The Wikileaks documents released in the past few days revive that question, first posed in 2006 when the search engine entered the world’s largest market, by revealing some of the hardball tactics that Beijing’s communists are using to bring Mountain View’s capitalists to heel.
As Google grows in size, so does its political influence. And, while this may not overly worry most people, there is one man who is keeping a close watch on the search engine firm. He is Consumer Watchdog’s John Simpson, and one gets the feeling that he revels in his role of giant-killer.
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.
Last month, The Financial Times reported that Google was blaming Microsoft software vulnerability for the multinational cyber attack it encountered earlier this year. In response, unnamed Google employees said, the company was phasing out the Windows operating system at the company. But, maybe it’s about the money.
Consumer Watchdog today formally launched its new Website, Inside Google, to focus attention on the company’s activities and hold Google accountable for its actions. The sites’ URL is http://insidegoogle.com.
Google could announce this week that it will move SSL encryption implemented in Gmail to other services such as search. During the company’s annual shareholders meeting a question on this from John Simpson, an investor who works for Consumer Watchdog, prompted a curt “Do you get the drift of the answer?” from Google chief executive officer Eric Schmidt after Google vice president of search Marissa Mayer replied “stay tuned.” Encryption has moved to the forefront after Google’s admission last week it had collected small pieces of private information people sent through unencrypted wireless networks.
Perhaps the toughest shareholder question came from consumer advocate John Simpson, who asked Schmidt whether Google had agreed to a reported $700 million “kill fee” if Google’s $750 million acquisition of the mobile advertising company AdMob is rejected by government antitrust regulators. Schmidt neither confirmed or denied that number, but predicted the deal would be approved by the Federal Trade Commission, which is expected to rule in coming days.
Google’s April Fool joke this year – renaming its search site “Topeka” – was a self-congratulatory disappointment compared with some of the funny self-parodies of previous years, for instance, here or here. The mayor of Topeka in March announced a month-long renaming of Kansas’ capital city to “Google, KS” as part of the city’s bid […]
stopped self-censoring its Chinese search engine, Google.cn, on Monday and
redirected that site’s visitors to Google.com.hk, its site based in Hong Kong.
As part of the move Google starting making search results on the Hong
Kong site available in simplified Chinese characters, which are used in the
People’s Republic of China.
Google’s decision to stop filtering search results hailed as triumph for internet freedom and a boost to the people for China
Consumer Watchdog, the California consumer, education and advocacy
organization agreed: "Google should be commended for its action. The
internet giant should never have censored results in the first place,
but the action is a strong move towards supporting freedom of speech on
the internet," said consumer advocate John Simpson.
The revelation that Google Inc. is partnering with the National Security Agency to probe a widespread cyber attack has quickened the pulse of privacy advocates.
Google has apparently gone to the super secret National Security Agency seeking help in preventing cyber attacks.
WASHINGTON, DC — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s condemnation of
cyber attacks and censorship is an important endorsement of a free
global Internet, but just as important to ensuring the Internet’s
contribution to democracy and economic growth is a commitment to
consumer privacy, Consumer Watchdog said today.