customers, then Google may have made a deliberate business decision to disregard the law.

 

Google has 93.7% Share of U.S. Search Revenues & Is Rapidly Taking Share

 

With reports of the FTC's looming antitrust investigation of Google, it is highly-relevant that Google now has ~93.7% of U.S. revenue share of search advertising and that Google has taken ~26% of the search advertising revenue share that it did not have a year ago.

  • Google continues to relentlessly gobble up massive search advertising revenue share from its only significant competitors, Yahoo and Microsoft (which have combined forces in search in the last year), in part because:
    • Google's relevant search revenues are 24x bigger than Yahoo's and 39x bigger that Microsoft's; and
    • Google is growing its huge search revenue base so much faster -- +27% to Yahoo's -19% and Microsoft's +14%.
      • (These revenue share calculations are relatively easy to do -- they are explained in detail at the end of this post.)

 

Many do not realize that antitrust authorities already believe that Google is a monopoly, because the most commonly cited market share numbers in the media are from ComScore, which tracks share of searches not search advertising revenue share.

My Forbes Op-ed on Google's Disregard for the Law

My new Forbes' op-edGoogle Disregards the Law, tells the sordid story behind today's story of Google apparently agreeing to settle a criminal investigation with the Department of Justice for ~$500m for promoting and accepting advertising from illegal online pharmacies.

 

  • The op-ed sadly chronicles that this latest law-breaking by Google is part of a well-established pattern of disregard for the rule of law.
  • If one cannot trust a public Fortune 100 company to obey the law, one cannot trust them overall as I explain in much great detail in my new book "Search & Destroy Why You Can't Trust Google Inc."

My Washington Times Op-ed on Google

The Washington Times published my op-ed on why you can't trust Google Inc., which highlights two of the main themes, privacy and property rights, of my new book: "Search & Destroy Why You Can't Trust Google Inc."

  • Please see the op-ed here.
  • Please see my book site here.

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.

Pro-Regulation Camp Seeks to Undermine Competition Policy in AT&T/T-Mobile Review

Like pro-regulation forces did everything they could to undermine competition policy to justify FCC net neutrality regulation last year, those same FreePress-led pro-regulation forces are focused in 2011 on trying to characterize the AT&T/T-Mobile combination as a threat to competition -- so that they can impose new regulations on AT&T that they can then try and force on the rest of the industry.

The problem is that the FreePress-led pro-regulation forces are trying to convince people of the preposterous claim that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger will reconstitute the Ma Bell Monopoly when the obvious facts are that AT&T is no longer dominant 27 years after the Bell-break-up.

The Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee hearing on the AT&T-T-Mobile merger is entitled: "The AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Is Humpty Dumpty Being Put Back Together Again?"

 

Just like it was preposterous last year that the U.S. was falling behind on broadband because of insufficient competition, it is preposterous that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger will reconstitute the the Ma Bell monopoly.

 

Google vs Apple: How Business Models Drive Disrespect vs Respect for Privacy

How business models are aligned or not with users' privacy interests, will be spotlighted at the Senate Judiciary hearing Tuesday on "Protecting Mobile Privacy" featuring Google and Apple officials as witnesses.

 

  • Expect the term "privacy conflict of interest" to become more common and important as companies who don't work for users, hurtle into the future increasingly tracking, analyzing and using users' private information and behavior without users' meaningful consent.

 

While the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy will hear from both Google and Apple witnesses on how their companies handle users' WiFi location data, their testimony will provide stark contrast in the companies' privacy conflicts of interests.

Google vs Apple concerning alignment with users' interests:

First, 97% of Google's ~$30b in annual revenues comes from advertisers, whereas ~99% of Apple's ~$87b in annual revenue comes directly from customers who buy and use Apple's products and services.