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Piracy

What's Google got to hide? Google's CEO Schmidt ducks questions from the real free press

I couldn't help to notice yesterday that Google CEO Schmidt didn't take any questions from reporters who were in attendance or meet with the reporter pool afterwards, which is customary for speaking venues like Dr. Schmidt's speech Monday at the Economic Club of Washington.

What's Google got to hide in Washington?

  • Could it be that Google does not think that questions of a leading corporate CEO, who is now Chairman of the New America Foundation think tank concerning: antitrust, privacy, consumer protection, good government, transparency, openness, tax, net neutrality, and broadband Universal Service -- are not considered legitimate questions or fair game in Washington?
  • Do public questions of public leaders seeking ambitious changes in public policy and public discourse, not warrant an open forum for questions from a free press in a democracy?

Bottom line: It appears the only kind of "free press" that Google embraces is its advocacy group ally that calls itself FreePress, which is the operation which de facto runs point for Google's net neutrality public policy agenda in Washington.

Unleashed: Transcript of Griffin/Cleland talk on Google, net neutrality, monopolies, click fraud, privacy

For those who like the written format, here is the link to the transcript of Chip Griffin's interview of me on all things Google.

This interview turned out to be one of the most comprehensive and in-depth discussions I have had on all things Google -- that's been captured for web listening or reading.

We discussed:

PFF's Sydnor brilliantly exposes Lessig's "quasi-socialist Utopianism" advancing net neutrality

Tom Sydnor of the Progress and Freedom Foundation has done a brilliant analysis of Professor Larry Lessig's book "Free Culture" in the important context of Professor Lessig's other works. 

  • This analysis is outstanding foundational-thinking and a must read for anyone who cares about preserving a free market Internet.  

Let me highlight some gems:

First, his conclusion:

  • "The preceding analysis shows that FREE CULTURE does demonize copyright owners and does urge the government to eliminate copyrights and impose "quasi-socialist utopianism." Nor does this pattern stop with copyrights. Indeed, the preceding analysis shows Lessig has already claimed that to Save the Net, the government must nationalize or heavily regulate:

      • The providers of Internet-access services that own the physical network infrastructure, (e.g., net neutrality);

       

      • The providers of commercial internet applications and services, like eBay, Amazon, and Google (e.g., CODE); and

       

NPR on public libraries' concern over Google's aspiration for one world library of books

National Public Radio's All Things Considered" did a great 5 minute segment on: "Some Libraries Shun Google in Book Battle."

The story is set up as who should control the world's future virtual libraries as libraries and Google rush to digitize the world's books?

  • Several public libraries object to Google digitizing all their books and are doing it themselves.
  • They worry about a "single corporate entity" having so much power over the world's information.
  • If the old adage is true, that information is power, there is reason to worry.

I note this story because these libraries are a spontaneous and very real grass roots response to Google's megalomaniacal mission: to organize the world's information and make it universally available and useful."

  • These public library advocates worried out loud about how much more effective censorship could be if "a single corporate entity" controlled the world's main library and how would they respond to political pressure to ban a book or an author?

Google should take note. Here is a grass roots rebellion brewing from their left flank, which looks un-willing to be bought off by Google to go away. 

Why isn't Google warning users about their heightened risk of identity theft and fraud?

Surprisingly, Google continues to keep its users in the dark on the new reported cyber-security threat where cyber-crooks have infiltrated Google's searches putting them at heightened risk of identity theft and fraud.  

The San Franciso Chronicle in its article "Hackers infiltrate Google's searches" followed up on the original USA Today article "Google searchers could end up with a new kind of bug."  I blogged on the USA Today story and explained why this problem is a big deal.  

  • Per the Chronicle article, "Google is working on a filter that will find and automatically block such malicious Web addresses, a spokesman said Tuesday. In the meantime, it has been contacting affected organizations to advise them on how to fix their sites' vulnerabilities."
  • WHY ISN'T GOOGLE WARNING ITS USERS!  Google users are the ones that are at immediate risk of losing their identity and private information to crooks forever -- not the websites.  

Apparently, from what I have been able to gather from my sources -- Google is under the illusion that because they don't control the websites that are infected -- they don't have an obligation to warn their users.

Let's review the facts of why Google may have: a budding user trust problem, a potential PR disaster on its hands, and a potential legal contingent liability/class action lawsuit vunerability for shareholders to worry about.

Professor Wu, Father of Net Neutrality, calling for "law breaking" to advance net neutrality?

Professor Tim Wu, who coined the term "net neutrality" is reportedly now advocating "law breaking" to advance the "information commons" agenda, which believes Internet infrastrructure, spectrum and content should be publicly owned and not privately owned.  

  • Communications Daily quoted Professor Wu on March 11, 2008:
    • "To move things along, unlicensed users should start occupying unused spectrum for wireless broadband, Wu said: "You gotta start somewhere, and it always starts with law-breaking.""
  • My experience is that Comm Daily is careful to accurately quote people and if Professor Wu did not to clarify his remarks, we can assume them to be accurate. I also have not seen a clarification of this after two more publications. 
  • I would also like to extend the courtesy to Professor Wu to be able to qualify his remarks that they were meant to be flippant, or a joke, or that he really didn't mean to call to publicly encourage people to break the law.
    • He could resolve this issue with a simple blog post.  

That said, it is very troubling to any public civility minded person who believes in the rule of law and respect for property, that such a prominent person as Professor Wu (who coined the term net neutrality, and who proposed Caterfone open access rules for the 700 MHz auction) would advocate "law-breaking" to advance his political agenda.

Why ultimate FCC decision on Comcast network management is expected to be unanimous

(See end of this post for bottom line on why there will be a unanimous FCC decision on Comcast's network management practices.)  

It's obvious that there is much more that is uncertain than certain after listening to the five-hour FCC En Banc hearing at Harvard on the FreePress and Vuze petitions on Comcast's network management practices.

Professor Tim Wu, who coined the term net neutrality and who was a panelist framed the Harvard spectacle in CNET as a "...trial of the Internet." "Comcast is in the docket accused of crimes against the public interest."  

  • Well if this was a trial, Wu/FreePress et al did not prove their case, and certainly did not prove it "beyond a reasonable doubt."
  • Only in the "make-it-up-as-you-go-along world of net neutrality is it an alleged "crime against the public interest" for an ISP to protect the quality of service for many users by imperceptively delaying the packet delivery of non-time sensitive applications for a few users.  

FCC Commissioner Tate got all the first panelists to agree that there was a baseline need for "reasonable network management." Even Professor Wu conceded that there was "good discrimination and bad discrimination," just like there is "good cholestorol and bad cholestorol."

Google humor: "human review trumps technology" in filtering for copyright

I had to stop myself from bursting out laughing when listening to Google-YouTube's product counsel, Mia Garlick, speak on the Internet Caucus panel on "Internet Copyright Filters: Finding the Balance."

  • Google-YouTube's representative said with a straight face: "human review trumps technology" in copyright filtering.  

Let that little quote sink in for a moment.

Google...

  • the self-described technology company,
  • the algorithm leader,
  • the company that automates virtually everything internally,
  • the company that is not interested in pursuing businesses or tasks that cannot be automated or condensed to an algorithm,
  • the company that has taken innovation and technology to a new level on the Internet,
  • the company that uses technology for customer service not humans...
    •  is saying that "human review trumps technology"?

If human review of content trumps technology, why doesn't Google rank/filter all the world's content in its search process with human review rather than technology -- if human review is better?

What is reasonable network managment? My remarks at the San Fran net neutrality symposium

Remarks for the University of San Francisco Net Neutrality Symposium

January 26, 2008

 

Thank you for including me in this forum and debate on net neutrality.

  • I have a very different point of view than most everyone on the panel save for Richard Bennett.
  • Full disclosure, I am Chairman of NetCompetition.org which represents broadband companies on the issue of net neutrality.   

I believe net neutrality is largely a contrived issue and a fabricated “problem.”

·         The issue is on political life support in Washington, because it is all slogan and little substance.

Google's Regulatory Outlook 2008

The big question for investors is why?

  • Why has Google felt the need to rapidly build up a new lobbying operation in D.C. (rivaling Microsoft's in size) and why did Google just unveil, with great fanfare, its new cutting-edge office space in DC with a party that attracted 650 people and many VIPs?
    • What does Google know that investors may not?

Google's Regulatory Outlook:

Federal Trade Commission

Antitrust:

Pages

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths