CONSISTENCY MAY BE THE HOBGOBLIN OF LITTLE MINDS BUT IT SURE COULD HELP GOOGLE ABOUT NOW[ Updated]
Google, currently facing a firestorm of criticism for voluntarily abetting the Chinese government in its campaign of censorship and repression of dissent, is now crying foul at attempts by the EU to regulate content by extendng regulations regarding broadcast television to the internet.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Google is using its deep pockets to fight back rather than just rolling over.It is completely true that the EU TV regs would, in the words of one minister opposed to the proposal, be completely destructive toward innovation and protective of politically connected rentier elites:
“There is no benefit to the consumer that justifies this move. This increased scope could mean significant regulation of the internet and stifle the growth of new media services. That would raise prices for consumers and deprive them of potential new services.
…in 10 years our successors will bemoan the handicaps we gave to European industry and the restraints we put on free speech”.
Which is not a side effect of these regulations but their central intent. They are intended to stifle growth in the information and media sector and monitor speech content.
But the irony to this battle over the EU regs is that Google’s moral position vis-a-vis the Eurocrats in Brussells would be far stronger were they not already in bed with China’s secret police.
It just occurred to me after I posted the above comments that a very important question needs to be asked of Google’s CEO:
” If you have agreed to censor what information can be accessed in China in return for greater market opportunities, have you also agreed to censor what information can be accessed about China by the rest of us ?”
Is the integrity of megasearch engines and their susceptibility to the secret influence of foreign governments a national security question as well as one of free speech and human rights ?