Friday, June 09, 2006

Suprise Suprise

The recent vote from the U.S. House of Representatives is bad news for the future of the Internet. The proposed revision to the currently debated Act would have helped to ensure the neutrality of the Internet, but alas it was voted down. Even large companies such as Google, Amazon, and Ebay are very concerned about the impact the Act will have. The old communication giants and other entities fighting against Internet neutrality don't necessarily like these new upstart companies (such as Google), and there is no doubt that in the future anti-competitive measures could be used against Google and other companies such as Ebay or Amazon.

The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee warned that this could be the beginning of a "dark age" for the Internet.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Ian said...

I can't stand Google and feel like I'm a compromiser by having a blogspot blog as they're owned by Google.
All that stuff about Google censoring websearchers in China is disgusting. And how they wouldn't give up search statistics to the US government who was trying to combat the easiness of kids stumbling on porn. Oh yeah, and how they wouldn't allow pro-Bush ads on Google sites.
They drive me nuts.
Anyways, is there such thing as neutrality? ;)

11:43 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Hi Ian,

Yeah, Google's deal with China is not very popular among the Internet community. I do not like it either.

One thing to realize, though, Google is a corporation. Corporations are not distinguished by their concern for ethics. Their concern is to make money for their shareholders. If they do not work in the interests of their shareholders, they are actually violating the law. And when it comes to the interests of the shareholders, it appears that gaining the huge market of China is way more important than making an ethical choice regarding censorship.

That sort of behavior has been the trademark of many large companies, and it probably shouldn't be a suprise that it is happening in this instance. Internet privacy advocates have also called some of Google's actions into question.

I use Google's technologies quite a bit. Blogger, for one. I also use Gmail, Google calendar, and Google Reader to keep track of blog postings. I think they offer good products, which is why I use them.

One point worth noting, though.. while Google has taken a lot of heat for omitting certain results from searches in China, Google has not descended to the level of Yahoo. Yahoo has actually assisted the Chinese government in arresting a journalist:

http://web.amnesty.org/pages/chn-310106-action-eng

12:31 PM  

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