Managing an internet multinational

Internet censorship is a growing problem around the world (the subject of my forthcoming book, The Blogging Revolution and an equally relevant issue in the West, such as France.) Now Google supposedly wants to help in the struggle:

In an effort to identify traffic discrimination by American ISPs, Google is prepping a suite of network analysis tools for everyday broadband users.

“We’re trying to develop tools, software tools…that allow people to detect what’s happening with their broadband connections, so they can let [ISPs] know that they’re not happy with what they’re getting – that they think certain services are being tampered with,” Google senior policy director Richard Whitt said this morning during a panel discussion at Santa Clara University, an hour south of San Francisco.

If the country doesn’t have neutral networks, Whitt contends, innovation stagnates among application developers. And he believes that individual consumers – as well as Washington policy makers – should join the fight for such neutrality.

“The forces aligned against us are real. They’ve been there for decades. Their pockets are deep. Their connections are strong with those in Washington,” he said. “Maybe we can turn this into an arms race on the application software side rather a political game.”

These problems are all real and need to be challenged, but when a company such as Google operates in China, and willingly censors its content to please the Communist bosses, questions must be asked about its true intentions (and hypocrisy.)

Google CEO Eric Schmidt last week expressed “worry” over repressive regimes blocking material.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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