×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Google Draws Fire From Congress

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the careful-congress,-they-might-delist-you dept.

Google 212

bonch writes "Democrat Herb Kohl, the Senate's leading antitrust legislator, has vowed an antitrust probe into Google as one of his top priorities. Others in Congress are criticizing the search giant over several flubs, including scanning personal data over neighborhood WiFi, collecting Social Security information from children in a doodling contest, and sidestepping net neutrality rules through a deal with Verizon. They're also concerned over ties with the administration — Eric Schmidt is a technology adviser to President Obama, Andrew McLaughlin serves as Obama's deputy chief technology officer, and Sonal Shah leads the White House Office of Social Innovation. Google spent $5.2 million last year on federal lobbying, but critics say their increased Washington presence has made more enemies than friends." Reader walterbyrd contributes an article that suggests this is all just a fund-raising ploy.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

212 comments

It's certainly time for this already! (-1, Troll)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466714)

Google is smart. They're playing the nice little guy who give everything for free. Even slashdotters love them because it's free. People fail to see the evil behind all that seemingly nice stuff. All the data mining, selling to advertisers, everything. This is why I prefer to pay for software like Microsoft's - their business model is honest and I get what I pay for. Nothing extra, nothing hidden.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35466820)

Microsoft gave stuff away for free!

Doesn't that make them nice?! Or.....

Google is now under anti-trust investigation. I guess that makes them like Microsoft?

*I'm looking incredibly giddy with mischief pointing out Slashdot's hypocracy!*

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (0, Troll)

phmadore (1391487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466842)

You pay for software that almost works 30% of the time and fails to work the other 70% of the time?

What does Microsoft have to do with Google other than that they are attempting -- and I use this word loosely -- to compete with them on their home turf?

Chrome has done more to keep people using Windows than MS would ever give credit for. You don't see Google trying to make it the default browser choice on all systems sold by, I dunno, Dell or HP, do you?

If you had said you pay for Apple products because they work and you get what you pay for, I would consider that reasonable. But all you prove in your comment is that you're some form of retarded Microsoft-bot, and that's a shame, because that bitch is finally on the way out and innovation is finally back on the way in, and it always sucks to be the last to realize that.

Next, we'll deal with the spectre of Apple evil -- even us who love their products.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (1)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467040)

You pay for software that almost works 30% of the time and fails to work the other 70% of the time?

I think you're exaggerating a bit. If you don't like Microsoft products then you don't like Microsoft products, but to claim that they "fail" (whatever that means... instability? functionally?) is a bit disingenuous.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467136)

Chrome has done more to keep people using Windows than MS would ever give credit for. You don't see Google trying to make it the default browser choice on all systems sold by, I dunno, Dell or HP, do you?

Really? What has Chrome done to keep people on Windows? What alternatives do you have on other operating systems that you can't get on Windows?

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467484)

You pay for software that almost works 30% of the time and fails to work the other 70% of the time?

Do people pay you go give such bullshit figures as FUD too, or are you naturally that retarded?

For most people, Windows works fine the majority of the time and using anything else would be a pain in the ass or worse.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (3, Insightful)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466844)

They're playing the nice little guy who give everything for free. Even slashdotters love them because it's free.

That's the biggest myth in tech world, the idea that end-user payments determine whether a service is paid or not.

Here's the fact: Google doesn't give anything away for "free." With most of its services you are the product being sold to advertisers.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (0)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466846)

Nothing extra, nothing hidden? How about the tons of unnecessary shit Windows comes equipped with and you can't remove? Or the recent scandal about WP7 phones generating traffic apart from user-created stuff?

Data mining? Meh. If someone's interested in my research into nootropics, or the schedule for the Association of Diplomacy in Practice, let them be, all of it is public anyway, nothing to hide there. I only put stuff into the cloud that I wouldn't be embarrassed to put my name onto, for example in case of hacking.

Ads? I ignore them, whether they're targeted at me or not. It simply bounces off my brain.

If someone needs an antitrust probe it's the kind like Microsoft and Apple. Especially Apple needs to be investigated, even if it's not really antitrust, but for the insane amount of control they wield over their users' devices. I wouldn't be surprised if those iPhones could actually be commanded to eavesdrop...

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35466942)

ok, Zalan Meggyesi.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467456)

Lol you think you ignore adds.

On monday, count how many times you see the word/s "coca-cola". Its probably in the range of 30-50 times.

And you think you don't notice.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466854)

This is why I prefer to pay for software like Microsoft's - their business model is honest and I get what I pay for.

+1, Troll.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35466910)

Wasen't it M$ that bungled Alexa with IE by default and had updates to old windows version collect a list of installed software on the system?

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467068)

MS have a long history of bungling. I vote this post for best typo of the month award!

It's not evil. (2)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466934)

Except Google really doesn't try to hide anything. I like Google not just because they give stuff away for free, but because they also deliver a quality product, but, more importantly, they are very honest and transparent with their actions. Like with the incidents with the WIFI data, they came forward and admitted it without anybody investigating them. There is nothing "shady" about their business practices. You may not agree with the way they do that business, but you are completely free to use another product as you so suggest. It's not evil. It's just business

Re:It's not evil. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467062)

Except Google really doesn't try to hide anything.

Well they have been hiding the truth from you obviously.

I like Google not just because they give stuff away for free,

YOU are the product they are selling to advertisers. Your personal data, your habits, where you go, what you search for, what you buy, who you talk to and about what.

but because they also deliver a quality product,

You mean the ones constantly in beta. Like malware infested apps that steal private data. Like the mail service that loses peoples data.

but, more importantly, they are very honest and transparent with their actions.Like with the incidents with the WIFI data, they came forward and admitted it without anybody investigating them.

And yet they refused to hand over the data. Refused to show exactly what they'd been collecting.

There is nothing "shady" about their business practices.

They use your private data but when you publish theirs they remove you from their listings.
If you have ad money left they spend it for you bidding on words unconnected with your business.
Hiring national security specialists.
Using their 'secret' algorithms to artificially promote their rankings over competitors.
Only pulling out of china when it was good publicity.. until then they filtered their results.

It's just business

Their method of business and what they do IS evil.

I cant tell if you're naive or stupid.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (0)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467022)

Of course what Google is doing right now is evil in an anti-competitive sense: it is "selling" some of their products at a price point that is below the net price. For example, their free gmail service is subsidized by their search products, and these products are largely unrelated. I'm not sure about the US, but in many countries, such "dumping" of products would be considered illegal.

The dumping of products has another negative side-effect, and this is that people are giving up their rights. For example, they are giving up privacy, and they have nobody to complain to if something does not properly work, or, for example, if they lose all their data.

Google might have the slogan "do no evil", but considering the above facts, Microsoft is really not all too bad. I certainly have to agree with the parent that their business model is more honest, at least.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467102)

For example, their free gmail service is subsidized by their search products, and these products are largely unrelated.

What are you talking about? It pays for itself the same way every other free email service does, by having ads on it.

And I hope you're not suggesting that running a division at a loss is somehow unlawful, because otherwise Microsoft's xbox and online services divisions are in deep trouble.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (2)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467412)

Dumping is not considered unlawful everywhere, but it certainly is anti-competitive. Ok, so maybe gmail may pay for itself by now (this definitely has not been the case when they started), youtube certainly is operating at a loss.

You might want to read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumping_(pricing_policy) [wikipedia.org]

If you're still not convinced, let's assume that you are the owner of a game development studio. Suddenly, microsoft comes along, and with the money they earned on OSes and office software, they can afford to give away games on a large scale. And suddenly you are out of business. Under normal circumstances, when a corporation pushes another corporation out of business, this can be viewed as ''evolutionary forces at work''. But here this is definitely not the case, because these divisions of microsoft are clearly unrelated. It is an anomaly in the system, and this is exactly what governments should protect against.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467652)

Ok, so maybe gmail may pay for itself by now (this definitely has not been the case when they started), youtube certainly is operating at a loss.

YouTube has been operating at a loss since before Google bought them, and they're in the process of slowly turning that around. This is the normal way industries work -- you have to make an initial investment to create the infrastructure necessary to enter the market and the returns don't come until some time down the road.

If you're still not convinced, let's assume that you are the owner of a game development studio. Suddenly, microsoft comes along, and with the money they earned on OSes and office software, they can afford to give away games on a large scale. And suddenly you are out of business. Under normal circumstances, when a corporation pushes another corporation out of business, this can be viewed as ''evolutionary forces at work''. But here this is definitely not the case, because these divisions of microsoft are clearly unrelated. It is an anomaly in the system, and this is exactly what governments should protect against.

The logic doesn't really work for digital goods. The idea with dumping is that you sell for less than the reproduction cost. With digital goods the reproduction cost is effectively zero. It's not like Google is paying people to use its products (unlike, say, Microsoft [wikipedia.org]).

If you want to call every act of giving away software dumping then you're going to have to condemn the entire industry. Microsoft is destroying the market for Windows security updates by distributing them for free. Canonical is wrongfully giving away Ubuntu. How dare Apple contribute back its improvements to Webkit and allow just anyone to run Darwin? And those guys at the FSF, it's practically a criminal enterprise! Not to mention the people at Berkeley and the NSF -- both the states and the feds are in on it. And the shareware people on top of it all.

Calling it dumping makes no sense. Especially when it's open source, because the whole problem with dumping is that when all the competitors go out of business then the last man standing has a monopoly. But if the software is open source then there is no "monopoly" -- anybody who doesn't like what you're doing can fork it and do something else and the original developer has no opportunity to charge monopoly prices because anyone can redistribute the software for free.

The harm only comes if the software is free-as-in-beer but not free-as-in-speech and once it becomes dominant the controlling developer does the sort of things Microsoft did with Internet Explorer, like discontinuing all the editions other than those that run on Windows and making it incompatible with industry standards so that people would have to use Windows to visit most websites as was the case in the early 2000s. Can you point to anything Google does along these lines? If anything they're doing the opposite, with efforts like this [dataliberation.org].

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467204)

Why are what they are doing evil?

They are just giving me information I want and products I want through the advertising. Doesn't sound bad to me.

Microsoft is very evil. They took advantage of Google's promise not to sell confidential keywords in gmail's email to outside parties with hotmail. Basically they promised advertisers free data on your hotmail accounts. Google's ads work on computer algorithms from its servers but that data is not directly sold to third parties.

I trust Google more.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467262)

ahahahaha

hahahahahahahahahahaha

hahahahahahah

ahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

oh stop, it hurts...

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467266)

The "real" evil here is that the political establishment is inventing a controversy out of nothing, so they have something they can pretend to stand for while at the same time not addressing any of the real issues that plague our country but are politically unpopular to deal with. Medicare, Social Security, Gay Rights, the erosion of our fundamental civil liberties, education. All require politicians to vote for things that will make them lose votes from both Republicans and Democrats, but would benefit the general public. Instead they do nothing... and create an emergency out of thin air that makes little sense so they can pretend to be on your side. Herb Kohl is doing nothing and acting the coward. It's shameful.

Re:It's certainly time for this already! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467670)

This is why I prefer to pay for software like Microsoft's - their business model is honest and I get what I pay for. Nothing extra, nothing hidden.

Microsoft gives away plenty of "free" software like internet explorer, visual studio express, security essentials, etc. They also have free email, search, etc. Bing has ads; hotmail has ads. What's so different from what Google does other than Google does it better?

God Never Forget Either! December 7, 1941 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35466726)

Reap what you sow!

God Never Forget Either! September 11, 2001 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35466848)

Reap what you sow!

Amerifags still dont get the lesson of that day? I hope more planes crash on building. Reap what you sow, asshole!

Re:God Never Forget Either! September 11, 2001 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467082)

No shit! Amerifags kicked the Japs' ass and kicked the Ayrabs asses. Kicked them arabs asses so bad, the arabs are kicking each others asses. Shows how much we fucked them up. Lesson learned? Mess with the Amerifags and we will kick your ass so bad you won't know where to eat or shit anymore!

Re:God Never Forget Either! December 7, 1941 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467344)

Why I respond to troll I cannot tell.

But we hit them with 2 motherfucking nukes, damnit! Payback's a bitch and all, but good lord, man, how much do you fucking want?

Google must not have been bribing... contributing (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466742)

to Congress campaigns enough lately.

Amen! (4, Insightful)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466904)

Yeah, it's called a legislative shakedown. I don't mind google being pushed around by idealistic Europeans, but once America's asshats get into the game, well it's a shakedown pure & simple.

Google would eventually turn evil once Sergey Brin dies of course, but thus far they ain't too bad. We should encourage Larry and Sergey to push positive moral aims through their company itself, rather than adopting Gate's be evil & then be nice approach.

Re:Amen! (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467076)

Maybe the government wouldn't go after large corps so much if they paid their taxes.

This isn't for the treasury... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467434)

...it's for campaign funds.

Re:Amen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467570)

Maybe if government (i.e. Congress) would stop granting them tax loopholes they'd be forced to pay their taxes. I mean, what kind of idiot pays their taxes when they don't have to and still expect to competitive in a cut-throat market?

Re:Amen! (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467174)

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
-- C.S. Lewis

Re:Amen! (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467228)

That kind of reminds me or Walmart.

They were not as evil when Walton still ran it and made sure it was a 100% American owned with American products that helped the US economy.

Today we have Walmart to thank for outsourcing our jobs more than any other company. Walmart kept telling suppliers "Move to China NOW or we wont stock your PRODUCT! .."So they started the ball rolling. Now if you have a product you MUST eliminate most of your American jobs before Target or Walmart will even talk to you.

Re:Amen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467358)

Yeah yeah. "This is just the government pushing around innocent Google... oh, BTW, Micro$oft is EEEEvil."
 
Seriously? Go suck a dick.

Yep (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466744)

Yep, it's a shakedown. Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35466860)

Just like they did to Microsoft!

Poor Microsoft is just like Google! And Google is just like Microsoft!

Misunderstood!

Speaking out of both sides of their mouths? (4, Insightful)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466750)

What about the Son of Acta that was posted yesterday? Or the patriot act? Or the fact that I know while driving to California tomorrow along 8 I'm going to get stopped and searched at least 2 to 3 times by border patrol in complete violation of my 4th amendment rights? I'm not going to say that all of that data mining isn't a treasure trove of information, I'd just suggest this is all a diversion, that if given the chance all those politicians creating a stink would *love* to get their hands on all of it, and that they have *much* more pressing issues at the moment.

Re:Speaking out of both sides of their mouths? (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466894)

I'm starting to not wanna be in the US, I've been to maybe 30 states, I'm no stranger down there but man is it getting rather inconvenient, expensive, and stupid. And for some reason, the voices of reason are the ones who are shouted down.

Re:Speaking out of both sides of their mouths? (5, Insightful)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466970)

If you think what the US does is substantially different from the rest of the first world, then you're wrong. The difference is we just bitch about it a lot more. If anything we're just catching up. Amazingly we still have preserved the freedom of speech a lot more than places like the UK, Germany, and Australia.

Re:Speaking out of both sides of their mouths? (4, Interesting)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467160)

If you think what the US does is substantially different from the rest of the first world, then you're wrong. The difference is we just bitch about it a lot more. If anything we're just catching up. Amazingly we still have preserved the freedom of speech a lot more than places like the UK, Germany, and Australia.

Ah, I guess that makes it alright as we continue this downward spiral? C'mon, your argument is that of an elementary school kid: "But they did this, which is worse!!!!" That's so childish. Nothing personal, but it's true - and I doubt you got away with it often in elementary school, thus I'm simply not letting you get away with it now.

We (the people, this country, it's elected representatives (who often seem to forget who they represent)) need to always hold ourselves to a higher standard, without succumbing to the "well, everyone else is doing it"/"well, they are doing worse" idiocy. Otherwise, we can justify every travesty we commit by finding someone else to point to - and that will accelerate our spiral downwards at an alarming rate.

Re:Speaking out of both sides of their mouths? (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467496)

(1) If this was microsoft that had been collecting SS numbers, WillyWanker would be all for the investigation.

(2) You can refuse a search of your car, because they need to have either a warrant or probable cause (keep your eye on any drug-sniffing dogs, as sometimes officers kick the dog to make them bark). Make sure you lock the doors when you exit the vehicle.

I refused a search in Texas without any longterm negative consequences. The Law of the Constitution supersedes any other law or court ruling.

$5.2 Million? (1)

ConaxConax (1886430) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466752)

That's why Google is being investigated, for being such cheapskates! Don't they know how to lobby properly?! Microsoft has been known to spend up to $25 million, and that isn't much compared to the really big players!

Exxxcellent. (-1, Flamebait)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466758)

Tried to post this as C64_love but due to Moderation Bombing, my karma is -1 and I can only post once a day. Grrr.

ANYWAY: Google (and other corporations) need to be investigated at every opportunity, and their licenses revoked (or broken-apart like ATT) if found guilty. The semi-equivalent of a prison sentence.

Re:Exxxcellent. (2)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466898)

I now see why you've been moderation bombed.

Re:Exxxcellent. (0)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467514)

Yeah because commodore64_love is a father-fucking manwhore with incredible sutpdi ddecisons. Google is a THE LVOE CORPORATINO and the government should nto be investigatign them. Instead the governemnt should desolve Microsoft and give the peices to Google, the lost wonder fulcompany in the whole world!

I don't care if Google steals my kid's SS numbers, shopws them nudie pics, or videotapes my sex throguh my beeddrom. Google is fucki9ng awesome man!

Re:Exxxcellent. (0, Flamebait)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467534)

>>>I now see why you've been moderation bombed [because we HATE c64liove and want to see someone put a bullet in his head.]

+1 insightful. The way to deal with people's whose opinions you don't like is to Silence them with censorship, just like Hillary wants to pull FOX News off the air (or maybe that was Pelosi - one of them democrats). Damn free speech. Silence the people whose opinions are "wrongthought", and if they refuse to be silent, lead them off to the Killing Fields.

Re:Exxxcellent. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466914)

the karma bombing is a bitch, isn't it? I am a decade+ (so to speak) poster with a damned good karma rating; yet I was bombed a year or so ago (very unknown reasons) and I was stuck like you, with -1 for quite a long long time. nothing the developers (I emailed many times, sigh) could do would reverse it. maybe they just didn't care, don't know.

realize that its happened to others. I did not create a 2nd account and just gave up even trying to post for close to a year. yeah, it sucked; then again, I had extra free time on my hands ;)

Hypocrites (4)

areusche (1297613) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466772)

They should do an anti trust probe into real anti trust problems. More specifically one that looks at that ever lovely comcastic company.

Re:Hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467118)

Someone mod this great man up.

Great use of our time and resources (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35466788)

Yes, when I think of out-of-control industries that are stamping on the rights of ordinary people, colluding to price-gouge us and passing legislation harmful to American interests, I think Google. Not the RIAA or MPAA or union-busting industries or economy-wrecking fraudulent financial groups or small-business-annihilating megamarts or the military-industrial complex or cable and phone companies. Definitely Google. Please oh please stop them before they voluntarily collect our publicly available SSNs and information we blast out over wireless on clear unencrypted channels.

Re:Great use of our time and resources (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467166)

Yes, when I think of out-of-control industries that are stamping on the rights of ordinary people, colluding to price-gouge us and passing legislation harmful to American interests, I think Google. Not the RIAA or MPAA or union-busting industries or economy-wrecking fraudulent financial groups or small-business-annihilating megamarts or the military-industrial complex or cable and phone companies. Definitely Google. Please oh please stop them before they voluntarily collect our publicly available SSNs and information we blast out over wireless on clear unencrypted channels.

Sadly, though I have mod points, I have already posted in this thread, otherwise I'd mod you up... hopefully someone else will.

The real reason they are after Google is here (3, Informative)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466810)

Disclaimer:

I am not stating here that this information is correct, but it's certainly worth a read.

So go ahead, and have a read over here. [goo.gl]

Re:The real reason they are after Google is here (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466884)

Yet to this day poor people still think the government should be financially at behest of the "most successful people".

Re:The real reason they are after Google is here (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466930)

disgusting.

not sure which I hate more; our 'chosen leaders' or our 'non-elected corporate overlords'.

they both stink to high heaven.

Re:The real reason they are after Google is here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467114)

WARNING - goatse link

A fund raising ploy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35466818)

Man, they have not thought that one through. Attacking Google is politically like attacking puppies and children.

Google Draws Fire From Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35466828)

Until Google Draws Money For Congress

Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35466840)

They didn't give enough money to Kohl's campaign.

I think Google is a good company after all (-1, Troll)

happyhacker4 (2012740) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466864)

This wifi scandal, as some name it, is really nonsense.
They just collected the location and strength of the wifi hotspots.
The PCWorld magazine has detailed article [goo.gl] on this.

Herb Kohl (3, Interesting)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466868)

Herb is kind of above reproach. Having grown up in Wisconsin and actually met the man once, I can say comfortably that he isn't some kind of fundraising whore; he's a principled legislator who will probably get swept out in the next tide of teabagging. So I would be very careful in ascribing any kind of sinister motive to his investigation, or in drawing any conclusions about what the committee's findings will be.

Did Herb Kohl talk to Murdoch about Google? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467084)

I wonder if he's had a recent conversation with Rupert Murdoch on this as part of Rupert's travelling roadshow telling everyone how his competitor for the advertising dollar is evil and how they must be restricted or jobs will be lost? Murdoch has a lot of influence and can use it without actually overtly bribing people.

Re:Herb Kohl (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467180)

Herb is kind of above reproach. Having grown up in Wisconsin and actually met the man once, I can say comfortably that he isn't some kind of fundraising whore; he's a principled legislator who will probably get swept out in the next tide of teabagging. So I would be very careful in ascribing any kind of sinister motive to his investigation, or in drawing any conclusions about what the committee's findings will be.

I'm going to quote the AC from above because it has a good list of examples:

Yes, when I think of out-of-control industries that are stamping on the rights of ordinary people, colluding to price-gouge us and passing legislation harmful to American interests, I think Google. Not the RIAA or MPAA or union-busting industries or economy-wrecking fraudulent financial groups or small-business-annihilating megamarts or the military-industrial complex or cable and phone companies. Definitely Google.

Can you address this point? If this guy is such a goody-goody, why is he going after Google, who as far as anyone can tell hasn't hurt anybody and whose major offense seems to have been making its competitors butthurt that they have to compete with a company that makes good products available in exchange for nothing more than viewing little text adverts? Instead of going after Comcast, Sony, bankers, etc.?

Re:Herb Kohl (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467702)

>>Can you address this point? If this guy is such a goody-goody, why is he going after Google

If you read the article, they want to investigate if Google's domination over the search business gives them an unfair advantage in other areas by prioritizing their own companies in search results.

Which is an entirely reasonable thing to investigate. /shrug

Did you mean "Russ Feingold"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467554)

I live in Wisconsin - I think you were just talking about "Russ Feingold" - that's the principled guy who got swept out by Tea Partiers and a guy who inherited millions and never held office before. Unfortunately, the same profile (inherited...never held office) also applies to Kohl.

The profile of Herb Kohl in the state is that he's the only white guy left who cares about professional basketball (he owns the Bucks), that he's not effective as a accumulator of federal funds, is never quoted as supporting progressive causes (he's been invisible on the state topic of collective bargaining) and he likes keeping a Senate seat because it befits his status (he owns the massive Kohls department chain).

But the lack of campaign contributions may have something to do with it - last time I checked we only had a single Google comp sci research post up here.

The only reason Kohl survives is that no one wants to go toe-to-toe in a TV battle with a billionaire in Wisconsin. But we could do better - a heck of a lot better.

Wag the dog (1)

DarkKaplah (861495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466874)

Oh no we're not incompetent or on the take. This is a very important... thing... we need to tackle. We can't have Google plugging the pipes of the internet. The fact that you all are still loosing your homes and the banks are profiting three times off of your home each time you loose it isn't something we want you thinking about, so look at this google thing! yea! Oh thank you Mr. Bank charman for another campaign donation! Seriously... this whole thing reads exactly like the movie script.

can't be evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35466882)

because they're open.
open!

Let me get this straight. (5, Insightful)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466886)

So it's evil when Google mines my data and makes no attempt to hide the fact that they do, but it's ok when congress creates fusion centers that create profiles of average american citizens that have never committed any crimes and places wire taps on phones without proper warrants or just cause. I'm sorry, but I actually feel much safer trusting Google with my information than I do the federal government. Google just wants to make a profit, the federal government wants to control my life.

Re:Let me get this straight. (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467192)

So it's evil when Google mines my data and makes no attempt to hide the fact that they do, but it's ok when congress creates fusion centers that create profiles of average american citizens that have never committed any crimes and places wire taps on phones without proper warrants or just cause. I'm sorry, but I actually feel much safer trusting Google with my information than I do the federal government. Google just wants to make a profit, the federal government wants to control my life.

Apparently... sad, isn't it? And perhaps I misinterpreted your earlier post I responded to, in which case, my apologies.

Re:Let me get this straight. (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467382)

I would actually classify both acts as evil.

Re:Let me get this straight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467604)

But one's a worse kind of evil because they don't want to give you a choice about participation.

Re:Let me get this straight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467384)

No it's evil when Google mines your data and Google insiders (in Government) slant the Official Policy to make it appear as if there were some Technological Imperative(tm) that the information be collected to begin with. For the sake of argument, say there exists a creature known as "an Honest Politician" - far fetched, but bear with me ... what use has that creature for behavioral advertising ?

Re:Let me get this straight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467624)

Just because what the US government does is wrong doesn't make what Google does right.

Google isn't evil. (0)

happyhacker4 (2012740) | more than 3 years ago | (#35466968)

I couldn't think of a better company. They are the drive force behind so many things. For example street view, I couldn't have imaged being able to virtually travel the streets within pretty much any major town in the world. BTW, there is a site [goo.gl] that helps you travel virtually using street view.

Re:Google isn't evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467016)

This link is goatse.

Google = guilty of pro-Americanism (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467058)

Recently, Google, Facebook, Twitter and other American Internet giants have participated directly in the social storm that has engulfed the Middle East. They have played a key role in manufacturing social disorder, serving a role entirely inappropriate to their status. Wael Ghonim, Google's chief representative in the Middle Eastern and North African markets even rendered assistance to Mohamed ElBaradei in driving forward the anti-government movement in Egypt, becoming the chief agent behind Egyptian demonstrations. The facts have shown that Google is not purely a company, that it seeks not only to make the money of other nations, but also meddles in the political affairs of other countries. It is not just a search engine tool - it is a tool to extend American hegemony.

In the Internet age, whoever dominates the Internet dominates the world. As the world's leading hegemonic power, America has always prioritized the Internet and sought to use the Internet as a means of promoting America's national interests around the world. Google has been very cooperative with this strategic motive of the United States government, and its cooperation has been active.

The enterprise with the world's highest online traffic, Google monopolizes the online search engine markets for the vast majority of nations and regions in the world, and it has the capacity to dominate online information, widely propagate lies and influence the information climate. When a number of countries in the Middle East experienced signs of instability due to inflation and other problems, Google immediately went on the offensive, even allowing a senior company manager to directly establish the online general headquarters of the anti-government movement, fostering successive protest movements and nakedly interfering with the internal politics of other nations. These actions of Google's are astonishing, and they lead people naturally to recall the British East India Company.

In the colonial era, the British East India Company used the monopolization of trade in the colonies to traffic opium and assist Britain in building its hegemony. In the Internet era, Google uses its monopoly of Internet information search to promote American values and assist America in building its hegemony.

At its heart, Google is quite similar to the British East India Company. But in managing its outward appearance it is far more skillful than the British East India Company ever was. Google does not burn, kill and pillage, but rather is a master of disguises. Against the modus operandi of the British East India Company, which was to "carry out trade when necessary and plunder when possible," Google's slogan is far more bewitching: "Do no evil." The problem is that no company on earth "does evil" as a matter of creed, and it is a bit hypocritical for Google to say it "does no evil." The facts show that this "Do no evil" is actually an admission of guilt through a protestation of innocence.

This company that claims to "do no evil" has cooperated with America's National Security Agency to monitor the private information of American citizens. It has been taken to court by publishing companies in France, Germany, Belgium and many countries for violations of copyright. It has been compelled by China and other countries to clean up its act because it disseminates pornographic content. And most recently it has also openly released subversive information, fomenting unrest in other countries. Before the facts, Google's creed of "Do no evil" is like a joke. Is it any wonder that Apple CEO Steve Jobs once said that Google's "Do no evil" creed was complete nonsense [wired.com]?

Re:Google = guilty of pro-Americanism (1)

SirThe (1927532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467194)

Your conspiracy theory is really awesome, but there's this giant flaw big enough to sail the Emma Maersk through.

That is, Mubarak (you know, the guy Ghonim helped take down) absolutely furthered American interests a TON in Egypt; he went far above what you can expect any elected official (or the military) to do when it comes to assisting the US. So no, taking down Mubarak is not in American interests, it is most definitely the opposite.

In other words, you should go back to your mom's basement and find another conspiracy to latch onto.

Re:Google = guilty of pro-Americanism (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467248)

AT&T is far more guilty of cooperating with the NSA and the Dept. of Homeland Security than Google has been. http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att/att-complaint.pdf [eff.org] What is amazing to me is the level of misinformation that can subsist in a world where information can be received from a myriad of sources (none of which are in a vast "cabal" colluding with each other to keep us all in the dark). Steve Jobs was pointing out google's "do no evil" slogan as bullshit had to do with his iPhone's war with Android, and that somehow since Apple didn't get into the search business, Google shouldn't get into the phone business.

I don't know who first drew the comparison between Google and the East India Company, but I'm certain that person (or persons) has their tinfoil hat on shiny side in. If we'd like to draw a comparison (based on Google's supposed support of the NSA) between E.I.C. and a modern day corporation... I would put AT&T's in the top 5, numbers 1-4. In other words, if you're going to point out evil corporations, pick one more evil than Google.

And what about other companies? (1)

happyhacker4 (2012740) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467098)

Why facebook/twitter/yahoo/micro$oft/etc aren't under fire even though they do steal personal info so much.
Even the facebook [goo.gl] privacy accident is enough to be mad at it.

Lobby efforts are bearing fruit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467138)

Finally the screw google campaign http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/microsofts-secret-screw-google-meetings-in-d-c/19143135/
and we are seeing what the Redmond Lobby can really do!

Yeah! Destroy the industry that actually works! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467236)

Kill Google! Damn monopolists!

What's that? They have competitors in search, phones, e-mail, and video streaming?

Pfft.. Whatever.

Hmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467298)

So it's ok for Goldman Sachs to routinely send their CEO's to Washington to serve as Sec Treas. There's no problem with Exxon-Mobil writing energy legislation for the Vice President. But Google wants to advise the President on technology issues? Well now, we can't have that.

Conflict of Interests (1)

sandysnowbeard (1297619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467548)

So, if Schmidt works for the federal government as a technical advisor and retains his Google stock, that's a conflict of interest, right? (I don't know whether he'll be allowed to retain his Google stock, but I haven't read anything to the contrary yet.) I mean, I'm all for trusting someone, but clearly that's led us into disaster as regarding the financial industries.

Re:Conflict of Interests (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467628)

No way, you'd end up with a total lack of intelligent advisers. Tech advisers are only worthwhile if they have experience. If they have experience (and are good enough to advise White House policy) odds are they are employed at quite a salary. Few people would give up a cushy hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars a year for a thankless role that is likely to be heavily criticized in 6-18 months. You need people in the industry to provide advice; the only other option is to hire a fool and do the opposite of what s/he says.

I want to be governed by Google (3, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467662)

I'll trade our entire government for one run Google-style. They're better at foreign relations. They're better at having a balanced budget. They know how to treat people fairly. They know how not to waste everyone's time on ridiculous litigation that nobody (except their competitors) is calling for, especially when there's a shitton of far more pressing issues at hand. There are also corporations that behave much, much worse than google.

Are you reading this, Google? Get on it.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...