The fight for policy is often fought along K Street not in the Capitol or in the White House. In Gucci Gulch the future of industries is worked out. Who gets government largess, who does not. Who gets what contract, who does not. Who gets surveilled and…
I am a big fan of Google generally. I think Gmail is a fantastic product, same for Google Earth, Google Translate, and many other programs I use all the time. Not to mention the search engine which continues to lead the pack. But the thought of Google partnering with the US military to create an army of “terminator-like” robot warriors (with taxpayer funds of course) should be of concern to just about everyone. At least it is for me.
Continue reading Military may soon be Google’s biggest customer
It may still.
Continue reading How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet
4 years ago I founded a small social media constancy. The idea was to manage the coming deluge of social media for businesses. Turned out to be a pretty good idea.
At first many businesses didn’t believe that social media was going to be as important as it has become. What seemed completely obvious to me was still not obvious to most businesses even into 2009. Then people began to wake up and the rest is history. Before I knew it I had Fortune 1000 companies emailing me. Companies which just 9 months before had no interest.
It has been a fascinating ride and one with many twists and turns.
Social media is by its nature a constantly evolving thing. This is one of 2 great challenges for businesses in today’s online world. Should a business spend time developing a Google+ presence? Many did. Not such a good idea, at this point. What about Foursquare? What happens if a company spends a million dollars on a social media engagement strategy only to have the environment turn on a dime?
The other great challenge is managing the crush of information which comes from doing social media well.
I can say from experience that this is a colossal task, and one that people have not yet figured out. So if you know how to run algos and know how to pick good trees from the forest, I suggest you look long and hard at a career in big data. It’s only going to get bigger.
We at The Future 500 believe absolutely in the idea that innovation, constant innovation, is a key element to the 21st Century. Those who embrace the chaos of innovation and the the order of disorder will succeed, some beyond their wildest dreams. Those who do not will be left behind. This goes for countries, companies, and individuals. Create and think, or don’t. But the second option is not going to be a pleasant one.
Last week in Dubai, Russia, China, the Arab countries, and much of Africa voted to end the Internet as an international , free and open space. They have voted instead to allow for the partitioning of the Net, in an effort to keep information – and people well regulated.
“The Internet Society came to this meeting in the hopes that revisions to the treaty would focus on competition, liberalization, free flow of information and independent regulation – things that have clearly worked in the field of telecommunications,” she said. “Instead, these concepts seem to have been largely struck from the treaty text.”
It makes sense. The next stage of search is to anticipate search. Of course to what degree this is a chicken and egg equation is not clear.
But make no mistake, Google is seeking to know your next step before even you think about taking it.
It seems crazy now. It likely won’t seem so weird in the very near future.
The implications for marketing are immense. And what about law enforcement? Did I hear someone say “Minority Report?”
No? You will. And I don’t need Google to tell me that.
Privacy is disappearing at an ever more rapid pace and we’d be wise to take a moment and think about where we are going with all of this. Though Google and Apple are private companies this seems a clear violation of one’s expectation of privacy. Our rights end where those of others begin, and vice versa. I should not have to concern myself with the idea that Google has an eye in the sky over my town.
Do you? Many people do. The settings they set on Facebook, and the search algorithms in Google and other places serve to create intelectual ecosystems online which reinforce our preconcieved notions. Liberals get liberal news. Conservatives get conservative news. Its a loop which reinforces itself until we have drinks at Thanksgiving. Then ideas are “shared.”
Posted by Senior Director, Juliette Terzieff:
Google has joined Twitter as the latest major Internet player to limit content as needed on a country-by-country basis as a means to answer varied restrictions that could prevent the provision of services. Twitter announced earlier this year it would be censoring tweets by country—meaning that if a tweet could be construed as offensive in a country or violate the country’s laws, the microblogger would remove it from view in that country. Google has now followed suit with a similar statement in regards to its blog content.
Google has previously limited its search engine, blocking content specific searches in places like China, where the demand had to be met or the Internet company wouldn’t be allowed to operate in the country.
Blogger, Google’s free blogging website, can now be censored by country, just like Twitter, although there remains a way to gain access. Google changed the URL of each site automatically by country, converting the site to blogspot.co.uk, blogspot.co.nz, .blogspot.co.au, and so on, depending on which country users are accessing the website from. The way around the country by country system is to use blogspot.com/ncr (i.e. no country redirect). Using the bypass will allow users in any country to see all content posted on Blogger.
Twitter employed a similar bypass when it began censoring tweets. In a post on January 26, 2012, Twitter stated, “As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression. Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content.”
“One of our core values as a company is to defend and respect each user’s voice,” the Twitter post said. “We try to keep content up wherever and whenever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can’t. The tweets must continue to flow.”
The bypass Twitter employs is very easy to find in its Help Center so that content can’t be censored or deleted, and all it requires is changing the country in which one resides, much like Google has done. The tweets can’t be censored if they’re being tweeted from a country where the law isn’t being broken.
While Google’s decision to restrict posts on a country by country basis could be construed as a suppression of expression, it actually allows for the information to remain accessible elsewhere and improves on previous availability.
Before Google made the change, it “needed to take down material under the laws of one or another country,” and that meant that no one could see the content because it was removed from the system entirely. “Moving to the new system means that [Google] can make it inaccessible only to those in a country where the statement is indeed potentially illegal, leaving the rest of the world to carry on as before.”
Google responded in a question and answer statement, “Migrating to localized domains will allow us to continue promoting free expression and responsible publishing while providing greater flexibility in complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law.
“By utilizing ccTLDs, content removals can be managed on a per country basis, which will limit their impact to the smallest number of readers. Content removed due to a specific country’s law will only be removed from the relevant ccTLD,” the Internet giant said. “If you visit a blog that does not correspond to your current location as determined by your IP address, the blogspot servers will redirect you to the domain associated with your country, if it’s a supported ccTLD.”
The actions taken by Google and Twitter to moderate posts where potential legal action could incur allows the companies to continue offering services in restrictive environments where access to information may be needed most. Even if current conditions require some limitations, keeping the information highway open—even partially—can help foment climates where change is possible.