Google = Big Brother?

Here’s some interesting food for thought for you from Michael Malone at ABC News.  Malone brings to the table the notion that Google’s ambitions are bigger than most of us have ever imagined, and the company is now rich enough, and powerful enough, to execute them.

From the article:

While we’re transfixed by the presidential election, in the world of high tech another duel between two well-funded, take-no-quarter candidates has just emerged … and in the long run the impact on our daily lives may be nearly as great — and perhaps even sinister.

As you probably heard, on Monday — that is, on a national holiday, when business announcements are almost never made — Google rolled out Chrome, its new Web browser.

Google is now one of the world’s most valuable and influential companies. Much of the planet’s population passes through its simple and friendly portals every day, and in the process it has snatched up a sizable chunk of the advertising money out there. Meanwhile, no one talks much about Microsoft these days.

Google believes that Chrome could be its Microsoft killer. Not only does it have the potential to beat MS Explorer but, fulfilling Ellison’s old dream, it could be a way to let users easily download applications from the Web — and thus circumvent Microsoft’s lock on Office, even Windows, the very core of its business.

But a second reason is more sinister. Only a few people have noticed that, until recently, in the Terms of Service for signing up for Chrome, Google demands “perpetual, irrevocable, world-wide, royalty free and non-exclusive” license to any materials users create with the browser. (Google on Thursday announced that it was rescinding the clause.)

And that’s only part of the story: An earlier reviewer of Chrome, Andrew Cheung of TGDaily, has noted that the browser almost seems to work “too well.” For example, Cheung found that with a few keystrokes, Chrome will go into an online banking site and find account numbers, balances and transaction activity. Cheung suggests that it is a security flaw in the product. I’m not so sure.

Microsoft only wanted all of our money. Increasingly, it seems that Google wants all of our data. In running away from the evil empire, have we now instead rushed into the arms of Big Brother?

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2 Comments on “Google = Big Brother?”

  1. […] Google isn’t Big Brother they’re doing a pretty good imitation. And escaping them is no easier than getting away from […]

  2. […] Google isn’t Big Brother they’re doing a pretty good imitation. And escaping them is no easier than getting away from […]

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