One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
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Let us ponder for a moment who and what Google is. Google has made tens of billions of dollars – being all up in your business. Uber-efficiently doing what governments the world over have for centuries only at best bumblingly attempted – accumulating reams and reams of data on millions and millions of people.
Google is a private company. These millions of people voluntarily use its products – and expose themselves to Google’s data probes. Thoughtlessly clicking “Yes” in approval of the multi-page disclaimers that appear before them – when they are actually given that opportunity. If you use Google to search, for instance – you receive no such precursory heads-up.
Again, Google is a private company. Thus caveat quaero applies – “let the searcher beware.” But Google is amongst other things taking huge advantage of decades of trial lawyers’ cumulative handiwork. A rational, non-lawsuit-preemptive disclosure form would be shorter, truly informative – and much more widely read. Google benefits from – and revels in – the blurring legalese.
Google’s data-capture business has been unbelievably successful. Good on them. But they have used that model to cultivate another – huge government cronyism. Which ain’t quite so hot for us. And no one has been more receptive and reciprocal than President Barack Obama and his Administration. A man Google twice uber-helped get elected – in large part by using its massive data caches.
Pre-Obama, Google spent a decade – and lots and lots of money – funding the outside-in push to get Network Neutrality and a full government takeover of the Internet. Google didn’t get its desired power grab – until the three Obama-appointed Democrat bureaucrats on the Administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unilaterally imposed it.
For Google – lesson learned. Why lobby for policy on the outside – when you can shape it from the inside? Thus, the staff-swapping revolving door between Google and the Obama Administration is long. Very long. Unbelievably long.
Which leads us to another fundamental aspect of the Google business model – theft. Lots of theft. Lots and lots of theft. It steals physical property – and intellectual property. So what does Google do in DC? Have their campaign-contributed elected officials and hand-selected appointed officials transmogrify their illegal activities – into legal ones.
For instance, Google steals lots of patented stuff. So after a decade spent funding Democrats, they dump money into Republicans – and suddenly get the magically bipartisan, horribly misnamed Innovation Act. A bill that will make it much easier for Google to steal patented stuff. Oh – and guess who is currently head of the Administration’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office? Michelle Lee – whose last gig was Head of Patents and Patent Strategy for…Google.
But why work outside-in – or even inside-out – when you can preemptively choose who will be inside?
Google has the ability to drive millions of votes to a candidate with no one the wiser.
America’s next president could be eased into office not just by TV ads or speeches, but by Google’s secret decisions….
Google acknowledges adjusting (its search) algorithm 600 times a year, but the process is secret….
Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more—up to 80 percent in some demographic groups—with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated….
Given that many elections are won by small margins, this gives Google the power, right now, to flip upwards of 25 percent of the national elections worldwide. In the United States, half of our presidential elections have been won by margins under 7.6 percent, and the 2012 election was won by a margin of only 3.9 percent—well within Google’s control….
So as huge as the headline is – it is WAY underselling it. Google can execute this manipulation in almost any election in almost any country on the planet.
And it isn’t just elections. Google can manipulate the results you see – on ANYTHING. Any candidate or elected official. Any legislation or policy. They can shape what people here and all over the world see – and don’t see. On EVERYTHING.
The only real way to avoid becoming enmeshed in Google’s web – is to not use Google. There are lots of other providers for all the stuff Google provides. Providers who aren’t quite so nakedly political and politically connected – and abusive thereof.
Now you know – caveat quaero.