Friday, October 07, 2005

"Mr. Google Goes to Washington"

For what it's worth...

All too often on these pages we've had cause to criticize corporate behavior as greedy, shortsighted and arrogantly dismissive of local concerns. That's because in Lafayette recently its all too often been an accurate way to characterize the behavior of our incumbent providers of telecommunications.

But there are some white hat corporations out there and Google appears to be one. A Red Herring article, Mr. Google Goes to Washington, summarizes Google's intention and the causes Google's newly hired lobbyist intends to fight for. A blog entry on google's blog outlines their causes in some pretty refreshing language.
“Our mission in Washington boils down to this: Defend the Internet as a free and open platform for information, communication, and innovation,”
Gee, I could go for that.

The initial battlegrounds? Net Neutrality, Copyrights and fair use, and Intermediary liability. These are all "very good things" and having a lobbyist from a major and well-regarded tech compay fighting for them is great. In a nutshell net neutrality is the principle that the network ought not to favor one use or provider over another. Copy right and fair use, at least as Google appears to understand it means that Google's search engine shouldn't be asked to enforce copyright craziness. Intermediary liability is the principle that holds that if you wanna look for stuff on the web the search engine shouldn't be held liable.

Basic, sensible, principles. Nice to see a global megacorp endorse them. Too bad we can't expect anything similar from BellSouth and Cox.

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