Archive for April, 2008

Google, Web Giants

April 25, 2008

Article Extract:

‘From this position, Google derives immense and amazing power. And they make money, but not only for themselves. Google makes advertisers money. Google makes publishers money. Google drives multi-billion dollar industries profiting from Google SEM/SEO.’

This article is available at:
http://www.skrenta.com/2007/01/winnertakeall_google_and_the_t.html

Google, Web Giants

April 24, 2008

Article Extract:

‘The US federal government has requested that Google, Yahoo!, America Online, and Microsoft hand over millions of random search results in preparation for the defense of the 1998 Child Online Protection Act. This act is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union, who argues that websites cannot realistically comply with the law and that the law violates freedom of speech.


Yahoo!, America Online, and Microsoft immediately handed over the information the government requested. Google, on the other hand, has refused to hand over the search results in defense of its users’ privacy. A federal court date of February 27th has been set, where Google will attempt to fend off the invasion by the federal government.’

This article is available at:
http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/003193.html

Google, Web Giants

April 22, 2008

Article extract:

‘CNet News is reporting that the another chapter has been added to the ongoing saga between Yahoo and French regulators over what can be viewed or sold over online networks.

Consequently, a French court ordered Yahoo to find a way to prevent French citizens from accessing auctions of Nazi memorabilia. Yahoo asked a U.S. federal judge to block the French court’s ruling – – citing not only its free speech rights both also the impossible hassle associated with trying to quarantine French citizens from the rest of the world.’

This article is available at:
http://techliberation.com/2004/08/24/france-vs-yahoo-round-3/

Google, Web Giants

April 19, 2008

A Border-less World?


Earlier the focus was on the politics of Internet control and how geography and governments play a fundamental role in controlling both the Internet and Internet content in different countries under different governmental control. What was established was that governments have the power through coercive forces to control the Internet in their country with complete control remaining with the United States who maintain ‘root authority’.

However, as was outlined later on the World Wide Web is evolving at a high rate. This is not just through a higher degree of people and companies embracing the concept of Web 2.0 but also through the masses looking to further its potential as a means of ‘harnessing collective intelligence’ through new forms of communication and information. After the burst of the ‘dot-com bubble’ we saw a number of elite companies emerge at the forefront of what is known as Web 2.0 and to this day hold tremendous power throughout the Web as strong alliances are formed between companies and Internet users.

These alliances can be seriously underestimated as we enter an Internet age where users worldwide have much more power and influence than ever before at shaping the Web. Companies and businesses now look to attract the masses for user-contribution (‘harnessing collective intelligence’) that adds to the value and ultimate power of the business.

Facebook is a prime example of such a business, whereby a user-base of over 50million, constantly adding content and information to the massive network, adds so much worth to the business that even the biggest companies want involvement. As seen with the tussle between Microsoft and Google for a share in Facebook.

What is clear is that the Internet age we live in at the present is evolving at a high rate as it continues to embrace the Web 2.0 concept. Companies are becoming more capable and influential than ever before at setting up Websites that fall under the Web 2.0 umbrella, allowing sites to emerge and organically flourish through user-participation. As the Internet evolves and changes more and more, through mass user-participation especially as seen in social networking sites, more companies and corporations are able to rise and dominate the Web.

Although Internet control currently belongs to governments, in particular the US government that doesn’t mean to say that a newer more advanced version of the Internet cannot be developed, one that wouldn’t be dependant on governmental control but the Web giants that control the Web and its users. Governments may be able to bully Web giants at present through coercive rule to a certain extent, but that doesn’t mean to say they would have the same power in a ‘Google Age’, whereby Google could act as a gateway for instant communication and information involving a digital platform yet to be realised.

Google, Web Giants

April 17, 2008

Photo by Robert Scoble at
www.flickr.com/photos/scobleizer/2264763977/

Photo by LuChOeDu at
www.flickr.com/photos/luchoedu/2452445923/

Google, Web Giants

April 10, 2008

Web Giants vs Governments


The example of Yahoo backing down to the French government highlights one way that governments can overpower Web giants and that is by threatening the companies finances. In the case of Yahoo this proved to be the company’s one major interest and is backed up by their move to work for the Chinese government filtering information to stop the people of China having access to the full information resource of the Web.

In the case of Google however, we are looking at the single most powerful identity across the Web and their tussle with the US government over protecting what they deem to be sensitive information for Google’s eyes only.

This proves to be an interesting one as we are surely looking at the most powerful government who have ‘root authority’, control over the Internet’s naming and numbering system, against possibly the most powerful and influential company on the planet as highlighted earlier. Although coercive rule by the US government as highlighted in the first chapter of this dissertation would always come out on top, it cannot in this particular case bully Google into giving them the information they want, as Google has done nothing wrong and broken no laws.

Google, Web Giants

April 8, 2008

Web Giants vs Governments


This example demonstrates how France were able to influence Yahoo’s decision by threatening to remove Yahoo’s subsidiary and ultimately a sizeable income that the company weren’t prepared to lose. This however poses the question, what happens when governments have no financial bearing on a company yet still oppose its actions in some way. The answer to that would be that even when a company like Yahoo has no presence where another government rules such as the island of Fiji, the government still has options to block the use of the Internet or use suitable Internet Service Provider’s that filter and block forbidden materials.

A more recent case involved the US government and Google. The ‘Bush’ administration put in for a request order that would see a federal judge force Google to disclose and reveal a mass amount of information regarding Web surfing habits.

What was demanded from Google was information regarding all searches made on Google within any one week including one million randomly selected URLs. Google was soon to refuse to disclose and reveal any of the data regarding its users web surfing habits and has set out to fight the government in order to keep this information withheld.

Google, Web Giants

April 5, 2008

Web Giants vs Governments


As powerful Web giants continue to grow and intertwine themselves in the very fabric of the World Wide Web, as we know it, it was only a matter of time before a clash of powers between the Governments coercive rule of the Internet, and the hugely influential Web behemoths. The first big confrontation was between Yahoo, who at the time were recognised as not only the number one portal to the Internet but a powerful name throughout the Web, and that of the French Government.

Mark Knobel a Frenchman living in Paris, who was highly against neo-Nazism, was horrified to find a huge collection of Nazi memorabilia that was available to purchase in France but was hosted by Yahoo on a computer server in the United States where the Internet giant was located. This led to Mark Knobel suing Yahoo on April 11th 2000 for breaching the ‘International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism’ in a French court. Knobel stated that Yahoo’s auctions did not adhere to French Law that banned any trafficking of Nazi goods within its country and so violated this law. True as this was, Jerry Yang, Yahoo’s leader soon had Yahoo standing its ground by telling the French court that there was only one Internet with many countries and laws.

This led Yang to soon conclude that Judge Gomez was only capable of exercising any kind of power or control in France and therefore had no way of stopping what Yahoo was to put on its servers back in California. Therefore, Yahoo remained indignant towards Judge Gomez, who ruled that Yahoo had violated French law and ordered them to take any necessary measures to make it impossible for French Internet users to gain access to Yahoo’s illegal auction sites.

It was on November 20th 2000 in Paris’s Tribunal de Grande Instance, housed within Palais de Justice a unique but haunting building situated a few blocks from the Notre Dame Cathedral, that Yahoo would defend the conventional wisdom of the Internet against the French government. It was here that Gomez issued his final warning towards Yahoo, who again remained defiant and refused to do anything unless a United States court made it.

The problem with this decision was that Yahoo had overlooked one major element that proved a decisive factor and that was that Yahoo had a lot of assets in France including a French subsidiary bringing in a sizeable income to the company all at risk. It was at this point that chief executives in the Yahoo setup began to seriously rethink things and on January 2nd 2001 the Internet giant abruptly surrendered.

Google, Web Giants

April 2, 2008

Photo by warrantedarrest at
www.flickr.com/photos/warrantedarrest/74688743/
Original at
tomasdeaquino.com/what-is-google-thinking/