[SATLUG] Old thread but is Google still your frin?

Bruce Dubbs bruce.dubbs at gmail.com
Sat Aug 7 00:28:44 CDT 2010

herb cee wrote:
> Hey guys and gals. who really understands this latest rumour that the 
> goog is turning evil.
> My window to the world is the internet, I get plenty of lies there too, 
> but fairly easy to filter out.
> Just how does a low end user .5gig DSL affect me. is this just to do 
> with streaming video and hi-bandwidth uses or does it trully put my 
> freedom of info at risk?
> Thanks for some discussion to enlighten me?

Thee are two issues here.

1.  Net-neutrality.  Should a vendor like Time-Warner or AT&T have the 
authority to shape the throughput according to protocol or content.

There are a couple of sub-issues here.  If everyone is streaming HDTV 
signals over the Internet, does it get saturated?  I think the case can 
be made for things like cell phones.  For fiber connections, not so much.

Should a vendor be able/forced to pay for priority connections or 
delivery of content?  Should everyone be entitled to 'unlimited' downloads?

For companies like Time-Warner, the motivations are mixed because they 
are a content creator too.  Also, if everyone is downloading via the 
Internet, it cuts into TW's cable TV revenues.

I take no position here, but am just pointing out the issues.

2.  Google and it's applications have the ability to collect a lot of 
information about your browsing habits.  Almost every computer has a 
different Web fingerprint.  How does this ability affect things like 
free speech?  Are people inhibited in their political discussions?  I 
can answer that some people definitely feel restrained because of the 
potential of electronic systems monitoring everything.  See, for 
instance, the book 1984.  It is practical now and in places like North 
Korea, a reality.

Also see the movie "Enemy of the State".

The question is whether Google's capability is being misused.  We know 
it *can* be misused.  Different people will disagree about the what data 
can be reasonably collected and how that data is used.

   -- Bruce

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