Google: the big engine that couldn't?
Some excerpts from John Lanchester's analysis:
Until now, Chinese net users who were blocked from accessing a site knew that the information was there and was being kept from them by their own government. From now on it is Google which will be keeping data from them, in direct contradiction of its own declared mission “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. ...Lanchester weaves in plenty of history and context so it is not entirly a Google bashfest.
...It seemed that the company’s real motto was something more along the lines of “don’t be evil unless the Chinese government asks you to and there’s serious money in it”. ...
...Google is cool, but Google has the potential to destroy the publishing industry, the newspaper business, high street retailing and our privacy. Not that it will necessarily do any of these things, but for the first time, considered soberly, they are technologically possible. The company is rich and determined and is not going away any time soon. It knows what it is doing technologically; socially, though, it can’t possibly know and I don’t think anyone else can either.
Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled