US Government Smiles and Frowns at Google

September 20, 2009

Short honk: You don’t read Beyond Search for political shenanigans. Two items struck me as important to Google’s long term content processing activities. First, the FCC seemed to use semaphores which I interpreted as supportive of Google’s view of net neutrality. There is a write up in the Washington Post which included this passage:

the proposal is expected to call for expanded guidelines on how operators like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast control traffic on their networks. One proposed rule would prevent them from discriminating, or act as gatekeepers, of legal Web content and applications.

Google was a cheerleader for net neutrality. That’s a smile for Google.

But the trusty newsreader is chock-a-block with CNN reports, newspaper stories, and technical Web sites’ reporting that the US Department of Justice wants the Google Book deal rethought. A good summary appears in Tom Krazit’s “DOJ: Google’s Book Settlement Needs Rewrite”.

Google saw a frown cross the face of former Google dance squad members.

How are these smiles and frowns germane to Google search. The net neutrality message may mean that Google’s push into TV land is semi-okay. The book rethink may spell major changes for what has become a real problem for the Googley folks. Book search itself may be forced off the rails. If this happens, some of the nifty slice-and-dice and repurposing functionality may be put on hold. Not good for the GOOG’s next generation search effort.

Stephen Arnold, September 20, 2009


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