Google: Three Elephants Preparing to Fight Among Themselves

April 2, 2015

I love the Google. I found two unrelated articles interesting for one simple reason: Google is getting ready for its own version of Wrestlemania.

The first write up is “China Blasts Google Security Move as ‘Unacceptable’.” Most outfits doing business in China seek to avoid getting into an awkward position with the Chinese authorities. Anyone remember the mobile death vans? Well, check up on your allegedly accurate current history. According to the write up, Google is not recognizing certain Chinese certificates:

The Google posting was updated Wednesday to note that CNNIC’s certificates “will no longer be recognized in Google products” adding that the Chinese organization was “welcome… to reapply once suitable technical and procedural controls are in place”.  An anti-censorship group, – which has accused Beijing of attacking its services—said the original revelation was evidence that CNNIC had been “complicit” in so-called man-in-the-middle operations. Such attacks involve an unauthorized intermediary inserting themselves between computer users and their online destinations, usually undetected, allowing them to harvest data including passwords.

For me, the point is that Google is lighting up the radar of the CNNIC just as the fly bys by Mr. Putin’s armed forces catch the attention of Russia’s neighbors.

The second write up is even more fascinating, if it is accurate. The article is “EU Lays Groundwork for Antitrust Charges Against Google.” You will either have to buy a newspaper and kill a small bush or tree or pay. Or you will have to pony up money for online access. If the link works, wow, you are lucky.

The passage I noted was:

The European Commission, the European Union’s top antitrust authority, has been asking companies that filed complaints against Google for permission to publish some information they previously submitted confidentially, according to several people familiar with the requests. Shopping, local and travel companies are among those that have been contacted, one of those people said.

Assume the “one of those people said” is delivering on the money information. The idea that there will be legal documents available for analysis is darned interesting. I have reviewed one or two court documents in my work career and some of them are chock full of useful information. Too bad that some documents, like those in the i2 vs Palantir matter disappear after the proceedings, but that’s life in the aeries of legal eagles.

The net net of this is that Google is not just jousting with the Xooglers at Facebook and the world’s smartest man at Amazon. The Google appears to be entering a two front war. One hopes those online advertising revenues continue to pump cash into the Google’s coffers. Two front wars can be costly for human, companies, and the victims of the proverb which asserts:

When elephants fight, only the grass gets trampled.

I am delighted I live in Harrod’s Creek. The mine drainage run off makes grass a scare item. So who will be the grass when Google tussles with China and the EC? I am interested in how a company battling nation states will move forward.

Stephen E Arnold, April 2, 2015


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