So much for Google's "Don't Be Evil" mantra, says Ryan Singel in Wired. Once upon a time, the search giant was a staunch advocate of "mobile net neutrality" — that is, free and open access for cell phones to a variety of wireless carriers. But recently Google has given up that fight, recently signing a pact with Verizon that threatens to further empower the telecom behemoths and undermine the interests of average citizens. Google could have pressured "the FCC to push through new wireless rules," and freed us all from the hell of two-year contracts. It could have put real corporate muscle behind its revolutionary (but ultimately abandoned) Nexus One smartphone. Instead, Google just "surrendered," jettisoning principle and embracing corprate greed. Below, an excerpt:
The thing about surrendering is that it only keeps going. But Google doesn’t care. By surrendering — and by surrendering, I mean, giving up the fight it claimed to be waging on your behalf for open wireless networks — it wins billions of dollars in online, mobile ad revenues.
As a result, openness in the mobile market is no longer in Google’s best interest...
Mobile openness is the tool of the outsider, not the incumbent. Google is now registering some 200,000 Android handsets every day. Phone-to-phone, Android is now outselling the iPhone. Google doesn’t need openness anymore...
If Google fought for wireless neutrality, it would give Microsoft another shot to break into the mobile market. And why would Google want that? The answer should be: its principles, its years of rhetoric about openness, its $4.6 billion bet on open wireless spectrum and its famous mantra, "Don’t Be Evil." But principles are easy to discard, it seems, when one’s in search of the next gold mine.
Read the full article at Wired.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Why isn't 'Arkansas' pronounced like 'Kansas'?
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
- Internet piracy isn't killing Hollywood
- It's time for the police to rethink 'shoot-to-kill'
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Congress' craven approach toward the war on ISIS
- This 1,600-year-old Viking war game is still awesome
- Is the Christian music industry liberalizing on gay marriage?
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
Subscribe to the Week