“Leave Google Alone!” 1/7/08Posted by Steve Boriss in Google.
Since Google will probably not find anyone quite as passionate for their cause as the Britney fan on Google’s own YouTube, let me give this a try. This goes out to all you politicians, federal bureaucrats, and selfish, competition-averse businesspersons out there: LEAVE GOOGLE ALONE! As my readers may know, despite the company’s fabulous services and praiseworthy contributions to the Internet, I am not Google’s #1 fan. I have been harshly critical of Google’s lack of enthusiasm for the principles in the Bill of Rights, particularly for aiding China on censorship, pushing for weaker property rights in media, and lobbying for insidious “net neutrality” legislation that invites the federal government to regulate the unregulated Internet, ending the opportunity for historically-unprecedented free speech. But it is exactly because I am such a supporter of the Bill of Rights, whose whole purpose is to prevent government from encroaching on our freedoms, that I am even less of a fan of the Time Warner senior executive who said, “You always have to worry when someone gets so much more powerful than all the competition out there…I hope the government starts understanding this power sooner rather than later.”
The American people have nothing to fear from Google, a company that cannot succeed without pleasing its customers. When CEO Eric Schmidt says his company would never violate user trust on the issue of privacy or “we’ll really be hosed,” I believe every word. When I hear that some of Google’s top talent is defecting, perhaps to start-ups that will challenge Google, or that better search engines may be on the way, I believe them, too. The marketplace provides all the curbs against Google’s power we will ever need. On the other hand, the government has few curbs against its power, and has the power to fine, imprison, or even kill us. So, YOU GO, GOOGLE! But in return, when it comes to supporting a net neutrality bill that selfishly protects your business while risking federal regulation of Internet free speech, please don’t forget to leave US alone!