The falling out between Google and the Chinese government continues with Beijing getting rather the best of Mountain View. The results won’t make much difference to American consumers but China’s actions do show how a national government can impose its will on a far-flung networked corporation.
Google woos people with its “don’t be evil” slogan and assures us that everything it does is meant to enhance our online experience. But a new study by US advocacy group Consumer Watchdog – of which I am part – has found evidence that the internet giant’s search results are skewed to its own advantage.
The U.S. Justice Department is paying close attention to the Internet search industry now dominated by Internet giant, Google, according to Assistant Attorney General Christine. Varney, the nation’s top trustbuster, gave the keynote speech last week to the American Antitrust Institute’s 11th Annual Convention in Washington, DC. I was there and took the opportunity to ask her what government policy should be if online search naturally tends to become a monopoly.
When Google executive and search guru Amit Singhal calls the Internet search giant “the biggest kingmaker on this Earth,” he was more egotistical than wrong. He also highlighted why people find the company’s egotism disturbing.
A federal court decision this week throwing out Viacom’s’ $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube, has consumers and copyright holders wondering about its implications. (Viacom says it will appeal.)
Can Google drive a cultural change in news consumption? That’s the question raised by an Italian newspaper’s report that the Internet search giant will launch a premium news content paywall system called Newspass by year’s end.
Google’s charm offensive to the news industry continues with Google News inventor Krishna Bharat talking optimistically about the future of journalism at Stanford earlier this month. What Bharat did not talk about was perhaps more interesting than what he did.
Attorneys general across the United States are responding to Consumer Watchdog’s call to investigate Google’s WiSpy debacle in which the company used its Street View vehicles to snoop on private WiFi networks for three years.
The story that Google is going into the music business, first floated by Tech Crunch last fall, has returned with CNet’s Greg Sandoval citing “multiple music industry sources” saying the launch could come this fall.
As the Obama administration pushes ahead with plans to adopt cloud computing, Congress is pushing back with questions. Google is a leading proponent of cloud computing, where most applications and data are on remote servers and accessed from a PC via the Internet.
Some consumer advocates said the problem is that Google did not seem more open with what happened and why. “As this has unfolded we learn more,” said John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog, which has criticized Google in the past. “I would like to see Google come clean about what they gathered.”