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Protect the Internet

Entry 1123, on 2009-11-26 at 21:20:25 (Rating 4, Computers)

I love the internet. It gives me quick, convenient access to any information I need, plus it allows me to distribute the information that I want to share with others. Perhaps the most important characteristic which allows this to happen is that the 'net is not controlled by big corporations like so many other aspects of our lives are.

That's why it worries me when there is a hint of these corporations interfering with the efficient operation of the internnet just so that they can extend their control or increase their profits. Its hard to imagine two companies more evil and disgusting than News Corp and Microsoft so I dread to think what kind of abomination would result if they cooperated in a search/news system like those currently being proposed.

Rupert Murdoch has said he is sick of Google being freely able to provide access to his content. Why? Isn't the whole idea of news content to be accessed by as many people as possible? What's the point of news if its not read, and then there's the exposure the advertising on those pages gets as well. You would almost think that Google should be charging him for delivering readers, not the other way around.

Most experts seem to think the idea of removing News Corp sites from the Google search index is suicide. I certianly hope so because it would be great to see News Corp die and it would be even better if it was as a result of corporate ignorance and greed not being able to cope with a new way of doing things.

One option being presented is removing News Corp sites form Google and allowing only Microsoft's Bing to access them... for a fee of course. That would mean that you would need to use Bing to make sure that News Corp content was included in your search so more people might use Bing in preference to Google.

This is typical of Microsoft's dirty tricks they have used in the past. They can't compete on merit so they do some backroom deals with some equally unprincipaled partners to force people into using their products. To be fair at this point I should say that Bing is actually OK. I can't see a reason to use it but it isn't actually virtually unusable like most Microsoft products (Windows, Word, etc).

Of course it might backfire. People might continue to use Google so they will find other company's content and just keep away from News Corp sites. That way Murdoch will be worse off than he was before. That's what most people think will happen and that's what I hope does happen.

The whole idea of compromising the internet's openness is contrary to all the principles which have made it the useful tool it is today. If this move succeeds it will probably mean others will follow and that will be the beginning of the decline of the 'net in general. If it fails then it will most likely warn other companies off from doing the same thing.

So it must fail just to protect the integrity of the Internet. If NewsCrop also fails that's another benefit (other, more principled, organisations will fill the gap) and if Murdoch is exposed as the evil, greedy scumbag he is then that's just another bonus as well!


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