A shocking report authored by the office of Russia’s top religious leader Patriarch Kirill I states that this past week the United States ordered over 10 million Christian websites destroyed that they claimed were a “threat” to their National Security and that the American Internet giant Google quickly responded by making them all disappear. Continue reading →
“These new middle classes in developing countries are still fragile and fear unstability. They are ready to accept authoritarian regimes which offer some kind of order, in exchange of those regimes not slowing, with corruption or patronage their ambition of social progress, their aspiration to compete under equal conditions and their desire for giving their sons and daughters a better future”, says the British historian Lawrence James, author of The Middle Class: a history.
The article refers to people living under dictatorships such as Chinese citizens. It’s a particularly interesting analysis, specially when it says that maybe that lack of interest in democracy has its basis in the inexistence of a history of democracy or, at least, of fighting for it throughout an important period of time. So, the citizens get used to live with no individual freedoms, as servants of the State. That produces fear, so they are not going to denounce something if they consider they can be hurt in any form by that State. The latter of course, knows this so it reinforces the fear through subtle means (censorship of new ideas or of ideas not liked by the regime, for example) or less subtle and more brutal means (such as the imprisonment of dissidents).
We’ll see what are the consequences for average Chinese people, now that both Google and GoDaddy have announced they are not operating in China anymore.
Before the US Senate, Google executives have complained about blog censroship in Spain. Nicole Wong, the company’s lawyer, explained that is has been one of the countries with other democracies such as Pakistan or China, who have censored blogs on its platform.
Spain is included in this list for preventing two blogs from being published. Both blogs were published with Google’s Blogspot platform and both of them were asking for a cava and other catalan products’ boycott back in 2007.
What is remarkable is that both of those bloggers were blogging freely, while there are other platforms such as Omnium Cultural, who are receiving public money to support boycotts towards other products coming from other regions outside Catalonia.
Wong added that Google considers it’s necessary that the Governments “work harder to reduce censorship in Internet and to support freedom of expression in the net”.
Prominent Spanish blogger Prevost has noted something of interest:
From this blog, I have been supporting socialist blogs who could have been silenced by (center-right) PP. Since 2004, I have not seen once, only one post from Spanish left defending right-wing bloggers against censorship when they have been accused by the Totalitarian hand.
I’m not surprised by this. Not the least. Zapatero has insisted on his talante for years. Despite the number of times, he mentioned that word, he never said it wasgood talante.
All of which makes the NSA a particularly untrustworthy partner for a company that is almost wholly reliant on its customers’ trust and goodwill. We all know that Google automatically reads our Gmail and scans our Google Calendars and dives into our Google searches, all in an attempt to put the most relevant ads in front of us. But we’ve tolerated the automated intrusions, because Google’s products are so good, and we believed that the company was sincere in its “don’t be evil” mantra.
That’s a lot harder to swallow, when Google starts working cheek-to-jowl with the overcollectors. The company pinkie-swears that its agreement with the NSA won’t violate the company’s privacy policies or compromise user data (Yeah, sure…).
So, why so cautious and worried when a known criminal is searched but no one is worried about this? Why NSA is able to monitor everyone’s mail, without evidence we are taking part in criminal deeds, but if a criminal is caught in the act, his rights should be protected?
While the full scope of the attacks on Google and several dozen other companies remains unclear, the events set off immediate alarms in Washington, where the Obama administration has previously expressed concern about international computer security and attacks on Western companies.Neither the sequence of events leading to Google’s decision nor the company’s ultimate goal in rebuking China is fully understood. But this was not the first time that the company had considered withdrawing from China, according to a former company executive. It had clashed repeatedly with Chinese officials over censorship demands, the executive said.
Google said on Tuesday that that in its investigation of the attacks on corporations, it found that the Gmail accounts of Chinese and Tibetan activists, like Ms. Seldon, had been compromised in separate attacks involving phishing and spyware.
Independent security researchers said that at least 34 corporations had been targets of the attacks originating in China.
Adobe, a software maker, said it had been the victim of an attack, but said that it did not know if it was linked to the hacking of Google. Some reports suggested that Yahoo had been a victim, but a person with knowledge said that Yahoo did not think that it been subject to the same attack as Google.
The criticism comes as the company continues to advocate for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to impose net neutrality rules that would target internet service providers (ISPs) while opposing so-called “search neutrality” that would impact both the company and its revenues in a manner that observers of the debate say could be particularly adverse to Google.
Last week, in a post on the official Google blog, the company’s senior vice president for product management, Jonathan Rosenberg, wrote that while Google’s “goal is to keep the Internet open,” it opposes the concept of “openness” where it would apply to its own search and ad products.
Ironically, the rationale behind Google’s opposition to “open internet” policy of this sort sounds remarkably similar to the rationale expressed by ISPs—which Google and other “open internet” advocates have targeted as the enemy in the current fight regarding FCC rules—for opposing net neutrality. According to Rosenberg, opening up Google’s code “would actually hurt users” and result in “reduced quality” for those who rely on the service in question.
The reason they give not to “open” their search and ad is this one:
While we are committed to opening the code for our developer tools, not all Google products are open source. Our goal is to keep the Internet open, which promotes choice and competition and keeps users and developers from getting locked in. In many cases, most notably our search and ads products, opening up the code would not contribute to these goals and would actually hurt users. The search and advertising markets are already highly competitive with very low switching costs, so users and advertisers already have plenty of choice and are not locked in. Not to mention the fact that opening up these systems would allow people to “game” our algorithms to manipulate search and ads quality rankings, reducing our quality for everyone.
Well, that can be said by the rest of firms taking part in the web in their own markect sector. So, don’t be a bunch of hypocrites and don’t say you are for “Web openness”. Just say you are for it except when it can threaten your business… 🙄