FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Google undermines the Internet [Updated]
Or: History Repeats
Updated at the bottom.
Attention leftists: hypocrisy is not a failure to live up to one’s own ideals. Hypocrisy is a willful professing of a belief, that one that does not truly believe. An outspoken Christian who commits adultery is not a hypocrite. An outspoken atheist who prays is a hypocrite. In today’s extended lesson Google must either accept that it is undermining the Internet, or be a hypocrite.
Exhibit A: Google supports ‘net neutrality’, a movement which began as an argument against ISPs selectively filtering traffic, which is a legitimate fear in the face of cable and phone companies trying for a “triple play” of television, phone, and Internet service. The idea is that if a Comcast or an AT&T degrade or prohibit the use of other firms’ phone and video services, then you will be forced to use their own. Google, the firm, professes to believe in opposing this tactic.
Exhibit B: Google is set to argue against Apple’s blocking of Google Voice from iPhones to the FCC. This is the Net Neutrality prediction in action. Apple conspires with AT&T to block the use of a third party’s phone service over AT&T’s Internet connection. Google, again, supports this belief in neutrality.
Exhibit C: Google blocks Skype from Android-based phones. This is anti-Net Neutrality in action. Google conspires with providers to block the use of a third party’s phone service over the provider’s data connection.
On the other hand, it gets worse for Google. In its defense, Google claims that T-Mobile didn’t request the block. That would work, except that it could only mean Google is attempting to fight the market advantage of Skype by blocking that competitor and bundling Google Voice with Android. In its attempt to avoid the Net Neutrality hypocrisy and FCC attention for its actions (which “do not stand up to scrutiny,” which is what Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf said of all justifications for anti-Net Neutrality), Google confesses to doing what Microsoft was accused by the FTC of doing with its Internet Explorer and Windows releases against Netscape Navigator.
Steve Ballmer is laughing. So am I, only I’m laughing at all the people who pretend Google is anything friendly to ordinary Americans.
Update: Google has issued a rebuttal of the piece I linked to above, but they do not rebut my key point, which is that Google stands ready and willing to collaborate fully with anti-Net Netural policies of their business partners, even as they run to the State like good little fascists if their competitors try the same policies. They key quote is that “individual operators can request that certain applications be filtered if they violate their terms of service,” and in fact the T-Mobile terms of service are not net neutral, banning any uses not ‘explicitly permitted by your Data Plan,’ instead requiring you to use T-Mobile provided media options. Additionally, T-Mobile Germany has already banned Skype on the iPhone. So, of course T-Mobile USA is going to make the same ban, and according to Google’s own words, they will be complicit in that ban.