Jan 26 2006

Googles Just This Company, You Know

Published by at 4:55 pm under Technology

This is an old article and the information contained within it may be out of date, not reflect my current views and/or contain broken links. If you feel this article is still valid and requires updating, you can use the contact form to let me know. However, I make no guarantee that it will get updated.

I am sick and tired of people saying Google is evil, Google is doing illegal activities, Google isn’t fighting for freedom of information.

Come on people, wake up and see the light. Google has been censoring its search results probably since the day it was created. In France (and possibly Germany) Google censors results referring to Nazis, this is so that Google.fr complies with French law. In Holland the age of consconsentcent for pornography was (and I believe still is) 16 years of age, however if Google returns image results showing those pornographic images to a UK (and probably most of the rest of the world) audience, they will be breaking the law therefore they filter their results.

So why should Googles activities in China be any different? It seems to me that Google, and other internet service providers, have a choice: do it the way the Chinese authorities endorse or don’t do it at all. After all you wouldn’t expect a dutch man to come over to England and start engaging in under-age pornography. You can say its completely different all you like, the fact is that it is the local law and the law must apply to everyone or there is no point in having a law.

On the subject of Google fighting for the freedom of information, well, that’s just non-sense. Right now Google is fighting the corporate institutions of America to be allowed to continue its Google Books program. Google is fighting for information which is out of print and out of copyright to be opened up to the world for searching. In fact Google is proposing that, for those books which are still in copyright and/or still print, only a small area around the search terms be displayed to the user, just to try and keep the publishing industry from throwing a wobbler. But still the authors unions and publishing corporations are not happy.

I wish that sometimes people would realise that whilst Google is trying to be a really cool and pioneering company, it is still just a company. And a company is just money making machine.

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