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Is Mr. Masnick Becoming Google's go-to Apologist?

Has Mr. Masnick of techdirt fame joined Google's legendary PR team as its go to apologist in the blogosphere?

  • Last week Mr. Masnick summarily dismissed the possibility that Google could behave anti-competitively in search in his piece "There is No Such Thing as Search Neutrality," and this week he summarily declared that Google did no WiFi wrongdoing in his piece "Why Google's Street View WiFi Data Collection Was Almost Certainly An Accident." 
    • Apparently Mr. Masnick has drunk the Google Kool-Aid since he is sure that Google could not do wrong in the antitrust and privacy arenas.
    • Mr. Masnick would retain more credibility if he acknowledged the possibility of Google's fallibility in these human endeavors. 
  • In last week's blind defense of Google that "There Is No Such Thing As Search Neutrality, Because The Whole Point Of Search Is To Recommend What's Best," Mr. Masnick effectively dismisses the possibility that Google could have monopoly power, even though the U.S. DOJ Antitrust Division determined Google is dominant in search advertising and was prepared to bring a Sherman Act monopolization case against Google in November 2008, if it did not drop the proposed Google-Yahoo ad Agreement.
    • Mr. Masnick apparently does not understand the concept in antitrust that a company with market dominance or monopoly market power must operate under a different and stricter standard of conduct to prevent anti-competitive behavior.  
  • In parroting Google's "competition is one-click-away" antitrust defense slogan in this week's Google antitrust apologia, Mr. Masnick is ignoring the evidence that rebuts Google's claim and that the DOJ isn't buying Google's claim of no market dominance.    
    • Last week I rebutted Mr. Masnick's Google antitrust apologia by explaining that even Google itself disagreed with Mr. Masnick's characterization and also by spotlighting the many pending current antitrust cases against Google for anti-competitively leveraging its monopoly power to favor Google-owned content over its competitors' content, and anti-competitively disadvantaging potential competitors by lowering their rankings and increasing their costs. 
    • I challenged Mr. Masnick because he was completely ignoring a serious and legitimate issue, search neutrality, and also ignoring substantial evidence in the public domain of a Google antitrust problem.     

Now this week Mr. Masnick is assuming the role of Google's go to apologist again by declaring he is "almost certain" Google's three-year WiFi data collection in over thirty countries by retrofitting its entire StreetView vehicle fleet with special WiFi antennae was "accidental."

  • Has it ever occurred to Mr. Masnick that Google's well-known mission to organize all the world's information at least suggests the possibility that this particular WiFi data collection could have been intentional and not an accident, given that Google tracks most everything else that happens over the Internet?
  • Mr. Masnick would have more credibility if he did not summarily dismiss the possibility that someone in the privacy offices of several nations, the FTC, Scotland Yard, and roughly 30 state Attorneys General who are now investigating Google's international WiFi data collection, might know something that Mr. Masnick might not be aware of?

In short, Mr. Masnick would enjoy more credibility on these topics if he spent less time parroting the absolutist Google PR talking points and more time being "open" to the mounting evidence that Google may be acting anti-competitively and may be acting irresponsibly concerning consumers' privacy.