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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Sex, Tech and Spies

No I am not talking James Bond. No I am not even talking about entertainment, this is happening in real life. The current rift between Google baby and Big Brother D.C. administration.

The Govt has subpoenaed Google to disclose some porn search info over to the Govt. while the other big search engines namely MSN, AOL, Ask Jeeves and Yahoo! pulled their tails between the legs and complied; Google has become the lone warrior of the netizens fighting for the freedom of Internet. Friday Jan 20th, this sent the GOOG stock tumbling down by 8% to $399.

What this means for Google? Google has become little more popular with the masses, the fact that other B.I.Gs have "betrayed" its users Google is fighting for its users against the local bully in D.C. Google is portraying itself democratic and not as another corporation. Remember its IPO, contrary to the practice of that time when all companies were in the dungeons Google chose the dutch method. People decided the price of its stock rather than the pundits in Wall Street. When email providers were giving few megs of storage Google gave 1 gig. Google shared its wealth with ad monetization service. So, does this mean that Google will fight to its last breath to protect its user's rights. Mmmm... I do not think so. Sooner or later it will have to disclose its WMD in part or completely to the administration or meet its fate; remember Iraq.

What does this mean to the Internet users? Romans, country men and netizen's. This is the beginning. But, this is going to start a new era. Our phone lines are already compromised, now our search behavior then it will be our emails and then our IMs. This will not just be true for Americans but this will affect the entire WWW user. Makes me wonder how this is different from the censorship in the Middle East and the Communist block. Allow me to contradict myself - I am NOT adverse to the idea of security agencies scouring citizens in times of emergency.

For those who sold out of Google stock - I think they should buy it back as soon as possible. Because once this is over (read: once Google has handed over the requested information); Google will be more popular, more used and spread than ever. They are playing the game very well, they did not succumb immediately and won user loyalty, got all the media footage, you may have noticed that now commercials mention Search on Google rather than AOL keyword xyz. This will also realize the analyst's dream of Google hitting $600 by summer.

But, who am I to predict I can only guess, I am just another netizen like you.