Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
10/6/2005
06:16 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Plays Politics

Beset by lawsuits and recognizing how our fee-for-service government works, Google has hired its first lobbyist, Alan Davidson, formerly an associate director at the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Beset by lawsuits and recognizing how our fee-for-service government works, Google has hired its first lobbyist, Alan Davidson, formerly an associate director at the Center for Democracy and Technology.Students of ancient history may recall that Microsoft reacted in much the same way when the government came after its monopoly. Line enough pockets and someone's sure to remember when drafting legislation.

Google's goals seem noble enough: "Defend the Internet as a free and open platform for information, communication and innovation." Google should be applauded for backing worthy principles.

But don't get all misty-eyed just because Google's corporate interests happen to match many interests of the Internet community. Consider this statement: "Google will continue to oppose efforts to force us to block or limit lawful speech." The problem with this position is that outside the U.S. many of the things people really want to say aren't lawful. If you're a political dissident abroad, don't be surprised if Google removes your online words of protest from its index at the request of some repressive regime.

It's arguably unfair to expect more of businesses. Google CEO Eric Schmidt's first responsbility is to his shareholders and doing business in, say, China requires playing by local rules. I get that. But it's the hypocrisy of Google's goal to "do no evil" that bothers me. If Google would just 'fess up and admit that they do a bit of evil, just like everyone else, that would make me happy.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.